I not too long ago dedicated myself to the aim, earlier than the weekend was out, of making a tool fully from bacon and utilizing it to chop a metal pan in half. My preliminary makes an attempt have been failures, however I knew success was inside attain once I was capable of ignite and soften the pan utilizing seven beef sticks and a cucumber.
No, significantly. The machine I constructed was a type of thermal lance. A thermal lance, usually fabricated from iron as a substitute of bacon, is used to chop up scrap metallic and rescue folks from collapsed buildings. It really works by blowing pure oxygen gasoline by a pipe filled with iron and magnesium rods. These metals are surprisingly flammable in pure oxygen, releasing an enormous quantity of warmth as they’re consumed. The result’s a jet of superheated iron plasma popping out of the top of the pipe. For sheer harmful power, few instruments match a thermal lance. However iron isn’t the one factor that’s flammable in a stream of pure oxygen.
Bacon is fattening as a result of it comprises a variety of chemical vitality tied up in its proteins, and particularly in its fats. You may launch that vitality both by digesting it or by burning it with a wholesome provide of oxygen. The problem isn’t creating the warmth; it’s engineering a bacon construction sturdy sufficient to resist the stress of a 5,000°F bacon plasma flame.
I used prosciutto (Italian for “costly bacon”) as a result of it’s a superior engineering grade of meat. I wrapped slices of it into skinny tubes and baked them in a single day in a heat oven to drive off all of the water. Then I bundled seven of these collectively, wrapped them in extra slices, and baked the bundle once more till it was exhausting and dry.
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To make an hermetic, less-flammable outer casing, I wrapped this gasoline core with raw prosciutto earlier than attaching one finish of it to an oxygen hose. You may’t think about the sensation of triumph once I first noticed the telltale indicators of burning iron: sparks bursting from the metallic, after which a rush of flame out of the opposite aspect as I witnessed maybe the first-ever instance of bacon-cut metal. And the lance stored on burning for a couple of minute.
It turns on the market are a lot simpler methods to do that. For instance, whereas researching easy methods to construct a vegetarian lance, I hit on the proper pipe materials — hollowed-out cucumbers. The pressure-containment capability of a typical cucumber is outstanding, and the sleek pores and skin makes it straightforward to create an hermetic seal with the pipe delivering oxygen to the machine. A cucumber filled with beef sticks will burn for nearly two minutes, and a very vegetarian model filled with breadsticks, although not fairly as long-lasting, nonetheless produces a really spectacular flame.
The lesson right here is that meals is a supply of significant quantities of vitality. Pure oxygen helps launch it in a a lot shorter time than common, however it’s actually the chemical vitality within the bacon that makes the metal pan burn. Whether or not it’s value constructing a bacon lance to display this — effectively, solely you will be the choose of that.
Achtung! Theodore Grey is skilled in lab security. Don’t do this at dwelling. See extra of Grey’s work at periodictable.com.