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Thread: Gas taps

  1. #1 Gas taps 
    Forum Sophomore
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    I'm wondering after an accident today in my chemistry lab at school where a student's (not mine ) gas outlet for a bunsen burner was not properly connected and managed to ignite causing a jet of flame. Luckily I managed to turn it off in time.

    My question is, why does it only ignite at the point from which it exists the tap and why did it not ignite all the way back into the gas cannisters and detonate them? I've seen similar on oil rigs but they only burn at a certain point?

    Barry


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  3. #2  
    Forum Bachelors Degree
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    There is no oxygen in the gas line (and no oxygen underground in the case of oil wells). The fuel can only burn when it enters the atmosphere and finds oxygen.


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  4. #3  
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    Of course! I never thought of that. Stupid...

    Barry
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  5. #4  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
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    There's also the positive pressure of the system. Even in a mixed-fuel system, if the combustion cannot occur faster than the fuel is exiting the nozzle, it can travel up it. That's a bit fuzzy, but you probably get the point. Good thing to look into, though. Fuel combustion is fun stuff, and you'd be surprised how complex it can get.
    Wolf
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