A hand warmer contains a supersaturated solution of water and sodium acetate. The crystals that were placed on the plate starts a chain reaction, causing the solution to crystallize. This process is an exothermic reaction, which gives off heat (n.a,2012).
Hand warmers work their magic through the power of rust. Yes, the same thing that destroys your car in the winter heats your hands up as you drive. The ingredient that puts the oomph in heat packs is iron. Small pieces of iron are spread in heat packs, isolated by the wrapping on the pack from any oxygen. When the wrapping comes off, the pervious membrane of the pack let's oxygen in and makes it "oxidize" the iron. Oxidation is what causes a lot of the heat on earth. When a tree burns down, the carbon in the tree is oxidizing, too. Both iron and carbon give off heat when they oxidize (Arkell,2014).
Oxygen in the air reacts with this…show more content… To super saturate basically means that more molecules are packed between the water molecules than would normally occur at room temperature. This super saturated solution can be prepared by heating the water up which excites the water molecules and lets more salt, sugar or sodium acetate in this case dissolve between them. Sodium acetate is actually a salt…show more content… The iron within the hand warmer mixes with the oxygen in the air and oxides, because it gives off heat when it reacts the process is known as an exothermic oxidation.The disposable hand warmer was invented in 1981 by Japan’s MyCoal Corporation which was then passed to their associate MyCoal USA