Menu

Pyrolysis

Context

In a fire, solids don’t burn and liquids don’t burn, so what is burning? Fire is a result of fuel gasses mixing with oxygen and heat in the correct proportion.  Pyrolysis is a process when heat breaks down solids and liquids into fuel gases. Fuel gases mix with oxygen, and when ignited by heat, result in flaming combustion.

In the video, you are able to observe pyrolysis as it is happening. The lampshade heats up, emits fuel gasses, and then catches on fire.

Find this resource
More like this:
Resource Library

The Science of Thermal Runaway

Engineering Solutions

From hoverboards to cell phones, portable electrical power makes life as we know it possible. But it can come with some dangerous possibilities. Let’s investigate, experiment and search for solutions.

The Science of Extraction to E-Waste

Trade-Offs & the Supply Chain

Safe and sustainable cities will depend on lithium-ion batteries to power our modern lives. But what are the costs?

The Science of Fire Forensics

Claims, Evidence and Reasoning

There’s been a fire. Your job is to figure out where the fire started, and how.

Loading...

We've updated our Fire Forensics pathway based on feedback from teachers like you. Check out the new, improved look now.