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Calorimetry is my least favorite part of chemistry but it usually can have very interesting applications in regard to shower thoughts, which I get a lot since I am sitting at home just thinking in my thoughts day by day. One day I was thinking about whether or not sugar was more powerful than C4 due to a MinuteEarth video saying sugar had a higher J/kg ratio than TNT so I looked into it. I found an online source saying it was 3 * 10^6 joules per pound released in an explosion. So what I did next looked at the caloric content of 1 gram of sugar: 4 calories, which in scientific terms is 4 kilocalories (our colloquial use of calorie is actually 1 kilocalorie) and then 4 kCal was translated into joules which is about 16736 joules per one gram.
453.9 grams of sugar are in one pound of sugar so then I multiplied 453.9 grams by 16736 J/g to get the number of joules stored in one pound of sugar. It equals 7.59128224 *10^6, more than double, almost triple the energy of the same amount of C4 that could be released by sugar if in the right scenario.
I was not surprised at the number but I wanted to see some real-life examples of how sugar, in the right scenarios, could possibly unleash it's hellish powers.
The attached photo is from a 2008 sugar factory explosion in Georgia, the sugar was suspended in small particles throughout the air which is the prime capability for explosions, and boy does it look strong. 14 people died and 36 were injured in that incident. Just something to think about the next time you are baking.

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This item was submitted on February 19, 2021 by Mercury (ii) Sulfide using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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