Dolhun Paper Published in the Journal of Chemical Education

Danielle Randall
October 14, 2016

Peak Sound Pressure Levels and Associated Auditory Risk from an H2–Air “Egg-Splosion”

John J. Dolhun 

J. Chem. Educ., Article ASAP
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.6b00520
Publication Date (Web): October 13, 2016
Copyright © 2016 The American Chemical Society and Division of Chemical Education, Inc.
The noise level from exploding chemical demonstrations and the effect they could have on audiences, especially young children, needs attention. Auditory risk from H2–O2 balloon explosions have been studied, but no studies have been done on H2–air “egg-splosions”. The peak sound pressure level (SPL) was measured for the first time and compared to the recommended SPL limits and some recently published work. All peak SPL results ended above 125 dB, some greater than 150 dB. The SPL results exceeded the World Health Organization (WHO) safe limits of 120 dB for children and 140 dB for adults.
Abstract: The term “egg-splosion” refers to collecting hydrogen (H2) gas in a hollowed out egg, and combusting the collected gas. For the production of H2 gas, this demonstration relies on the oxidation of mossy zinc (Zn) by hydrochloric acid (HCl). The reaction forms zinc chloride (ZnCl2) and releases hydrogen (H2).
This paper presents the peak sound pressure level (SPL) results for exploding hydrogen–air (H2–air) eggs. Studies on the auditory risk on exploding H2–O2 balloons and on other chemical demonstrations have been published.(1-5) Until now, no documented studies exist on the peak SPL levels for the “egg-splosion”, although the demonstration is widely published and performed.