Were people able to cook water before we found how come make metal cookware? Absolutely. We’ve been boiling water in large, cup-shaped leaves for hundreds of years! We’re maybe to traction this off because of a process called conduction, whereby warmth is conducted away native the leaf and also into the water. Do you think it’s feasible to achieve the very same thing v a paper cup?


Is it feasible to boil water in a paper cup? Why or why not?


Several plain file cups—most space coated with wax, but try to find the uncoated kindSeveral Styrofoam cupsWaterStove burnerDry sandTongsLarge cabbage (optional)


Turn the burner on tool heat.Fill a record cup almost to the brim v water.Using tongs, host the cup of water around six inches over the heating element.Continue holding the cup end the heat. The paper or burn, or the water will boil. Record your observations. How have the right to you explain what you experienced happen?


Fill another paper cup through sand.Repeat steps 3 and also 4 v the cup filled with sand and also record her observations. Did the cup filled through sand produce a different result? If so, why?Fill the Styrofoam cup v water.Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the Styrofoam cup and also record her observations.

You are watching: Boiling water in a paper cup

Extra: Repeat steps 3 and 4 v a huge cabbage sheet filled v water. What happens?


Boiling water in a paper cup isn't as tough as the looks! If you held the cup at an proper distance from the flame, the water in the record should have ultimately boiled. The circular rim on the bottom may have burned. If your document cup had actually a waxy coating, the wax may have actually melted off. The paper cup through sand will burn slightly. The Styrofoam cup will disintegrate.


Water draws heat away indigenous a heat source through convection until it will its boiling point of 100 degrees Celsius. The temperature that the water remains fairly consistent once that starts boiling—in fact, liquid water is incapable of getting hotter until it’s every turned come steam. Most varieties of document burn at 233 levels Celsius (or 451 levels Fahrenheit). As the water heats up, that conducts warm away indigenous the paper, preventing the document from getting to that critical temperature. Heat additionally continues escaping via the vapor that’s created when water boils.

Sand additionally has the capability to conduct warmth away native the paper, however it additionally has the potential to gain a whole lot hotter 보다 water. Eventually, the temperature of the sand climbs previous 100 levels Celsius, and once the temperature approaches 233 degrees Celsius, the paper will burn.

See more: Which Property Of Water Allows It To Act As A Transport Medium

Styrofoam is one insulator, making it really poor in ~ conducting heat. Warm can’t happen on through to the water, so the Styrofoam disintegrates.

Now walk ahead and bet a girlfriend or family member the you can boil water in a Styrofoam cup. Then carry out it! Here's how:

Find a clean, dried rock tiny enough come fit in the cup without emotional the sides.Fill the Styrofoam cup about two-thirds full of water.Using tongs, host the rock straight over the flame till the rock glows orange.Using tongs, immerse the rock right into the cup without letting that touch the sides of the cup. The water in the cup will boil.
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