Fire is one of the four basic elements of nature; the other three being air, earth, and water. A raging fire is one of the deadliest forces of nature, however, if controlled, it is also a symbol of life and warmth. Scientists have recently created mesmerising fire tornadoes that not only offer a spell-binding sight but are also more eco-friendly towards man-made disasters like oil spills.
The research team from the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering recently discovered this new fire tornado. They have dubbed it as the blue whirl owing to the absence of the distinctive yellow color in the fire.
Very few people know that the yellow color of a flame is mostly responsible for the production of heat and thus, it is very useful. The yellow color of the fire comes from the glowing soot particles that couldn’t burn completely due to insufficient oxygen.
An entirely blue flame indicates that there is enough oxygen for complete combustion. In layman terms, it releases less soot, smoke, and pollutants into the atmosphere.
So we do know that they look stunning and are environment-friendly! What can we do with these blue whirls practically? The blue flames can conveniently be studied in a laboratory environment as they are lit easily.
The prospective applications of these blue flames need to be explored. The research team believes that they might be used for cleaning up the environmental disasters like oil spills. The current methods to deal with such maritime environmental disasters involve corralling crude oil into a thick floating layer and then burning it. Scores of pollutants are released into the air from the thick smoke produced by the fire.
Instead, these beautiful blue whirls can be used for a cleaner burn that vastly reduces those harmful emissions. The value of net heat and energy of the blue fire is unknown yet. If these new flames are employed in other burning applications like car engines and industrial heating, harmful emissions may be reduced drastically.
Let’s not forget how cool it would look when these heavenly tornadoes of fire will be on display in science fairs and centers on your next visit!
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