MadSci Network: Environment & Ecology

Re: What would be the fastest and best way to evaporate water inside my home?

Date: Thu May 6 15:31:02 2004
Posted By: Eric Biddinger, Agriculture & Natural Resources Educator, Porter County
Area of science: Environment & Ecology
ID: 1079475767.En


Interesting project you have here.  To answer the question in the subject, 
the fastest way to evaporate water is to apply heat.  But I don't think 
that is going to answer your question.

You might want to look at the following link to figure out what exactly 
biodegradability is. htt

In your project, you might be lacking two very important factors - oxygen 
and microorganisms.  The lack of either one of these will dramatically 
slow the process.  By submerging the paper in water, you have limited the 
supply of oxygen the microorganisms have to work with.  

A thought for you:  I have seen a similar experiment done with burying 
paper towels in soil, then digging them up and evaluating their condition 
after several weeks.  Additionally, you could try keeping the paper moist 
instead of submerged to speed up breakdown.

Adding heat to the experiment will only evaporate the water and dry out 
the samples.  It will do little to speed up the decomposition as long as 
the samples stay submerged.

Agriculture & Natural Resources Educator
Purdue Extension - Porter County

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