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Using hand warmers as oxygen absorbers?

Discussion in 'Survival (Preps & Homestead)' started by Nickelless, Apr 26, 2010.



  1. Nickelless

    Nickelless If coffee is gold, I own Fort Knox Midas Member

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    I just came across this tidbit on Facebook:

    Just my two zincs, but the guy in the YouTube video comes across as a total idiot. Having said that, though, wouldn't the heating process used by the hand warmers heat up food items to the point that it could denature some of the vitamin content? I see the point these people are trying to make about the hand warmers being cheaper, but is it wise to use these in lieu of standard O2 absorbers?
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  2. CrufflerJJ

    CrufflerJJ Seeker Seeker

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    But don'cha know? Storing food so it's still good 10-20 years later is all about saving a buck or so per pail.

    Like you, I'd prefer to use oxy absorbers rated for food contact, rated for use in long term food storage. I can get a pack of 100 oxy absorbers from ldscatalog.com for about $12. That's enough for 12-20 pails of dry food. $0.60 - $1.00 per pail is money well spent.
     
  3. skyvike

    skyvike Founding Member Founding Member

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    My philosophy exactly. Don't scrimp on the important stuff!
     
  4. GOLD DUCK

    GOLD DUCK Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    QWAK,MORE for LESS -- what is wrong about that?:questionmark:

    The hand warmers are MUCH biger so will LAST much longer TOO! :idea: with the added benifit that they STOP working when all the O2 is used up :23_30_104: and START working agen :yes: when NEW O2 comes in to contact with them! :thumb.aspx: That means I can OPEN a large pail of dried winter wheat -- take what I need then RESEAL the pail and all the NEW O2 will be absorbed! :23_30_104: :wink:

    Will likely work well for GUNS etc. stored in sealed pvc pipe or what ever can be damaged by O2 exposure! :alberteinstein: :23_30_104:

    SAME STUFF -- biger package -- BUY in BULK = SAVE $$$! :idea: :23_30_104: :banana:

    It is NICE to have things around that can be used many diferent ways :yes: and KNOWING that you CAN and HOW :alberteinstein: is a very REAL ADVANTAGE! :shine:

    the DUCK :15_1_70v:
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2010
  5. Mr. Shiny

    Mr. Shiny Silver Member Silver Miner

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    While hand warmers and O2 absorbers work the same way, hand warmers contain an ingredient you don't want in your dry food stuffs or in with your guns. Hand warmers contain water.
    So, if you want rusty firearms and, moldy food, etc. use the hand warmers.
     
  6. GOLD DUCK

    GOLD DUCK Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    QWAK,Shiny, WRONG! SORRY -- it is the WATER that activates them -- they do NOT contain WATER!

    I haves some great EMERGENCY survival packs and they have a WARMER with them that you can add water to activate even PEE works!

    the DUCK
     
  7. Mr. Shiny

    Mr. Shiny Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Here's an idea, take one of your hand warmers, activate it (unwrap) toss it into a glass jar and cap it, then sit and watch the glass fog over from the steam produced by the WATER in the hand warmer, then come back and tell me you still recommend their use as an O2 absorber for dry goods and firearms.
     
  8. Golddust

    Golddust Banned

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    Duck I thinky he has got you on this one

    Good luck in the contest.
     
  9. CrufflerJJ

    CrufflerJJ Seeker Seeker

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    "More for less"....well, sort of. IF, in fact, the guy on YouTube is correct that your generic, made & sold by the lowest easily/frequently replaced bidder to WallyWorld, questionable quality/performance hand warmer is OK for food storage, I'd still rather use the correct item (oxy absorber packs, made/designed/tested for preserving food). Vegetable oil might also work as motor oil for a short while. That doesn't mean, however, that I'll be dumping generic WallyWorld soybean oil into my car's engine anytime soon (I hope).

    As to the ability to open pails of sealed grain, remove what you need, then reseal the pail (trusting the WallyWorld hand warmers to come back to life & absorb the oxygen let back into the pail)....BAD IDEA. If your "long term storage" grains are just stored in plastic (HDPE - high density polyethylene) pails, with or without Gamma Seal lids, you might as well just store them out in the open. HDPE is permeable to oxygen, as is polypropylene (PP). Using plastic pails is fine (I do it), but you'd hopefully use a nice thick heat sealed mylar liner rated for oxygen barrier properties inside the pails.

    If I go to the expense of buying decent grain, using decent pails plus decent oxygen barrier liners, why would I want to risk the quality of my food stored for "just in case" by using a generic, made & sold by the lowest bidder to WallyWorld, questionable quality/performance hand warmer rather than a oxy absorber made/designed/tested for that purpose? I guess it all comes down to how much you value your life or the lives of your loved ones. I'd rather spend a few more bucks now than be disappointed at some time in the random future.
     
  10. GOLD DUCK

    GOLD DUCK Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    QWAK,Mr. Shiny,Both O2 absorbers and Hand warmers are esencialy packets of IRON dust filings :alberteinstein:and when exposed to the O2 in the AIR produce HEAT as a part of a chemical reaction. When the O2 is GONE or ALL the Iron has bonded to the O2 the reaction STOPS! It is a simple chemical reaction.:yes:

    Water does not make Iron RUST :36_1_30: it is the FREE O2 that causes the RUST! :alberteinstein:

    IF there is foging inside the jar it is from the moisture in the AIR not the hand warmer,and it will quickly disipate as all the FREE O2 is absorbed.

    BTW: That is how you store your O2 absorbers after opening the package and just using a fiew -- in a GLASS JAR! :biggrin:

    If there is NO O2 your gun can not rust and one reason we LUBRICATE them -- to keep O2 off of the surface of the metal! :yes: :thumb.aspx:

    PS: I hate cleaning and lubing guns so most of mine have a little rust on them -- I feel it gives them CHARACTOR and that UNUSED LOOK I prefer! :banana: :cry1::36_11_6: :confused_ma: I got GUNS but don't realy like them much.:452:

    the DUCK :15_1_70v:
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2010
  11. GOLD DUCK

    GOLD DUCK Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    QWAK,CrufflerJJ,You are right about the plastic pails! But the hand warmers are REALY just a whole lot more IRON DUST -- same stuff --it don't matter ware it came from -- IRON is IRON every ware in the universe -- it is a basic ELIMENT -- REALY!!

    I have heavy steel boxes with gasket lids I store grain and other foods in and IF I place a hand warmer in an open zip lock bag inside it will absorb all the free O2. I am inclined to believe it would do the same in a 5 gal. pale and IF O2 is coming in threw the plastic it would also be USED by all the IRON untill all the IRON has chemicly bonded with the FREE O2.

    The MILAR is best of corse but once opened you start the clock ticking and must use up all the grain or what ever befor it spoils from the O2 in the air.

    They are CHEEP and can do no harm so I bough several dozen hand warmers and plan that when I open the pails of grain I bought with milar bags inside I will open a hand warmer and put it in to the open pail and reseal it.

    PS: They also make good HAND WARMERS if you got cold hands!

    the DUCK
     
  12. Zilver

    Zilver Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Yea, But he is FuNNy!
    actually there is some good information/ survival tips/ on his channel
    I had fun going through his vids,

    I especially liked this one::36_11_6:
    "Tennessee Hillbilly" is a Hoot!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2015
  13. Mr. Shiny

    Mr. Shiny Silver Member Silver Miner

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    So.......it's just oxygen?
    Moisture (water) has no part in it?

    Gee, I'll have to tell the compressed gas industry to stop putting oxygen into steel cylinders!! Because those 2k psi of PURE (and free) O2 are corroding the bottles from the inside out. Oh! The horror!!!

    Get over it. You are mistaken.
    You want to prevent rust on your guns? Use a desiccant.
    You want to prevent insect infestation and rancidity in your food? Use an O2 scavenger.
    You want to warm your phalanges? Use a hand warmer.

    And for all the dry goods preppers, if you use a desiccant and an oxygen absorber, put one at the bottom and the other at the top, 'cause once the desiccant sucks the moisture out of the container, the O2 absorber stops doing its job.
     
  14. GOLD DUCK

    GOLD DUCK Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    QWAK,Mr. Shiny,H20 = WATER the O2 reacts with IRON making IRON OXIDE and HEAT as it does -- it is a CHEMICAL REACTION!:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

    When the FREE O2 atoms are bound to the Iron they can NOT cause OXIDATION of any thing else! That is how O2 absorbers work -- also HAND WARMERS -- put one in a glass jar and once all the FREE O2 atoms are bound the HEATING and REACTION STOPS! End of storey! :idea:

    I don't make this stuff up it is basic SCIENCE and CHEMISTRY :yes:

    BTW:A desiccant does NOT suck the moisture OUT -- the desiccant atracts and traps the moisture which is H20 -- the O2 absorber OR HAND WARMER actualy BINDS the O2 molicules to the IRON. They are SIMILAR but NOT the SAME!

    You can COOK the desiccant in a microwave oven and drive off the water to REACTIVATE it but you can NOT free the O2 from the IRON after it CHEMICLY changes to RUST! :thinkey::thumb.aspx:

    the DUCK :15_1_70v::goodnight:
     
  15. Mr. Shiny

    Mr. Shiny Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Read and weep Duck,

    From http://www.foreandaftmarine.com/HOTTIES.htm
    From http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4925194_chemical-hand-warmers-work.html
    From http://www.emprep.com/hand warmer heat pack.html
    From http://www.campingsurvival.com/handwarmers.html

    From http://pubs.acs.org/cen/science/88/8804sci3.html
    Do you still recommend their use in dry stores as an O2 absorber?
    I mean the whole idea of dry stores is, well, dry. And as for gun storage, I prefer mine, along with my power dry as well, if you like yours steamed, more power to you.
     
  16. GOLD DUCK

    GOLD DUCK Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    QWAK,Mr. Shiny,The OTHER INGREADIENTS in the HANDWARMER mearly act as a SPONGE to HOLD WATER and give as much surface as posable to the IRON for maxium potential from the CHEMICAL REACTION between the O2 and IRON the WATER is NOT in the SEALED pack -- if it were the reaction would have occured and it would NOT get HOT! :(

    Mr. Shiny,aparently YOU wish to ARGUE about simple CHEMICAL REACTIONS because you do not fully understand HOW and WHY both the HAND WARMERS and O2 absorbers FUNCTION!

    IF you mix IRON and O2 you get RUST and HEAT as the O2 reacts with the IRON --- this is also why you can start a fire with fine steel wool -- the REACTION is just much faster and more extream! :)

    the DUCK
     
  17. Mr. Shiny

    Mr. Shiny Silver Member Silver Miner

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    If it's not in the pack, where is it? And why is it listed as an ingredient in the five (5) separate, as well as disparate links?

    No Sir, I just wish to show you the error of your thinking, and inform those who read this thread that, while they may work the same, they (O2 scavengers and hand warmers) are not the same.

    Now please, before replying and digging the hole you are in any deeper, try an experiment.
    Take three jars with lids, and fill each with a mixture of these gases:
    N2= 78.084%
    O2 = 20.947%
    Ar = 0.934%
    CO2 = 0.033%
    Trace gases = 0.002%
    Jar #1 Just cap it
    Jar #2 Heat four (4) quarters to 200°F in an oven, place in jar, cap jar.
    Jar #3 Activate one (1) hand warmer, place in jar, cap jar.
    Sit and observe.

    All three jars now contain the same gas mix, two of the three have a heat source, one jar will fog over with steam.

    Which one and why?
     
  18. Saul Mine

    Saul Mine Seeker Seeker

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    So you open the bucket and find burnt food around the warmer and soggy food that smells of lighter fluid. And you paid extra for this adventure, since hand warmers cost more than oxy absorbers.

    WTF was this guy thinking?
     
    Nickelless likes this.
  19. Mr. Shiny

    Mr. Shiny Silver Member Silver Miner

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    ^^ that's a joke, right?
     
  20. GOLD DUCK

    GOLD DUCK Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    QWAK,Mr. Shiney,IF there IS water in the HAND WARMER PACKET than it MUST be in a SEALED vial -- IF you are refering to "ACTIVATING" as BREAKING or CRUSHING the VIAL of WATER than YES I would agree and YOU would be corect! :)

    The hand warmers I bought MAY or may NOT have such a vial I honistly do not know NOR does it make a diference in the CHEMICAL REACTION of IRON and O2!

    The O2 in the AIR will activate the IRON POWDER with out ADDING WATER -- the REACTION will just be SLOWER and with out NOTICABLE HEAT if the hand warmers require WET WATER!

    Some hand warmers require adding water TO activate but ULTIMITLY the process is the same a SIMPLE CHEMICAL REACTION!

    By NOT crushing or breaking the vile IF there is one just exposure to AIR by removing the hand warmer from its sealed plastic bag will START the process and over a longer time perhaps a fiew days the IRON will have reacted to the O2 in the air and the hand warmer will NOT get hot even IF you do crush the vile!

    BTW:Saul Mine,The hand warmers that do use LIGHTER FLUID (actualy NAPTHA) use a tiney amount of PLATINUM as a CATALIST to produce HEAT. That kind of hand warmer would NOT work in preserving food. :(

    the DUCK
     
  21. GOLD DUCK

    GOLD DUCK Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    QWAK,Saul Mine,You are mixing HORSES -- ZEBRAS and GARAPHS! :biggrin:

    You can mate a HORSE and a ZEBRA but in less horses and zebras can climb a TALL STEP LADDER and NOT FALL OFF breaking there NECKS wile having SEX :sperm: :cry1: :36_11_6: it just won't work with GARAPHS! :hahaha: :4_1_72:

    The hand warmers I bought cost about $1.00 each, in packs of two,each containes way more powdered IRON than a whole bag of O2 absorbers!:yes:

    By using the HAND WARMER insted of several O2 absorbers the ADVANTAGE is this --- that once all the FREE O2 is used up the hand warmer will STOP WORKING and once you open the pail and remove some of the contents and reseal the pail the hand warmer will AGEN reactivate and absorb all the O2 in the pail! :23_30_104:

    The O2 absorbers because they have so much LESS IRON powder will be used up and will NOT reactvate. :452: :36_1_30: :signs14:

    I can NOT believe that we continue round and round the mulbary bush on this issue. :banghead::thumb.aspx: :alberteinstein:

    the DUCK :15_1_70v:
     
  22. Mr. Shiny

    Mr. Shiny Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Well, Duck we are making progress, but......the water in the hand warmers is not in any vial or container, it's combined with the iron (powdered), salt, charcoal and filler (mostly sawdust), making a black mush.

    Believe it or don't.
     
  23. GOLD DUCK

    GOLD DUCK Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    QWAK,Mr.Shiney -- You are NOT making PROGRESS:452: :signs14: :thumb.aspx: -- YOU are STUCK in the MUD!:hahaha: :yes: :4_1_72:

    Understanding HOW and WHY things work is NOT your strongist SUIT :hmmmm: :stupido2:-- are you by chance a LAWYER :questionmark:because ARGUING does seem to be your strongist ability! :signs14:

    The SALT in the mix is because SALT has an AFINITY for WATER and draws it out of the air to HELP suply the H20 for the REACTION -- the OTHER ingredients act like a SPONGE to hold water for the reaction and add more SURFACE for the IRON POWDER. :alberteinstein:

    When all is DRY and sealed in plastic from AIR and O2 in the air -- NOTHING HAPPENS :452: it could stay that way indefinitly and NO reaction would happen.:452:

    It is the O2 in the AIR or in the H2o that chemicly reacts with the IRON POWDER that makes both the HAND WARMERS and O2 absorbers work. :alberteinstein:

    Mr. Shiney -- IF you prefer to be stuck in the MUD that is FINE with me :yes: :emotions16:-- actualy I am a bit tired of trying to pull you out! :shine:

    the DUCK :15_1_70v:
     
  24. Mr. Shiny

    Mr. Shiny Silver Member Silver Miner

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    WOW!
    One thing is clear, you have never opened a hand warmer.
    If you are so flat broke and busted that you can't afford to, PM me your address and I'll tape two quarters to a slip of cardboard and mail it to you.
    But please use a fresh one, not one you've had around the homestead for lo' these many years, because the packaging really isn't high quality on most and they do dry out.

    And just so you know, the top shelf O2 absorbers specifically for dry goods, don't contain powdered iron, they contain iron carbonate.
     
  25. Nickelless

    Nickelless If coffee is gold, I own Fort Knox Midas Member

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    Mr. Shiny, how much do the "top shelf" O2 absorbers cost compared to, well, bottom shelf absorbers? Like I said above, it can't be that much and there's no good reason to scrimp on O2 absorbers.
     
  26. GOLD DUCK

    GOLD DUCK Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    KWAK,Mr. Shiny,I have opened HEAT PACKS and I understand basic CHEMISTRY -- when you mix IRON and O2 you get HEAT and IRON OXIDE /RUST!

    BTW:SILVER ROUNDS would be NICE -- keep your SLUGS -- I got way too many of them! :)

    the DUCK
     
  27. Mr. Shiny

    Mr. Shiny Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Mitsubishi 'Ageless' ZPK's are about $15 for 100 count 300cc capacity. 2 liter capacity are about $20 for 25.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2010
  28. minimus

    minimus Guest


    I think you got the wrong hand warmers ...

    [​IMG]
     
  29. CrufflerJJ

    CrufflerJJ Seeker Seeker

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    Well, you actually COULD free the O2 from rust, but that would involve some finely divided aluminum powder and a magnesium ribbon. Then again, I sort of doubt that a thermite reaction would be of much use in a bucket of food. Impressive looking, but not especially useful.
     
  30. Mr. Shiny

    Mr. Shiny Silver Member Silver Miner

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    You know........now that you brought it up, and without getting into exact ratios and composition, the hand warmer contents could be reduced back to metallic iron, I mean it's basically iron ore, carbon and a flux (although salt isn't limestone) which is what was used to originally make the iron.

    1 part Fe2O3 (rust) + 3 parts CO (carbon monoxide, from the burning of the charcoal in the hand warmer) = 2 parts iron and 3 parts carbon dioxide.

    Sweeet! Powder that, add some salt, charcoal, sawdust, and WATER.....voila!! perpetual hand warmers.
     
  31. GOLD DUCK

    GOLD DUCK Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    QWAK,CrufflerJJ,You got a point THERE :yes: :thumb.aspx:

    Then agen it is also posable to turn LEAD in to GOLD -- but just NOT praticle to do it! :wink: :cry1:

    All of physical REALITY is -- REALY -- just ENERGY existing in an infinate number of ways and by altering the CONCENTRATION and vibration frequency the physical PROPERTIES change! :alberteinstein:

    Things are CONSTENTLY changing but we are only AWARE of tiney fraction of the changes that are happening because of FOCUS and relitive proportions.:thinkey:

    As we are physicly involved in the EQUASION -- we also experience TIME and that is also a FACTOR and is why we KNOW grass GROWS -- but can not PERCIEVE it -- with out time laps photography.:hahaha::23_30_104:

    the DUCK :15_1_70v:
     

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