Physical Science Explosion!

Discussion in 'Physical Science' started by pineappleupsidedown, Nov 30, 2004.

  1. pineappleupsidedown

    pineappleupsidedown Premium Member

    I wanted to write up something on this topic because recently i was witness to a large petroleum explosion which caused two local schools to be evacuated, as well as nearby homes. The smoke was very very black, and could be seen for miles. This is because it was jet fuel, and petroleum burns very very black. The smoke from the world trade center was mostly jet fuel, that is the smoke you see in those images, and thats what the smoke from this explosion looked like.

    Has anyone else experianced an explosion or anything like that near their home?


    Also, what does anyone else know about the color of smoke?

  2. junior_smith

    junior_smith Premium Member

    We recently had a tire fire in our city, (coventry, England) and it covered the whole school in black suit (sorry for spelling) anyways that fire burned very black
  3. pineappleupsidedown

    pineappleupsidedown Premium Member

    Did it smell bad as well?

  4. JcMinJapan

    JcMinJapan Premium Member

    I have been trying to find the cause of different smoke colors in fires. IE: Grey, White, Black and the different shades. I have been unable to. Any idea what causes the different colors? Only temperature? Could you possibly have an indication of the type of fire if you just look at smoke?
  5. pineappleupsidedown

    pineappleupsidedown Premium Member

    Well, during the explosion some people guessed it was a natural gas explosion, but others say no, because natural gas burns clear.

    My grandfather was a firefighter and he told my mother that one way to tell how a fire was doing is how dark the smoke it. When there is more water in the fire(from the fire trucks) the white steam mixes with the black smoke to make it lighter and lighter as the fire cools off. I have no idea on the difference the material burning makes.

  6. helenheaven

    helenheaven Premium Member

    different chemicals would alter the colour of the smoke

    I know when I set a fire if I use newspaper with colour ink the colour of the flames is, green etc
  7. oortpower

    oortpower Member

    I'm not sure but I don't think jet fuel is petrol, its something strange.
  8. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    Jet fuel is JP-5 or another grade of JP, JP is for Jet Petroluem. Jet fuel burns more clear, usually when JP catches fire its a lark spark from the ignite. Now whatever JP is covered in, like wood, paper what have you it will burn dark due to the mixture of organic or non organic material. But JP burning by itself burn usually clear to white. I have seen JP burn black by itself but I think that was the container it was in was mixing with cleanser inside the container. Plus JP is lighter than other petros.

    The towers and JP spread thru not to mention all the oil and grease from the jets mixed with JP and then the towers themselves burned black.
  9. Mizar

    Mizar Premium Member

    You also have to remember that in most hydrocarbons and alchols ( sp) its the gases that burn not the actual liquid.

    Ah just the thought and the pictures of 9/11 bring shrills to me. Ah...
  10. TheAvenger

    TheAvenger New Member

    At last! a subject I can speak of with authority. I am a chemist of many years experience, including the military, testing...jet fuel and other fuels. Jet fuel is basically kerosine. JP4 is (was) a military designation for a jet fuel that is a mixture of gasoline and kerosine. JP5 is (was) a U.S, Navy grade of jet fuel with a higher flashpoint than JP4, making it safer to use onboard ships. I don't know much about the JP7 they use today, probably still basically kerosine. The military jet fuels also contain an anti-icing inhibitor, like ethylene glycol monomethyl ether so they don't need the added weight of a fuel heater at high altitudes. Commercial airliners use either Jet-A or Jet A-1, depending on their engine design. Many of our U.S. Army helicopters, such as Hueys, Cobras, Blackhawks, have jet turbine engines. They used JP4 back in my (1970s) military time.
  11. kiwirobin

    kiwirobin Premium Member

    I'm a automotive engineer by trade so have had some schooling on combustion.
    I believe the colour and density of the smoke is in relation to how clean it burns.
    The main thing needed for a burn is oxygen, if theres not enough then there's an incomplete burn which releases carbons making the smoke.
    Depending on whats burning dictates the colour.
    Tyres indeed give a very black due to the high carbon content of the rubber.
    In drag racing I've seen cars on fire where you only see a shimmering haze because it burns so fast and clean.
    The more oxygen the more efficient the burn, the less smoke.
    ie: smoke is unburned particles. if your cars mixture is to rich it will smoke because there is not enough O2 for a complete burn.