If you've ever bought a can of compressed air to clean your computer or keyboard, you may have noticed the lengthy list of safety warnings on the back. That alarmist language isn't for nothing, because apparently if you mix the contents of the can with hot water, the result is some pretty terrifying explosions.
In this video , he films the explosion with his high-speed camera:
The stuff in a compressed air can isn't actually air—at least not the air we breathe. It's actually a chemical called difluoroethane. Difluoroethane is commonly found in refrigerators and aerosol cans, including cans of compressed air. The Backyard Scientist collects the liquid form of difluoroethane and pours it into a pot of boiling water for some truly spectacular explosions.
The Backyard Scientist also tries this experiment with butane and liquid nitrogen instead of difluoroethane, to see if the result is similar. He also tries pouring difluoroethane into cooking oil. None of these experiments produce the same incredible explosion as the difluoroethane and water. He says he's not sure exactly why this only happens with difluoroethane, but suspects it has something to do with the chemical's polar nature.
This is one of those experiments you don't want to try at home.