Fire is the result of a chemical reaction called combustion, a type of oxidation reaction that occurs when a combustible fuel is exposed to a source of heat in the presence of oxygen. The oxidation of the molecules that make up fuel is an exothermic reaction, meaning it releases energy.
When wood is heated to about 300 degrees Fahrenheit, the heat begins to break down the cellulose, releasing volatile gases. When the gases reach about 500 degrees Fahrenheit, the compound molecules begin to break apart and recombine with oxygen to form carbon dioxide and other products. This process is called oxidation, and heat is a side effect of the process. The heat generated by the violent oxidation of wood or other fuels is seen and felt as fire. This heat is often sufficient to ignite other fuels, making fire a self-sustaining process.Learn More
A burning candle is an example of a chemical change because the paraffin wax, which is a hydrocarbon, undergoes a chemical reaction with oxygen to form water and carbon dioxide gas. Because the chemical structure of the paraffin has been altered, this is a chemical change.Full Answer >
Fire burns as a reaction when matter changes form and is part of a chemical reaction that produces heat and light. In order for a fire to start, some form of fuel must be heated to its ignition temperature.Full Answer >
An element or compound that enters into a chemical reaction is called a reagent, while the elements or compounds that result from a chemical reaction are called products. Reagents can be further defined as reactants, catalysts or solvents.Full Answer >
In a chemical reaction, the reactants are the elements present when the reaction begins, and the products are the elements and compounds produced as a result of the reaction. In a chemical formula, the reactants are on the left side of the arrow, and the products are on the right.Full Answer >