Practical Chemistry

I hadn't seen anything like this welding set before!

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Obviously, the big bottle is just like an ordinary, everyday oxi bottle. The type you would see in any UK workshop or scrapyard. But the other contraption? It looks like something that only H.G. Wells (or his mate Heath Robinson) could have dreamed up.

Click on the picture to make it bigger.

These bits of "stone" are placed into a container which goes inside the pressure vessel after having water poured onto them. When the water hits them, they immediately start to give off gas. I foolishly asked what the "stones" were called "Oh, er, 'Boom'". Sometimes I don't know why I bother! Anyway, whatever they are, they produce either acetylene or something very like it, and the chap went on to successfully do quite a few welding repairs to the quad bike frames.

Bottled acetylene is available, apparently, but it's much cheaper this way. Only in Egypt!

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