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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Does fire have an alternative to oxygen?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (19440points) August 3rd, 2018

In forest fires. Can a forest fire burn without oxygen?

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9 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Nope. But it doesn’t take a lot of oxygen, which is why roots can smolder for months.

kritiper's avatar

No. Three things are required for any fire: heat, oxygen, fuel. Remove any one of the three and the fire will go out.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@kritiper @zenvelo What about helium or hydrogen? What other atomic elements burn?

elbanditoroso's avatar

On this planet, no. Perhaps on another planet oxygen can be replaced.

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kritiper's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 No. When fuels burn, oxidation is taking place. That can’t be done with hydrogen or helium. Hydrogen may burn, but as a fuel, not an oxidizer. Helium is inert, not flammable.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@kritiper I wonder why that is so? Sodium and phosphorus burn with out oxygen. Or does it?

kritiper's avatar

Sodium and phosphorus may burn but only when mixed with an oxidizer. Oxidation requires oxygen for the chemical reaction (fire) to take place.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@kritiper Thanks for the correction. I didn’t know.

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