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Combustion Process

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Combustion Process

Fire can destroy your house and all of your possessions in less than an hour, and it can reduce an entire forest to a pile of ash and charred wood. It's also a terrifying weapon, with nearly unlimited destructive power. Fire kills more people every year than any other force of nature. The dangerous thing about the chemical reactions in fire is the fact that they are self-perpetuating. The heat of the flame itself keeps the fuel at the ignition temperature, so it continues to burn as long as there is fuel and oxygen around it. The flame heats any surrounding fuel so it releases gases as well. When the flame ignites the gases, the fire spreads. So it is important that we understand the process of how it works to better protect ourselves from the dangers of fire.
People used to considered fire as one of the major elements in the universe, alongside water, earth and air. But fire is really something completely different. Earth, water and air are all forms of matter; they are made up of millions and millions of atoms collected together. Fire isn't matter at all. It's a visible side effect of matter changing form. It’s one part of a chemical reaction. Typically, fire comes from a chemical reaction between oxygen in the atmosphere and some sort of fuel (wood or gasoline, for example). Of course, wood and gasoline don't spontaneously catch on fire just because they're surrounded by oxygen. For the combustion reaction to happen, you have to heat the fuel to its ignition temperature. The sequence of combustion generally goes like this: Something heats the wood to a very high temperature. The heat can come from lots of different things for example a cigarette or lightning. When the wood reaches about 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius), the heat decomposes some of the cellulose material that makes up the wood. Some of the…...

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