When wood is heated, the first thing to ignite are the "burnable gasses" released by the heating process (producing flames). Some time later, the combustion of these gasses heat the wood to the point that the carbon eventually burns (seen as embers).
What is this gas which is given off by the wood when it is heated?
- There are two broad stages of combustion, which can be summarized as before and after the carbon in the wood is heated enough to combust directly. I am asking about the combustible compounds consumed during the first stage (before carbon ignites).
- We are all familiar with the end result of a fire: smoke, steam, etc. These contain many chemical elements, such as CO2 and nitrous oxides. I am not talking about these byproducts.
- When making char cloth, a flammable gas is given off. At night, this often appears as a blue (or green) jet of flame extending from the charring container. This (I suspect) is the same or remarkably similar to the gas released by burning wood. What is it?
- Gasifiers can be used to power vehicles or other machinery by heating wood in an environment with limited oxygen. What type of flammable gas is produced by a gasifier?