What produces more severe burns, boiling water or steam?

As the water gets converted into steam at 100°C by gaining heat equal to its latent heat of vaporization and thus, steam is hotter than water at 100°C and causes more severe burns compared to water. Steam contains more heat in the form of latent heat of vaporization as compared to boiling water, which possesses less heat.

[Extra information: The heat energy that is supplied to change the state of a substance without changing the temperature of the substance is called its latent heat.

The two types of latent heat are:
  1. Latent heat of fusion
  2. Latent heat of vaporization

The latent heat of vaporisation of a liquid is the quantity of heat in joules required to convert 1 kilogram of the liquid at its boiling point to gas or vapour, without any change in temperature.

The latent heat of vaporisation of water is 22.5 × 105 J/kg.]

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