The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Which is hottest ? lighter or match ?  (Read 3726 times)

Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 20602
  • Thanked: 8 times
    • View Profile
Which is hottest ? lighter or match ?
« on: 26/04/2006 19:29:59 »
What  is the heat difference between a lighter flame and a match flame ?

Hi Flame Experts…I like oil burners, use them all the time…but when I go to light the candles I use either a lighter or a match…so…..Which is hottest ?..match flame ? or lighter flame ?

Bring ignition to this ignorant soul…I need a spark of fact this site needs an injection of adrenalin too !!

Men are the same as women, just inside out !


Offline daveshorts

  • Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2583
  • Physics, Experiments
    • View Profile
Re: Which is hottest ? lighter or match ?
« Reply #1 on: 27/04/2006 12:31:03 »
I would have thought that a lighter is hotter as the flame (definitely on butane ones) is more blue and less yellow, the yellow is caused by carbon particles radiating away the heat as light. A gas flame has less carbon in it so it doesn't radiate so well, and gets up to higher temperatures that will radiate blue light well.


  • Guest
Re: Which is hottest ? lighter or match ?
« Reply #2 on: 27/04/2006 13:00:12 »
Not sure how you answer this question.

One can talk about the energy of combustion; but does not the heat depend upon how confined and how rapid the combustion.

You can burn petrol in an engine, but the temperature of the combustion not only depends upon the fact that petrol is burning in air, but the shape and design of the entire combustion chamber.  The amount of energy you get out of the process is fixed by the amount of fuel, type of fuel, and amount of air; but how fast it burns, and how quickly the heat dissipates, must depend upon the environment.

A match burns in a very different way to a lighter.  When a match is ignited, it creates a low grade explosion, and then only afterwards will start burning the wood.  The low grade explosion is a fast reaction, that must be able to build up a fair amount of heat for all of a fraction of a second, but the wood, because it is not exposed to much oxygen, and can only burn on its surface, will burn slower.

The actual amount of energy released from burning a given volume of wood would be much higher than burning the same volume of gas; but because the gas will mix with the air, while the wood only burns at it surface, so the wood releases its energy slower.  If the slow burning of the wood is in an environment where the heat can rapidly be drawn away, then it cannot build up much temperature; but if you confine it in a space where the energy is not rapidly drawn away, then it could get very much hotter.

« Last Edit: 27/04/2006 13:06:24 by another_someone »

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Which is hottest ? lighter or match ?
« Reply #2 on: 27/04/2006 13:00:12 »


SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums