How will you prove that air support burning

 The Role of Oxygen in Burning Processes


When we are taking about fire then there are three main components which are used for ignite for which are heat,  fuel and the oxidizing agent which causes oxidation. The fuels can vary greatly, with common examples being wood, coal, natural gas, wax and oil. The heat acts as the activation energy to excite the fuel molecules and initiate burning. But neither the chemical energy in the fuels nor the heat supplied can sustain a fire on their own. This is where air, containing roughly 21% oxygen gas, interacts with the burning process.


Oxygen supports combustion by chemically reacting with the hot fuel source in an exothermic reaction. This rapidly accelerates burning, releases more heat energy, and allows thermal runaway feedback to continue driving the fire forward. Oxygen is the most common and readily available oxidizer that provides this effect. The diversity of oxidizable fuels is endless, but they all require some source of oxygen to burn in a self-sustained manner by maintaining an exothermic oxidation reaction.


Why Air is Essential for Fire


Burning occurs due to oxidation reaction which happens when the atmospheric oxygen is present. So, if you close  a fire in a container with a limited supply of air then it will use the air and extinguish itself through suffocation. For a little time it will burn because of small air present in it, the container is hot due to unburned vapor but the combustion process cannot occur without air. 

Even materials that can sustain some oxidation through decomposition require an air supply to fully ignite into self-propagating flames. The fundamental chemistry of fire revolves around a fuel, heat, and oxygen from the surround air partaking in an energetic chemical reaction. With no oxidizing atmosphere available, the materials can undergo pyrolysis but will not burn with the iconic exothermic oxidation reaction that defines true fire. Removing air effectively cuts off the crucial oxygen supply, stopping the combustion reaction pathway. This demonstrates the essential role that atmospheric air fulfills in enabling and sustaining the burning processes around us.


Prove that Air Supports burning


Here is a step-by-step explanation of how the candle experiment proves air supports burning:


Step 1) Obtain the necessary materials - a long taper candle secured upright on a heat safe surface, matches or a lighter, and a glass or clear jar that can fit upside-down over the candle without touching it.


Step 2) Light the candle using the matches or lighter. Allow the candle wick to burn steadily with a flame present for 30 seconds.


Step 3) Carefully place the glass or jar upside-down completely over the burning candle. Ensure the glass enclosure is not touching the sides of the candle. This seals off the candle flame from external air.


Step 4) Observe the candle flame closely once covered. At first the flame will continue burning with the available air inside the enclosure.


Step 5) Within one minute, the flame will use up the oxygen present in the finite air supply and start to sputter and shrink as it is starved of an oxidizer.


Step 6) The flame will extinguish itselfcompletely within the next 30 seconds as no new oxygen can reach it inside the enclosure. Note that smoke from incomplete combustion may linger.


Step 7) Remove the glass enclosure and relight the candle. It will again burn steadily, proving a constant supply of fresh oxygen from ambient air is necessary to sustain the combustion reaction.


Step 8) Cover the burning candle with the glass again. The flame will once more extinguish due to being cut off from the oxygen in air that supports the burning process. This sequence can be repeated to demonstrate the consistent result.


By isolating a flame from external air supply, this simple experiment offers clear step-by-step proof that burning relies on access to oxygen available in air. Removing air causes the flame to suffocate despite ample fuel still remaining. This shows air supports sustaining oxidation reactions of diverse fuels for complete combustion to occur.

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