The title should be the Two Perfect Uses for Steam. What we are thinking about is a truck with a big burner and steam generator and a tank of water that can drive up to a house or apartment building and inject high temperature steam into the house. The first reason is bedbugs. It appears that only heat will kill bed bug eggs. Insecticides will ill the bugs but not the eggs so that is an ongoing and ultimately losing proposition. So what is needed is a long insulated flexible hose that will handle 800 degree F heat but almost no pressure. The hose is reeled out, the truck is driven up to the front door, a Christmas tree manifold is placed in the living room with many smaller flexible hoses snaking into each room and with the doors more or less closed. All that is needed is to have a few temperature sensors with remote reading capability strewn around and the burner turned on. The reason this works so well is because superheated steam is hot and dry and contains a lot of heat, much more than hot air for an example. A little empirical testing will need to take place to see how much wall paper comes off the walls, how many candles melt into puddles, and how hard the refrigerator will have to work to keep up. An etymologist will need to be on the staff so that maybe we can kill cockroaches as well as bed bug eggs. Also the hamster will need to be moved because all of the air, and concomitant oxygen, will be displaced. I think it will take an hour or two in order to heat up the furniture enough to kill the eggs. This will be a big boost to steam people because then we will have half of what we need to be in the steam business: a big burner and a big heat exchanger. If we had a steam engine in the truck we could give rides around town between bed bug gigs.
In between bed bug egg killing the truck could be used for fire fighting. The main problem with fire fighting is the water damage to the house and contents. That is a serious problem. Also it takes a long time to get the water pumped in to where the fire is burning. Firefighters need to crawl around on the roofs chopping holes in the building and doing all kinds of damage. The rational way to put out a house or any building fire is to drive up onto the front lawn with the truck. Sticking out in front of the truck will be a pipe with a big piece of sheet metal around it, more or less like the conical pet collar. If the driver is good he will poke the pipe through a window, merely breaking some glass and not damaging the siding. The sheet metal piece will more or less seal the broken window so that not much air exchange takes place. Then a huge amount of really hot steam under whatever pressure is needed and I am thinking only 10 psi or so is shot into the building. Unless there is an open door nearby or some broken window the steam will pressurize the house displacing all of the air and thus putting out the fire. If the fire is up in the attic and there are no openings to that space then some way of getting steam there is needed. As soon as the fire burns a little opening into the ceiling the fire will be put out. This is such a genius idea that a person such as myself wonders why no one thought of it sooner. It is just that so few people are truly enthused about steam and all of the possibilities for it to benefit humanity. Either that, or the newspapers prefer to take photos of firefighters standing out in the cold with icicles hanging from their hats and big fountains of water being sprayed through the air. It is difficult to get an emotionally heartwringing photo out of some superheated steam leaking out from under the door.