Science

What is the real colour of fire ?

Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction products. Fire is hot because the conversion of the weak double bond in molecular oxygen, O2, to the stronger bonds in the combustion products carbon dioxide and water releases energy (418 kJ per 32 g of O2); the bond energies of the fuel play only a minor role here. At a certain point in the combustion reaction, called the ignition point, flames are produced. The flame is the visible portion of the fire.

Flames consist primarily of carbon dioxide, water vapor, oxygen and nitrogen. If hot enough, the gases may become ionized to produce plasma. Depending on the substances alight, and any impurities outside, the color of the flame and the fire’s intensity will be different.Fire in its most common form can result in conflagration, which has the potential to cause physical damage through burning. Fire is an important process that affects ecological systems around the globe.

The positive effects of fire include stimulating growth and maintaining various ecological systems. Its negative effects include hazard to life and property, atmospheric pollution, and water contamination. If fire removes protective vegetation, heavy rainfall may lead to an increase in soil erosion by water.[5] Also, when vegetation is burned, the nitrogen it contains is released into the atmosphere, unlike elements such as potassium and phosphorus which remain in the ash and are quickly recycled into the soil.

This loss of nitrogen caused by a fire produces a long-term reduction in the fertility of the soil, but this fecundity can potentially be recovered as molecular nitrogen in the atmosphere is “fixed” and converted to ammonia by natural phenomena such as lightning and by leguminous plants that are “nitrogen-fixing” such as clover, peas, and green beans.

Amazing Facts about fire

• Fire is a chemical reaction that releases light and heat.
• The ancient Greeks amazingly started fire with concentrated sunlight. A parabolic mirror that focuses solar rays is still used to ignite the Olympic torch.
• Amazing fact is earth is the only known planet where fire can burn. Everywhere else you don’t find enough oxygen for fire to occur.
• Fire triangle represents the three components that fires need to exist: heat, oxygen and fuel. Fire is extinguished when one of these components is missing.
• Fact is oxygen supply influences the color of the flame. A low oxygen fire gives off a yellow glow. A high oxygen fire burns blue.
• Candle flames are blue at the bottom because that’s where they take up fresh air, and yellow at the top because the rising fumes from below partly suffocate the upper part of the flame.
• Amazing fact is fire can make water. Place a cold spoon over a candle and you will observe the water vapor condense on the metal. Wax contains hydrogen which combines with oxygen to make water.
• Assuming stable fuel, heat and oxygen levels, a typical house fire will amazingly double in size every minute.
• Fire is faster than generally thought as it takes less than thirty seconds for a fire to become very difficult to control.
• A candle flame typically burns at around 1000 degrees Celsius (1800 Fahrenheit).
• Amazing fact is that more people die from smoke inhalation than flames. Fire can suck all of the oxygen from a room and fill it with poisonous smoke and gases before flames even reach a room.
• During wildfires it’s amazing that trees can explode if water deep inside the tree quickly turns to steam.
• The heat from a fire alone is enough to kill. It can get as hot as 315 degrees Celsius at eye level , hot enough to scorch your lungs if you breathe it in and to melt the clothes you’re wearing into your skin.
• If you’re in a burning house, you might not be able to see. It can be pitch black because of the dark smoke.
• Amazingly you might not be able to find the exit in fire even if you’ve lived there for years since smoke can be extremely disorienting. Memorize your escape plan beforehand and practice it blindfolded.
• Air is 21 percent oxygen which combines with acetylene and you get an oxyacetylene welding torch that burns at over 5500 degrees Fahrenheit, the hottest fire you encounter.
• A gallon of gasoline has the explosive potential of 30 sticks of dynamite.
• Amazingly you can start a fire with ice.
• At 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, unprotected steel may collapse under its own weight during fire.
• Amazing fact is that forest fires move faster uphill than downhill! The steeper the slope, the faster the fire travels.
• America’s deadliest fire took place in 1865, aboard the steamship Sultana when the boilers exploded. The ship was six times over capacity mostly carrying prisoners released recently. The death toll was amazing 1,547.
• During WWII, Japan actually sent 9000 “fire balloons” towards North America to cause damage . About thousand of them actually hit land and killed 6 people.
• The Cairo opera house was destroyed by fire in 1970. Amazing thing was it also housed Cairo fire station.
• Fire houses have spiral staircases because the horses that used to pull the fire wagons learned to walk up straight ones.
• Ashtrays are compulsorily required on every commercial airplane because 123 people died on a flight in 1973 when a lit cigarette caught fire in a lavatory waste bin.
• On August 19, 1980, a Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight carrying 301 people caught fire shortly after takeoff. The plane landed safely but when the ground crew opened the doors, everyone was already dead due to poisonous gases..
• In 1985, Philadelphia police used a helicopter to drop two bombs on a house during an armed standoff which resulted in a fire that killed 11 and destroyed 60 homes.
• The Black Dragon Fire of 1987, the largest wildfire in modern times, burned some 20 million acres across China and the Soviet Union, an area about the size of South Carolina.
• A fire in Mecca, Saudi Arabia in 2002 killed 15 school girls . They were not allowed to leave the burning building by the state’s religious police because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress.

• In 2004, over 300 people died in a supermarket fire in Asunción, Paraguay because the owners shut the doors so that people wouldn’t leave without paying.

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