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Hong Kong Protesters Are Using Chemistry To Turn Tear Gas Into Its Solid Form

Eat your heart out Walter White.

You’re probably aware that there have been a whole tonne of protests in Hong Kong recently and things have been getting pretty heated as the protesters have clashed with the Hong Kong army and police on multiple occasions.

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What you probably haven’t been witness to is some of the genius ways that the protesters have been dealing with the violence aimed at them and the video below is an excellent example of this. In a move that was no doubt inspired by Breaking Bad and Walter White, the young protester covers his mouth and nose and grabs a tear gas canister before dropping it into liquid nitrogen to turn it into its harmless solid form.

Pretty dope:

OK I’m just going on what this tweet says here so if it isn’t liquid nitrogen I apologise – I read another tweet somewhere that said it was actually vinegar, which is even more badass – but it’s still pretty awesome that they’re using chemistry knowledge to fight the power. Whoever would have thought that chemistry would ever have come in useful for anything hey?

Actually, I just did a bit more research on what was in the thermos and it turns out that it was just mud. Apparently that works too, according to pain pharmacologist and toxicologist Sven Eric Jordt:

It would extinguish the burning components, block the oxygen supply of the cartridge, and plug openings where aerosol comes out.

It’s also possible that the charge gets extinguished just by putting it into the thermos.

It’s hard to say. There are different options here.

The crazy world of chemistry hey? For more of the same, check out what happens when you taser and tear gas someone at the same time. It’s not pretty.


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