You may not realize at first glance, but there are multiple ways in which a fire can burn. The difference depends on a variety of factors such as the material that’s being burned, the presence of a catalyst or even the flow of air.
Depending on the type of conditions it is exposed to, a fire also has multiple levels of efficiency, which is calculated by figuring our how much fuel the fire consumes and at which rate.
Up until now, it was believed that fire only had a specific few styles of burning, but now researchers from the University of Maryland has found a whole new kind of fire.
What we are referring to is called a Blue Whirl Flame, and it gets it’s name due to it’s resemblance with the Fire Whirls that occur in nature on their own.
These fire whirls are known to be caused when rising heat and turbulent winds are combined. This combination results in the creation of tornadoes of flames which can vary in size depending on the level of the fire.
It is important to note that the winds form a rotating column of air around the flame, which is what gives it the unique shape that’s attributed with it’s name.
When, the researchers tried to recreate this sort of flame in laboratory conditions (for research purposes), it was discovered that the flames took up a unique blue color which is not found in natural fire whirls.
Not only that, but the Blue Whirls were also a lot more stable and efficient when it came to burning fuel, when compared to the fire whirls that are created on their own.
Seeing these properties of this flame, the researchers now believe that this type of fire could be a good solution for combating oil spills, as it will be able to burn the oil up much more quickly and efficiently.
With this thought in mind, the researchers are now focusing on finding ways of recreating this fire on a larger scale in open environments.
If successful, we will possibly get our first viable solution for dealing with oil spills and the damage they can cause.