In an industrial city, white clouds can often be seen rising from distant (or not so far away) factory chimneys. And right away I don't want to take a deep breath, but thoughts like "Why did I get here?" However, don't rush to pack! Not everything that we see rising from the factory chimneys is smoke - often it is just steam. By the way, what is the difference between steam and smoke?
Let's start with the fact that the word "steam" in Russian is usually understood as "water vapor", that is, a special phase state of water, that's all. Smoke is a kind of suspension of particles that are in a certain gaseous environment. Thus, steam and smoke are not the same in composition. The smoke causes cloudiness of the atmosphere, it is dense in structure (since it contains solid particles). The vapor does not cause such turbidity, it dissipates quickly. Many industrial plants use steam energy. Therefore, it is steam that escapes from many pipes that we see on the horizon.
Steam is odorless, the characteristic smell of smoke (depending on what exactly is burning) is known to everyone.
Remember the proverb: "There is no smoke without fire?" She's correct. Smoke is a sign of burning and smoldering due to high temperatures or chemical attack. The presence of steam does not at all imply a combustion process. The difference between steam and smoke is that the latter pollutes the environment, the atmosphere, since it contains carbon dioxide as one of the combustion products. At the same time, it would be wrong to say that steam is completely harmless, since hot steam can cause burns and can also cause dryness of the mucous membranes.
- Smoke and steam have a different composition and origin;
- Smoke has a specific odor;
- Smoke causes significant damage to the environment.