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HOW TO PRODUCE A COLOR FLAME?
WHAT IS A FLAME?
A flame is a gas combustion zone; combustion, produced by the reaction between a fuel, the fuel, and an oxidant, usually atmospheric air, generates heat.
For this flame is colored, it is necessary that this gaseous zone contains at least one substance which emits light. The most common flame formed by the combustion of a carbonaceous compound and the light emitted from the carbon-carbon bonds of vibration which emits a yellow light. Thus, the combustion of methanol (CH3OH) which does not have any carbon-carbon bond is substantially colorless, and the combustion of ethanol, common alcohol, (CH3-CH2OH) having only carbon-carbon bond, is not bright. The combustion of butane (CH3-CH2-CH2-CH3) if the mixture is light "air + butane" is flawed, as the panache of a burner flame, but very pale blue in the sting where the mixture "air + butane "is made homogeneous by the geometry of the burner before being fired. The flame of a conventional spark plug is provided by the combustion of stearic acid in the molecule has 18 carbon atoms bonded to each other; the wick assures the arrival of the fuel in the flame zone and bad mixture made guarantees good light. It is the same for the oil lamp.
HOW TO PRODUCE A COLOR?
If one wishes to obtain a color and not yellow flame, it is important to first get rid of the yellow flame from the carbon-carbon bonds by a judicious choice of fuel and / or employment of a device, a good mix with the oxidant.
It should, moreover, be in the hot flame, emitting substances. This can be obtained by carrying, in the flame, a solid charge of emitting substance. If the emitting substance is soluble in the fuel, it can be brought into the flame area by spraying, or by capillary rise in a wick; it is still necessary to ensure that the substance will rise into the wick without fouling.
The eye perceives electromagnetic vibrations, as light for wavelengths between 0.4 and 0.8 microns:
- Below 0.4 micron Ultra-Violet INVISIBLE
- 0.40 to 0.44 microns VIOLET
- From 0.40 to 0.50 microns BLUE
- 0.50 to 0.57 microns GREEN
- 0.57 to 0.59 microns YELLOW
- 0.59 to 0.61 microns ORANGE
- 0.61 to 0.80 microns RED
- Beyond 0.80 microns Infrared INVISIBLE
A mixture of all these radiations balanced as we perceive the sun, gives WHITE LIGHT.
In contrast, sometimes denominated BLACK LIGHT an ultraviolet emission imperceptible to the eye but can excite a phosphor that converts some of the energy of the Ultra-Violet LIGHT FLUORESCENT visible;
Some atoms emit a limited number of radiation in the visible range, and therefore emit colors defined:
POTASSIUM: Violet (faintly visible)
LITHIUM: Carmine Red
Other atoms emit radiation by vibrating their chemical bonds with other atoms complementary:
STRONTIUM + CHLORINE: Red
BARIUM CHLORIDE +: Green
BORE + OXYGEN + CARBON: Green
+ COPPER CHLORIDE: Blue or Green following the concentration CHLORINE (less chlorine = less blue)
COPPER + BROME: Green
COPPER + IODE: Green
Thus, cupric chloride carried in a colorless flame gives, first, blue gradually turning green as the vaporization of chlorine and then goes blank for a few seconds and ends in a persistent orange. The elusive white from a momentary equilibrium between green and orange.
Other atoms emit a large number of bands in the spectrum spread and do not give accurate color set; thus, iron it emits a yellowish bright light. Antimony emit a whiter light but much less intense.
Many elements emit different spectra emitted by the multiplicity of bands in the flame of disorder and the result, usually yellowish or greenish, is irrelevant.
The frequent dominance Yellow is because it is the best perceived by the eye color; frequent dominant green is because the green is quite well perceived by the eye and moreover the width of the perceived green area is large.
Among the various elements mentioned, a number are toxic, in particular thallium (which is beautiful green), barium, and to a lesser extent, copper, chlorine, bromine.
Some items, once used in pyrotechnics, in well-defined compositions are now banned formulations (such as arsenic, mercury ...).
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