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Question about fire.

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Question about fire.

Postby Beyond Genetics » Mon Nov 07, 2005 11:33 pm

I was watching a tv show and it said that wood doesn't actually burn, what burns is the gas released when the wood gets hot. I tried to find information on this but didn't find much. Though I did find that the gas is what makes the flame. Is any of this true? I know this is more of a chemistry question, but I thought someone would know.
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Postby mith » Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:03 am

Probably not, the cellulose should actually oxidize and the visible flame is glowing particles.
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Postby MrMistery » Tue Nov 08, 2005 9:27 pm

Totally stupid. lignin burns with a flame, and so does cellulose. Don't believe everything you see on TV
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Postby biostudent84 » Wed Nov 09, 2005 11:10 am

Out of curiosity, what show was it?
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Postby victor » Wed Nov 09, 2005 11:48 am

So, you need the burning process....what I know is like this..
Woods (no matter it's lignin, cellulose or anything) is a complex form of carbon groups bonded with hydrogen and oxygen atoms and we call it a macromolecule. Actually, this macromolecule tends to free itself into the smaller molecule and it can be done with the helps of oxygen through oxydation process.
So, in order to understand this phenomenon, we have to sit down and watch our woods time by time till they're oxydized become CO2. Too lazy to do it?? Good, it means that all of us is still sane. :lol:
All we want is too speed up this process by giving the activation energy. And the alternative is using fire through burning process (remember that heat is also the form of energy).
Ok that's all with the process. Now with the TV statement, "wood doesn't actually burn, what burns is the gas released when the wood gets hot."
I can tell that burning process is only fasten the oxydation process to form CO2. Now, even seen a yellow color at the top of the fire? those are carbon particles which is taking form with the Oxygen to form CO2 but they've to wait for the oxygen atoms to come (this is what we called unperfect combusting process), the 'gas' released when the wood gets really hot is CO2 released from's all the same actually, only advertising semantic game... :lol:
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