Combustion occurs when fuel is introduced to oxygen-rich air and ignited. The result is a release of heat and light that can be harnessed to create energy. The combustion process occurs in four stages: ignition, constant heat-up, period of maximum temperature, and cooling down. Combustion happens in a closed environment, with the fuel needed for burning present in some form – solid or liquid. Suppose there’s not enough oxygen available during the combustion process. In that case, it will take on a significantly lower temperature than average. However, it can still happen as long as there is some excess gas around the combustible material. Such as flammable vapors or air pockets rich with oxygen molecules (oxygenates).
What’s the Difference between Combustion, Vaporization, and Extraction?
Although they may seem at first glance like they all involve similar processes, there are subtle differences between these terms. Vaporization occurs when some substance, such as water or oil, is heated and removed from the environment before it can release its vapor into the surrounding space. This process can be done with a device called a vaporizer. Vaporization produces vapor but doesn’t necessarily extend to the point of combustion since the material being vaped may not be transformed into a form that could support combustion without some outside influence.
Extraction, on the other hand, involves the act of extracting oils, resins, and other compounds from a plant or herb. These substances are extracted from their original environment using knives, grinders, and presses. Although this process could also be considered vaporization in that substances may leave behind vapor as part of the extraction process, it is not a form of combustion since there is no spark or flame to ignite the vapors.
The Combustion Process Explained
Combustion occurs when fuel and oxygen are present in the same place. When this happens, several milestones occur within a matter of seconds until the process reaches its completion and eventually stops. This causes the reaction to continue over and over again.
The two main milestones in the combustion process are:
Ignition: A spark happens once to air, fuel, and oxygen are introduced into a closed environment. This is also referred to as the stage of combustion, which takes place within a matter of seconds. Heat is released very quickly, making this stage one of the essential stages of combustion. Once ignited, there’s no volume or temperature control. So the temperature is just as critical as the fuel used in this process phase.
Constant Heat: Within seconds after ignition, heat will be produced, and new molecules will start moving around due to their interaction. In this stage, the reaction will spread in all directions with a particular amount of force.
Other milestones occur during the combustion process. These include:
Period of Maximum Temperature: Heat is produced at a constant rate as fuel from oxygen combines after being introduced into an enclosed space. As temperature rises, the heat produced increases to a certain point, and then as it reaches its climax. It eventually starts to decline less and less until it reaches its final stop. The maximum temperature is when you realize that the reaction has stopped producing heat and there’s no more combustion, except for any that may be left over due to hot spots where oxygen may still be present.
Cooling Down: The process continues to release heat with a slow decline as other molecules take their place during the cooling phase of the process (specifically water). This is when the temperature of the combustion process reaches its final stop. This stage can last quite a long time because residual heat is still being produced even after the combustion process has completely stopped.
The Combustion Process Goes from Zero to 100% in a Matter of Seconds.
The combustion process begins with a tiny piece of fuel, a spark, and an oxygen-rich environment. After this small piece of fuel has been introduced into that environment. We have ignition, and everything starts to happen very quickly. Once the spark happens and the reaction has begun to take place, heat is released briefly. The process continues with constant heat until it reaches its final form.
As soon as the energy-producing reaction begins, heat is released practically immediately at a steady rate and increases as more molecules interact. Completing this stage marks the end of combustion and leaves behind any remaining fuel that may have been left over and any remaining oxygen.
Combustion takes place when there is a presence of fuel and oxygen in the same place. This means we can make it happen by introducing one or more substances present in the air (or whatever we are combusting) with a spark.
Combustion is the process that makes fire possible, but it can also be harnessed for energy production and heat. Combustion occurs when fuel and oxygen are present in the same place. When this happens, several milestones occur within a matter of seconds until the process reaches its completion and eventually stops. Once ignited, there’s no volume or temperature control, so the temperature is just as critical as the fuel used in this process phase.