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Re: Oxygen Burning??

To: autox MGS <mgs@Autox.Team.Net>
Subject: Re: Oxygen Burning??
From: "George (Pete) Tolleson" <>
Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 09:54:54 -0400
Scott Gardner wrote:

> ...I've always assumed that pure oxygen is extremely flammable... <

An easy confusion. Oxygen isn't flammable at all. Combustion is the fast
oxidation reaction, in which oxygen combines rapidly with another
(flammable) substance. (For example, water (H2O) is the product of
hydrogen combining with oxygen.) In a pure oxygen atmosphere this
reaction proceeds *very* rapidly, hence the impression that oxygen is
flammable, but it's not the oxygen that's burning. 

MG content: Tin worms are the result of the *slow* oxidation of the iron
in the steel. (Iron can also undergo *fast* oxidation; the sparks in
sparklers or from a grinding wheel, for example.) 


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