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Boiling blood for water


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I was thinking about a possible scenario and a possible answer to a problem.

Yes, I know this seems quite disturbing, but I'm being serious.

 

Imagine that you're in the desert. You haven't been able to find water, but you've found animals around. These animals are dying, yet you could kill them for food. However, you're running low on water. A thought crosses your mind, "Could I drain the blood into a pot and boil it for the water?"

 

What do you think? Could such a thing be possible?

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Yes, it is possible but where would you find the fuel needed for the fire that would be required to boil the blood? In addition, urine would be readily available and could be used for the water content quite a bit easier since it has a higher percentage of water in it.

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This is a hypothetical situation, but since we're making a story, I'd say I have wood, dry material, and a zippo lighter. Also, I have a pot that can hold liquids and cook a nice upside-down pineapple cake. Of course, I'd probably line the pot with aluminum foil.

 

I really don't know how much water is inside of blood. I could understand that the RBCs might already be depleted of water, because I'm inside of a desert. Yet I'm going to assume they aren't that drained; in other words, the animals are alive.

 

What percentage of water would be left over after boiling 7 cups of blood?

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The problem is it's not as simple as just getting the water out by heating. By volume, it's about 70% water, but most of what's in it is protien in some form or another, so I'd say it depends on the heat.

 

If it's not quite hot enough, you won't get much water, as the blood will just congeal into a paste, trapping much of the water in it. And if hot enough to not just denature the protiens but to actually hydrolyze them, you'll lose some water to that reaction. But if it's *super hot*, enough to reduce the protien to nothing but carbon ash, CO2, NH3 and water, you might get more than the usual 70% (but tainted with amonia and undrinkable).

 

Alternatively, you could not bother mucking around and just drink the blood straight. Yeah, you might get diseases, but it buys you time, and your body will both absorb all the water *and* break down the protiens into CO2, H2O and urea. The only problem is you'll lose water to having to pee. Urine and sweat would be your biggest water loss problems.

 

Of course, that's all just assuming you don't do the *smart* thing and hide during the day (perhaps buried under sand) and move during the night, which can be quite cold and sometimes even humid.

 

Mokele

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Drinking blood is actually pretty safe. About equivalent to eating a rare steak. The Masai have been doing it for thousands of years. Only problem is that it is not very thirst quenching.

 

Trying to heat blood for some kind of distillation aint that easy. it has a habit of cooking. Even seen blood pudding? It is not liquid.

 

If you have all the equipment needed, there are probably a lot of alternatives. You can distill water out of all sorts of things, from damp dirt (just dig down) to green leaves. You can even get water direct from the air by condensation. Early morning, the air is usually 'damp' compared to the air's capacity to hold water. It will condense on cold surfaces. Glass is best.

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Animal urine or your own urine? It wouldn't work with your own urine, because you'd only be prolonging your own life... you're still not recouping all of the moisture lost.

 

Well, it might prolong it enough for you to get out of the desert. Plus animal urine isn't exactly going to be the easiest to come by, especially since many desert animals either urinate as little as possible or, in the case of reptile and birds, produce no liquid urine (instead, they excrete nitrogen as uric acid salts, the white chalky stuff in the bird crap on your car).

 

Mokele

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"Could I drain the blood into a pot and boil it for the water?"

Why bother? Why not just drink the blood?

 

You'll

- get all the water

- save a huge amount of time and personal energy otherwise wasted on cooking and preparing

- get an excellent nutritious meal as a bonus

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