MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: What is the calorific or heat content of human and animal blood

Date: Tue Jan 29 15:30:49 2002
Posted By: Greta Hardin, Secondary School Teacher, Science
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 1011611992.Gb

First of all it is CALORIC or CALORIE 

But back to the question... I am not ENTIRELY sure why you need this 
information for waste disposal, unless you are trying to account for the 
amount of heat incinerating the waste would produce?

I cannot tell you what the heat content of these substances is, but I can 
direct you to a few resources or tests that could help you get close to 
the answer.  First blood is largely water, which you may know is a crummy 
material to try to incinerate.  The rest is a little sugar and 
carbohydrates, and the rest is protein.  Another substance of like 
composition is eggs.  The two ways I would check the heat content of this 
stuff, is first see if you can find the heat/calorie content of "Chicken 
Egg Albumin" in a reference somewhere - ask your (obviously very brave 
adventourous) science teacher for guidance.  Or, crack an egg in a non-
corrosive, heat resistant container that will fit in a calorimeter, let it 
dehydrate (away from animals and squeamish humans), and then ignite 
it in 
a calorimeter.  This should give you a fair estimate to your blood 

A better direction to go, if you are looking to incinerate animal and 
medical waste is to go on a hunt for the IGNITION temperatures of the 
substances of interest, as the added heat when they burn will not make 
much difference in a proper incinerator.  Instead what you need to know is 
how hot does your incinerator need to be to properly dispose of you waste 
of interest.

Hope This Helps
Good Luck,

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