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Spontaneous Combustion


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Ok, so everybody has obviously heard of spontaneous Combustion but doesn't know what it really is, atleast I didn't before this. For spontaneous combustion to work there has to be a Pyrophoric substance. A Pyrophoric substance is something that reacts to strong oxidizers such as oxygen or water. Anyway the Pyrophoric substances have very low ignition points which are ignited by contained heat in the pile or where ever it is. Examples of a Pyrophoric substance are sodium, haypiles or compost. The biggest cause of the creation of heat for the ignition of the substance is from bacterial decomposition, where the bacteria break down something and by doing so release heat that is trapped and therefore builds up the heat in say the pile of compost which eventually ignites the pile of compost also know as spontaneous combustion. For a really big bang the most volitile Pyrophoric substance are Rieke metals which actually explode when contacted by Air.:tyrannosaurus: and dinosaurs are cool hence the t-rex

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In my previous career as a microelectronic engineer, we regularly worked with a gas known as silane (SiH4), a pyrophoric gas, which means it ignites spontaneously in air. Even better, for safety reasons they kept it outside the building in a bunker, which I had a great view of from my office window. :livid: It's fun to look at some of the safety precautions used when dealing with pyrophoric gases... double contained lines, shut-off valves, etc.

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