This is because a zombie digging is not guaranteed to kill quickly. Say you’re pumping a lot across Pitland, as firefighters in North Carolina did. This does not mean that the water is reaching the right places as it is an underground trickle. “It creates a channel, and the fire in that channel is extinguished, but then the water doesn’t go anywhere else,” Rin says. Other parts of the fire may be untouched. And so the zombie lives.
If firefighters do not have enough water, they may try to connect the ground with heavy equipment to shut off the oxygen supply to the fire. But those tools are not always available to the crew. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person. Also, this can lead to fire Huge, And heavy machinery can only cover so much land.
So in the lab, Rin and his colleagues experimented with a novel anti-zombie weapon: the water was mixed with a nontoxic, readily available fire extinguisher Surfactant, Known as a wetting agent or suppressor. “It’s actually a bit like soap – it just reduces the surface tension of the water and allows the water to enter better through a perforated medium,” says Rin. “Pit is a perforated medium”
Using a small, custom-built “peat furnace,” which was stuffed with plant material and lined with ceramic insulators, they could light a zombie fire and observe it burning. On top of the box they placed a nozzle to spray their special mixture in regular water or various fires. Compared to the same amount of plain water, surfactant-containing water reduces the time required to ignite by 40 percent. For the excitement of this reduced surface, instead of creating channels, the mixture penetrated the ground more uniformly, so there was no place to hide the little patches of zombie fire.
It wasn’t that the surfactant had some kind of chemical effect on the fire – for example, lowering the oxygen level. Instead it was a plus Thermal The effect, “in the sense that surfactant water allows them to reach hotter spots and faster,” Rin says.