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What happens if a lit candle is lowered in a container filled with liquid oxigen?

  • Author:Thinkxing
  • Source:Ruixinglass
  • Release on:2018-03-02
As the candle approaches the liquid oxygen, it will most likely burn brighter due to the extra oxygen in the air that is constantly evaporating from the container. In fact, you may get an extremely intense flame if the puddle of liquid wax on top of the candle autoignites. Once it touches the oxygen, you will get a big explosion.

What happens if a lit candle is lowered in a container filled with liquid oxigen?

Despite being extremely cold, liquid oxygen reacts spontaneously with organic substances. When spacecraft manufacturers assemble rocket engines, fuel tanks, and piping that are to contain liquid oxygen, they have to be very careful that there isn’t any traces of residual grease, or even oil from workers’ hands, because it could ignite. A solid rod of paraffin, though? I would say the effect would be a bit like pouring water on a grease fire (though very different chemically). The energy of the initial combustion would boil large amounts of liquid oxygen and blow the candle into small fragments which would be carried into the air, still melting and burning. Meanwhile, liquid oxygen would be sprayed everywhere, igniting any susceptible materials. I hope you stood back a long way for this.

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