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Fire in pure oxygen

  1. Apr 15, 2006 #1
    What colour is fire if your burning whatever in a room that is pure O2.

    rather then in normal air at a campfire which has alot of other chemicals; like nitrogen.

    and does it follow that one experiment where say hydrogen burns as only 1 frequency of the spectrum
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 15, 2006 #2


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    Gold Member

    The color of the flame is going to depend on the material that you are oxidizing. Sodium is a pretty yellow, for instance. You should see what happens to a suit of clothes when it is soaked in a solution of sodium chlorate and allowed to dry. Just throw a cigarette at the scarecrow and watch it disappear in a flash of intense yellow flame. We used to do this at the pulp mill as a safety demonstration for the people who had to unload rail cars of the stuff.
  4. Apr 15, 2006 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    In pure oxygen you may expect reaction to be faster - more heat is produced per time unit and in result flame or surroundings are hotter. Thus colors will change - red to yellow, yellow to white, white will become bluish. Note that I am referring only to colors of thermal emission, emissions from excited substances will not change its color, they can get more intense.
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