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Which one is more powerful- boil or steam ?

How can you compare the heat generated from boiling to that of steam? Have you forgotten that steam occurs as a result of boiling? The fact is that boiling is more powerful than steaming. I guess I will have to make use of science or elementary physics to prove this.

We all agree that matter is made up of particles. Since we are considering water as a scenario, it is established that a normal water either from your tap or stream or any source posses particles which are static or stable since they aren't disturbed by any external agent or force as stated by Newton's first law of motion which explains that "an object will continue to remain in a state of rest or move with uniform motion along a straight line provided it is not acted upon by an external force. This implies that the particles present in water tends to be static since there is no external force applied or introduced into the system.

When the water is placed in a freezer or a cooling medium, the party particles of the water tend to shrink together or combine together leaving no room for any space between the particles. This implies that the particles are closely packed together due to the effect of external force known as the cooling agent. This explains why you your water automatically turns into ice block.

Similarly, when you subject your pure water to heat, it implies that you've increased the temperature of the system which affects the particle causing them to move at random motion leading to spaces between the particles because they've gained kinetic energy. When the heat is applied continuously, the particles gain more kinetic energy which enables them to break more bonds colliding with each other and thus leading to the emission of vapor or flame. This explains the principle of boiled water.

The fact is that steam occurs as a result of boiling of water at the required or maximum temperature. This is why we can never compare the heat energy involved or generated from boiling to that generated from steam.

A practical analogy that explains this better is that when you boil your water at a very high temperature, you find it very difficult to bath directly with that water without mixing the water because it can harm you your skin due to the intense heat. This is why you will always have to mix a very boiled water with some amount of cold water before using it to bath. But when it comes to steam, you are able to perceive steam immediately you open your pot of boiled water which only causes you to sweat due to the little heat generated.

The power of boiling has led to the removal of impurities from some certain materials due to the intense heat generated from the process but if minimum heat is required, people make use of steam.

Thanks for reading and I hope this helps.


Well this is an interesting question. Let me start by saying that when you're boiling something, particularly in water, the highest temperature that can be achieved is the temperature of boiling water which is 100 degrees Celsius. What this means is that there's basically a fixed amount of heat that can be given from a given mass of boiling water(Q= mc∆T).

Steam on the other hand is created when what're exceeds 100°c and as such the lowest temperature of steam at atmospheric pressure is 100°c. This means that if you're boiling something, the heat source which is the water won't be able to heat it up beyond 100°c but if you use steam you'll be able to heat it up much more.

What I'm trying to say is that the maximum heat generated from a given mass of water which is used to heat up something can not exceed a particular amount while that of steam can go much higher because it can exist at temperatures higher than 100°c.

Q = Heat generated

C = specific heat capacity

∆T = Temperature difference.

I hope this helps.