Q&A Science fair - Kindling facts

QandA Posted By QandA, Nov 16, 2007 at 3:51 AM

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  1. QandA

    QandA
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    Nov 27, 2012
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    Question:

    Dear Mr. Issod, My name is Emily, I'm an eighth grade student at Redwood Day School in Oakland, Ca. For my science fair project this year I am going to test and compare different types of kindling (How quickly they light, how long they burn) and I was wondering if you could maybe give me some background information, suggestions, tips, or insights. Please respond before too long, the fair is on February 11. Muchas Gracias, Emily



    Answer:

    How well kindling will light is dependent on many factors.

    1. The species (lighter woods (less dense) will light easier
    2. Pitch (tar) content - This is the amount of chemicals in the wood
    3. Moisture - very dry wood lights easier
    4. Size - Smaller sticks burn faster and hotter
    5. Stacking - Proper stacking (with air between) makes a better fire.

    Different woods have different properties. Very hard woods, like Oak, have excellent "coaling" capabilities (they make long-burning red-hot coals), but are hard to light. Woods like pine, cedar and spruce are very easy to ignite but will not burn for a long period of time.

    Then there is a question of what you are trying to ignite with the kindling. If you are trying to ignite coal (very high ignition temperature), then you must use Oak or other hardwoods in order to obtain the required hot embers to ingnite coal. If you are trying to ignite wood, then any kindling will do.
     
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