How fire works

Published by Daniel Ozori on

how fire works

We all use and need fire in our lives, But to most of us how fire works is still a mystery.

In this article i’ll be explaining exactly what it is.

Like every other thing in chemistry, Fire is just a simple reaction involving the combination of the various reactants and leading to a final product

But in its case we call the reaction combustion which involves Fuel, oxygen and heat, mix these three things and you have fire.


Fuel is needed to start fire, fuel can be anything like plants for an example, when very dry they are easily combustible, but before that happens it needs to be heated to a specific temperature at least 150°C.

When it gets to this point an orange flame appears but what’s happening is that oxygen molecules are combining with molecules  from the burning material,

when this reaction produces enough heat to continually cause the fuel to break down into vapor that combine with oxygen molecules, fire is then formed as a product.

Incomplete combustion

incomplete combustion

An example of incomplete combustion

Incomplete combustion is a type of combustion which occurs when there is an insufficient supply of oxygen

it may be due to lack of oxygen or low temperature preventing the complete chemical reaction.

This kind of combustion is an undesirable one because it releases less energy and produces carbon monoxide a poisonous gas (soot).

when this kind of combustion occurs not everything is burned and this produces smoke, a collection of the unburned particles.

The equation for incomplete combustion is Gas + Oxygen = Water + Carbon monoxide + Heat

Complete combustion

complete combustion

An example of complete combustion

This is a kind of combustion reaction that occurs when a fuel reacts quickly with oxygen and produces carbondioxide instead of monoxide like the incomplete combustion and water

It occurs when there’s enough oxygen to completely use up the all the reactants.

it produces a high level of energy and is a much more preferable kind of combustion suitable for cooking and other things.

The equation for complete combustion is Fuel + O2 → CO2 + H2


Anonymous · December 1, 2019 at 5:42 pm

Thank you

Anonymous · December 1, 2019 at 5:37 pm

I never knew this

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