A Critical Role in Combustion Reactions – Assignment Example

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The paper "A Critical Role in Combustion Reactions" is a  good example of an assignment on chemistry. T1. The term radiation refers to the energy that travels through space such as heat, sound, light, and ionizing radiation (Friedman 2006, p. 25). In combustion processes, the radiation of interest is thermal radiation. This form of radiation, like other electromagnetic radiation, does not require a medium to propagate. It can easily pass through a vacuum. It travels by means of electromagnetic waves forms, and can also be characterized by its wavelength, energy, and frequency.

It is also important to note that radiation energy from the source is emitted outwards in straight lines and travels in all directions. The radiating gases produced during complete combustion are compounds of elements derived from both the fuel and the oxidizer. For instance, a combustion reaction with methane as the fuel and oxygen as the oxidizer produces carbon dioxide and water vapor. Both carbon dioxide and water vapor are gaseous compounds derived from methane and oxygen. In another example involving hydrogen and oxygen, the resultant gas is water vapor. In most real-world cases of the combustion reaction, the oxidizing agent is oxygen from the ambient air, which means that the resultant gases include carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and water vapor.

Ambient air contains a high percentage of nitrogen gas. The truth is that combustion reactions are often not complete. In this case, radiating gases may not be the same as those produced in a complete combustion process. For instance, carbon-based fuels always produce carbon dioxide besides soot (or unburned carbon). In light of the above, radiation is important and plays a critical role in fire spread between neighboring buildings.

We have noted that radiation allows the transfer of heat energy from one place to another irrespective of whether there is a medium present. Therefore, radiation would cause temperatures to rise in adjacent buildings that were initially not affected by fire, and consequently, result in the ignition of available fuel or combustible materials. However, radiation becomes important when The requirements for space separation, is nonetheless, important and should be reasonable to reduce fire spread between adjacent buildings. It is known that the amount of radiant heat reduces as it moves further away from the source (Lin 2000, p. 496).

This makes buildings that are spaced far apart from more secure in terms of fire spread than those that are closely spaced. The type of hazard also determines the spatial separation. Thus, it would be required that a building housing flammable fuel is spaced far away from other buildings because such fuel produces high temperatures to facilitate longer travel of radiation. In addition, space separation avoids fire spread through convection, which is considered the most dangerous form of fire spread. T2. Enclosure ventilation plays a critical role in combustion reactions.

Ventilation increases the amount of oxygen (the oxidizing agent) available for combustion. Thus, good ventilation allows sufficient oxygen needed to have a complete combustion reaction. In this condition, the resultant fire has little smoke and produces high temperatures. On the other hand, poorly ventilated enclosures mean there is little oxygen available for combustion. This results in incomplete combustion that usually produces low temperatures and a lot of smoke.

References

Franssen, JM, Zaharia, R & Kodur, V 2009, Designing Steel Structures for Fire Safety, CRC Press, Australia.

Friedman, D 2006, Surface Transportation Security: Volume 10, A Guide to Transportation's Role in Public Health Disasters. Transportation Research Board, United States.

Lin, C 2000, Study of exposure fire spread between buildings by radiation. Journal of the Chinese Institute of Engineers, Vo. 23. No. 4. pp. 493 - 504.

Patterson, TL 2006, Illustrated 2006 building code handbook. McGraw-Hill Professional, New York.

Smoke control, 13 March 2010, .

Spengler, JD, Samet, JM & McCarthy, JF 2001, Indoor air quality handbook. McGraw-Hill Professional, New York.

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