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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We went camping in the smokies this weekend and decided to burn some magnesium cause it seemed like a good idea and was supposed to be super bright. Shortly after it lit up, a DA in our group tosses a unopened Keystone Light on the fire, which expanded until it exploded. At which point the magnesium fire converted the H2O into a hydrogen gas, which got trapped in the empty can, until it exploded... into a HUGE fireball. Luckily, the hydrogen explosion was just big enough and loud enough to wake everyone within a 5 mile radius up at 2am. And it also threw a bunch of small burning magnesium pieces everywhere, including the bed of someone's pick-up truck. We got all the fire back into the fire pit and babysat the rest of the burn until it went out. There was minimal damage and we only lost 3 folding chairs and everything else on the picnic table. No cops, no firemen. I didn't get arrested and I still have most of my hair.

just FYI- don't mix beer and burning magnesium, incase you were considering...
 

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At 2 AM I am sure no one was clear headed and thinking the what if's?
 

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I say B.S and the O-poster was at band camp with a flute and had his first big-oooooooooogasm.......................light beer and hydrogen gas............yuh huh........
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
slainer said:
N Law you :twisted: man, you scare me :lol: Glad no one was hurt that could of ended bad.
It was very scary and I am amazed no one got hurt. Even more happy that there wasn't any property damage other than singed and burnt camp ground.

hessmess said:
At 2 AM I am sure no one was clear headed and thinking the what if's?
Amazingly enough, we weren't drunk. We had been drinking, but it wasn't that kind of sh*t-show. All of the drunks had already gone to bed.

Rodeo Song said:
I say B.S and the O-poster was at band camp with a flute and had his first big-oooooooooogasm.......................light beer and hydrogen gas............yuh huh........
I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't experienced it. I thought the beer can was the big explosion, but after reading about it (after the fact), I learned that putting water on the fire, only intensifies it. Check out the safety precautions for Magnesium on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium

Magnesium is capable of reducing water to the highly flammable hydrogen gas:[33]
Mg (s) + 2 H2O (l) → Mg(OH)2 (s) + H2 (g)
As a result, water cannot be used to extinguish magnesium fires; the hydrogen gas produced will only intensify the fire. Dry sand is an effective smothering agent but is usable only on relatively level and flat surfaces.
This youtube video kinda shows what the explosion was like. Our fire wasn't as big prior to the explosion, but when it blew, it was exactly the same...

 

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NEVER get water on burning magnesium. Very bad things happen if you do. Kind of counter intuitive on a ship because they tell you that for a mag fire to throw it over board. But the reason being is that at least that water is off of the ship so it blows up and burns away from where you are. You can use PKP to fight it but that stuff is corrosive so they dont like to use if if you dont have to.
 

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Rodeo Song said:
I say B.S and the O-poster was at band camp with a flute and had his first big-oooooooooogasm.......................light beer and hydrogen gas............yuh huh........
:roll:

I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or if you're just plain ignorant.

If you are ignorant, just FYI.

Beer is made up of mostly water... and water (H2O) is made up of 2 hydrogen molecules and one oxygen molecule. When you put H2O on burning magnesium (or any class D fire AFAIK) it will break down the covalent bonds and leave you with hydrogen gas (think Hindenburg) and oxygen gas.

So basically in addition to burning magnesium you just added a bunch of hydrogen fuel, and oxygen to feed it as well.

Bottom line is that water on a class D fire = suddenly much bigger fire! There is a reason that airport fire suppression units use foam and not water or CO2.

P.S. Ever seen a magnesium Volkswagen engine block burn. :twisted:
 

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There is a reason that airport fire suppression units use foam and not water or CO2.
Cant use foam on mag fires either, AFFF contains water (aqueous film forming foam). Have to use a non reactive dry chemical, sand/dirt, or just let it burn out.
 

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Sags said:
Rodeo Song said:
I say B.S and the O-poster was at band camp with a flute and had his first big-oooooooooogasm.......................light beer and hydrogen gas............yuh huh........
:roll:

I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or if you're just plain ignorant.

If you are ignorant, just FYI.
Here I'll fix and help you with it....Keystone Beer

is made up of mostly squirrel piss which is mostly water so they weren't drunk and don't throw it on the fire :mrgreen:
As for the bandcamp and flute playing...he resembles that :thefinger:
 

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If anything, this just made me want to try it even more.....but i'll just make sure im in a remote area, and i have a bunker to jump behind.
 

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reminds me of when I mixed sulfiric acid and sodium hydroxide in chem class.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
RandyAM said:
If anything, this just made me want to try it even more.....but i'll just make sure im in a remote area, and i have a bunker to jump behind.
That would be a good idea. Stay away from camp grounds full of old people with really nice camper trailers...
 
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