Why do we use water to put off wood fire?
- To burn something is to oxidize a material,
- The adequate temperature in the fuel/oxygen mixture so that the chain reaction keeps on.
- Every fuel has a burning temperature, below which the oxidizing reaction will not result in a proper fire with flames and all.
- Water turns out to be an excellent liquid for lowering the temperature of a fire. It doesn’t combust like alcohol or gasoline, which is kind of important. But even in comparison to other non-combustible liquids, water has both a high specific heat and a high heat of vaporization. The specific heat is the amount of energy that must be absorbed to raise the temperature of the water, and the heat of vaporization is the amount of heat that must be absorbed to evaporate the water.
- Thus, water does a really good job of absorbing energy as its temperature is raised and as it evaporates, which makes it very efficient in putting out fires by lowering the temperature enough to interrupt the chain reaction.
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