Why doesn't coal have a flame?

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  • #1
Wood burns with flame but coal does not. Why?
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You sure about that?
  • #3
imitation coal fires have imitation flames :wink:

(i can see one from my little bowl! o:))
  • #4
A flame is the result of flammable gases being heated, flowing up, and reacting with oxygen where the gases encounter the atmosphere. In a candle flame, the reaction generates enough heat to drive further gas generation and convection; with a gas stove, the burner keeps providing more fuel; either way you get a steady state, which is the flame.
Coal does have a small flame, as anyone old enough to have stoked a coal furnace (in their pajamas on a January morning) can testify.
Coke, or charcoal, generally has no visible flame, because there are no flammable gases generated from pure carbon. (Under condidtions of poor ventilation, there will be carbon monoxide generated, but CO doesn't combust readily enough to support a flame ... that's why burning charcoal indoors is a recipe for disaster.)
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This thread is 2 years old and the OP hasn't been on PF for almost a year. There is not point in responding anymore.

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1. Why doesn't coal have a flame?

Coal does not have a flame because it requires oxygen to burn, and coal has a high carbon content which makes it difficult to burn without a sufficient amount of oxygen. This is why coal is typically burned in a controlled environment, such as a furnace, where oxygen can be supplied in the right amount.

2. How does coal produce heat without a flame?

Coal produces heat through a process called combustion, which is a chemical reaction between the carbon in coal and oxygen in the air. This reaction releases energy in the form of heat and light, without the need for a visible flame.

3. Can coal ever produce a flame?

Yes, coal can produce a flame under certain conditions. If coal is heated to a high enough temperature, it can undergo a process called pyrolysis, which breaks down the organic compounds in coal and produces a visible flame. However, this is not a common occurrence and only happens in specific environments.

4. Does the type of coal affect its ability to produce a flame?

Yes, the type of coal can affect its ability to produce a flame. Generally, anthracite coal has a higher carbon content and burns at a higher temperature, making it more difficult to produce a visible flame. On the other hand, bituminous coal has a lower carbon content and burns at a lower temperature, making it easier to produce a visible flame.

5. Are there any other factors that can affect coal's ability to produce a flame?

Yes, there are several other factors that can affect coal's ability to produce a flame. These include the amount of oxygen present, the temperature at which the coal is burned, and the presence of other substances such as moisture or impurities. All of these factors can alter the combustion process and influence the appearance of a flame.

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