1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Why does cornstarch burn?

  1. May 2, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Cornstarch does not burn when its grouped together, but when you blow it into a flame, it creates a fireball. Why is this?

    2. Relevant equations

    n/a

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I found out that other materials, like flour and some metals, create a fireball or flame when you blow it into flames. I still can't figure out why this happens...
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 2, 2010 #2

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    Many materials are like this. For instance, it's very difficult to ignite wood in the form of a log using just a match, but if you cut the wood into small pieces, they catch fire very easily.

    Can you think of a reason why cornstarch or flour or sawdust would be very flammable, but piles of cornstarch or flour and large pieces of would aren't as flammable?
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook