The Secrets of Fire and Combustion

fire-1401678_960_720Fire has been indispensable for mankind overages. Mysteries of fire have always intrigued people, but now we can explain all of them with chemistry.

The “Self-Lighting” Candles
Once, a miracle happened in the temple of Jerusalem on Easter: as the priest said “Christ is risen”, the candles he was holding lit at once.

Do you believe in miracles? Well, chemistry is a miracle. So, what happened before the priest entered the hall? The candlewick was covered with a solution of white phosphorus in carbon disulfide. The latter is very volatile. It had evaporated after 23 minutes, and the self-inflammable phosphorus ignited by itself.

Igniting Water

Many people think that water just extinguishes fire. But we only need a few drops of water to start a fire. For example, if we pour a spoon of iodine powder and one of aluminum powder on the table, mix them together and add some water, it will ignite at once with strange purple smoke. Actually, water catalyzes the reaction between iodine and aluminum. The reaction produces enough heat to make the mixture ignite. As for the strange smoke, it’s the color of iodine smoke.
Every miracle has its scientific explanation.

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Austrian Development Cooperation
The website is created within the framework of the project “Speaking of Myself – Empowerment and Networking for Better Inclusion across Regions. The project is funded by Austrian International Development Agency and Open Society Foundations’ Education Support Programs (Budapest). The project is coordinated in Austria by Interkulturelles Zentrum Verein. The coordinating organisation in Armenia is Bridge of Hope NGO and “Orran” NGO is the partner organisation. Partner organisations in Georgia are Union Berillus, Liberta and Biliki.