Catalysts All Around Us

Cordless hair curlers

Hair curlers or stylers have been designed for use when an electricity supply is not available.

Portable energy supply

They carry their own fuel supply, for example methanol, in a cartridge within the handle. The vaporised fuel is mixed with air and passes into a combustion chamber which makes up the core of the curling part of the device. Within the combustion chamber is a catalyst of quartz wool coated with platinum in the shape of a stocking. When a button is pressed on the outside of the hair curler, the fuel gas/air mixture is ignited by the creation of sparks or by electrically heating a filament in the combustion chamber. The exothermic reaction heats up the curler and will continue until the supply of fuel is turned off.

Cordless hair curlers. The 'energy cell' cartridge goes into the handle.