Types of Combustion

Burning of a substance in the presence of oxygen is called ‘Combustion’.

In this change, both heat and light are produced.

Let us explore some examples of combustion which we observe in our surroundings.

We have seen our parents light up gas burners in the kitchen.

And have heard the news of ‘forest fires’.

And when the festive season is around, we burn firecrackers.

All these are examples of combustion reactions.

But the speed at which all these combustions reactions proceed is different.

And on the basis of speed, combustion reactions can be categorised into three types.

The three types of combustion are:

We will go through the three types in detail one by one. Let us first look at rapid combustion.

When we light a gas stove, it burns quickly and continuously.

This means that the gas that makes the gas stove burn, undergoes combustion very ‘rapidly’.

Such a kind of combustion reaction in which a substance burns rapidly is called a rapid combustion

Another example of rapid combustion is burning of matchstick.

Moving on, let us look at the next type of combustion process: Spontaneous combustion

This is a type of combustion which takes place in the form of forest fires in the summer months.

In the dry summer heat, the dry grasses and leaves in the forest start burning on their own

And slowly the entire forest catches fire spontaneously and results in forest fires.

Such a kind of combustion in which a material suddenly bursts into flames without the application of any apparent cause is called spontaneous combustion.

Apart from forest fires, spontaneous combustion can cause other calamities: Like fire in coal mines

In mines, coal dusts interact with oxygen in the air and burn spontaneously, resulting in fire.

Chemical substances can also undergo spontaneous combustion.

One such example is phosphorus, which burns on its own at room temperature .

Finally, let us look at ‘explosions’.

As in rapid combustion, we have to ignite the substance in this situation as well.

But once it ignites, a large amount of heat, light and sound are produced.

For example when the firecrackers explode, a large amount of energy is produced.

And this energy produced is in the form of an explosion of heat, light and sound.

So, we have to be very careful whenever we deal with explosions.

Revision

There are three types of combustion based on their rate of reaction.

The three types of combustion reactions are rapid, spontaneous and explosion.

Rapid combustion is a type of combustion in which a substance starts burning rapidly when ignited.

Spontaneous combustion is a type of combustion in which a substance burns spontaneously, that without igniting.

Explosion is a type of combustion in which a substance burns with a large amount of heat, light and sound.

The end