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Q & A: Burning hot flames

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
Does the blue part of the flame burn you? Or is it just the yellow part?
- Jo Burton
Bristol, UK
A:
They both are hot and will burn you.  Different colored flames reflect some of the constituents of the fuel.  Yellow flames sometimes have small amounts of sodium compounds in their makeup.  The flame from a gas stove is usually blue; the gas is relatively pure and doesn’t have any sodium contaminants in it.

LeeH

Some people have written in that yellow flames often  come from small amounts of soot that aren't quite hot enough to glow bluish. /mw

(published on 10/22/2007)

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