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Blue flames from mystery wood

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by fabsroman, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Well, I am burning some of the smaller splits of the mystery wood that people think is either locust or Siberian elm (the majority siding with locust), and I am actually getting blue flames around the logs that are sitting on a bed of coals. This stuff is slow burning, but it is really dense and throwing off some good heat. Was actually mesmerized by the blue flames tonight and spent a couple minutes watching them. Don't know if I have ever seen blue flames from wood, much less this blue.

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  2. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    That's a characteristic trait of locust. Long, slow burn, steady heat, pure blue flames, super hot coal bed.......
    Makes it the best wood in my stacks.....I go out of my way to get it. I have two big splits of it in the stove now, it'll last me til 7:00am and the house will still be at 73 degrees......
  3. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    You keep the house that cold. lol

    It was 70 in the house when I started the furnace at 9:00 right before the kids went to bed and now it is 75. The damper should be closing here pretty soon and I doubt I am going to put anymore wood in the furnace tonight. Just too nice during the day for the house to lose much heat. Might go down there and stare at the blue flames some more though.
    Redlegs and ScotO like this.
  4. TimJ

    TimJ Minister of Fire

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    I hope your OK this morning fabs...................it's hard to come back when you stare at blue flames
    Blue2ndaries and Woody Stover like this.
  5. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, I barely made it back today. Those blue flames were beautiful. Notice that they just come right off the coals blue. I really do not remember seeing something like that. Don't know if I never paid attention until last night, or if it has to do with the wood being locust.
    Blue2ndaries likes this.
  6. fireview2788

    fireview2788 Minister of Fire

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    I'm pretty sure elemental copper burns a blue flame so it would interesting to know if that's what is the cause.


    fv
  7. Blue2ndaries

    Blue2ndaries Minister of Fire

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    Fabs--that's exactly what inspired my moniker. A couple years ago I noticed a mezmerizing blue flame, almost like a lit cocktail drink, hovering ghostlike on the edges and in the secondaries. Thus "Blue2ndaries" was born... ;) It never gets old to look at....
    ScotO and Redlegs like this.
  8. mudbug250

    mudbug250 Burning Hunk

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    I am always amazed when I get the blow torch out of the end of a split when burning.
    Redlegs and Blue2ndaries like this.
  9. Redlegs

    Redlegs Feeling the Heat

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    Most of you guys are "back east" that amazed by locast...Have you had much experience with hedge or osage orange?
    chvymn99, Thistle and ScotO like this.
  10. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    Yep that blue flame is really cool. Mulberry will put out a lavender purplish
    flame which is kind of neat.
    Thistle and ScotO like this.
  11. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    I've got a small stash of Hedge that'll be ready in a couple years. :cool:
    I've seen the purple hues with Mulberry in the Buck 91.
    Thistle and ScotO like this.
  12. Redlegs

    Redlegs Feeling the Heat

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    I am not sure how far east hedge will grow but it is an awesome firewood. Blue flames like the locast. Most times when you burn a (seasoned) 4-5in dia log, it will keep it's shape, and turn into one big glowing log shape ember, and will "clink-clink-clink" shatter like a crystal when you hit it with the poker.
    Thistle and ScotO like this.
  13. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    I think they have some in MA, and it will grow as far north as IL. Apparently, it can't take much more cold than those places...
    Redlegs likes this.
  14. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    If you Google "non-luminous flame" you'll be able to read quite a bit about blue flame and the circumstances in which it happens, but relatively few pages deal with flame from wood. This Forest Service / Forest Products Laboratory paper is long and gets into chemistry that's over my head, but the first several pages offer a readable and unusually detailed description of the stages of wood combustion. From page 6:
    Redlegs likes this.
  15. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    I see bluish-white or all blue flames with Hickory,Honey Locust,White/Bur Oak quite often.Occasionally with Mulberry-its kinda purplish,rarely with Red Oak.
    Redlegs likes this.
  16. alex johnson

    alex johnson New Member

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    that's the methane, there is a small amount of time towards the end that these blue flames turn into blue little fire flies, dancing around. those are the coolest.
    Redlegs likes this.
  17. alex johnson

    alex johnson New Member

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    when you get that purple color, it's a mixture of methane, and the hydrocarbons, Blue methane and red hydro- carbons= the purple flames that you are seeing. Black locust, is the ultimate.
    Redlegs likes this.
  18. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    Seeing blues and purples, getting mesmerized by little blue fire flies dancing around, methane and hydrocarbons................... for a moment there I thought I was back in the 70's,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, flashback there............ :p
    Blue2ndaries and Redlegs like this.
  19. alex johnson

    alex johnson New Member

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    Why only the 70's, 5 years ago for me. lol
  20. alex johnson

    alex johnson New Member

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    Every wood will produce the methane flame, just some more than others. Locust, is dense has more energy stored in it.

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