Gasoline smell does not inginte

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Main Question or Discussion Point

Say there is a chair soaked in gasoline. If someone is to walk in the room the smell is immediate if the chair was lit on fire the liquid gasoline would ignite the chair. However, what about the particles that constitute the smell of it? Why don't they ignite as well? What is the nature of the properties of things being able to be smelled but the actual things being smelled are not necessary the flammable contents.
 

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  • #2
Bystander
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See "flammability limits."
 
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phinds
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Say there is a chair soaked in gasoline. If someone is to walk in the room the smell is immediate if the chair was lit on fire the liquid gasoline would ignite the chair. However, what about the particles that constitute the smell of it? Why don't they ignite as well? What is the nature of the properties of things being able to be smelled but the actual things being smelled are not necessary the flammable contents.
If you have a chair soaked in gas and you put a lit match near it, you'll most likely get a vapor explosion unless the vapor has had time to dilute considerably. Once diluted enough in the air the gas vapor is too thin to ignite. It takes VERY little such vapor to stimulate your olfactory nerves. SO ... the difference is density.
 

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