Review of Literature
Fire has been around for many years. As the years passed, we have thought of and invented many things that create and maintain fires for hours and hours. We take having fire instantly for granted. But what if we didn’t have a gas stove or gas grill anymore? We would have to use wood. People have been using wood for years, but do you know which kind of wood to use so that your fire burns for the longest amount of time possible or for the shortest amount of time?
Fire is chemical reaction between oxygen and a type of fuel. To make a fire you must heat the fuel to its ignition temperature. Things that can light wood are matches, focused light, friction, etc… These things heat the wood to its ignition temperature, but different types of wood can have an unsimilar ignition temperatures (Harris, n.d.). Each type of wood used in this experiment will have a varying ignition temperature because they are different types of wood. When the fire is burning the wood, “the fact that the chemical reactions in a fire generate a lot of new heat energy is what sustains the fire” (Harris, n.d.). When the fire has no more fuel (wood) to create the chemical reaction with, then there will be no more heat energy to produce a fire.
Hardwood and softwood trees make trees different because trees get these names by the way they reproduce or release seeds. Hardwoods trees are angiosperms, which are plants that make seed with some sort of covering for the seeds (What is the difference between a hardwood and a softwood?, 2001). Some examples are the fruit trees that have seeds inside or an acorn that has a shell over the nut. Softwoods are gymnosperm, which are plants that let the seeds fall to the ground with no covering (What is the difference between a hardwood and a softwood?, 2001). Similar to the white pine tree, the seeds fall to the ground but fly around, therefore spreading around in a wider area. Softwood trees usually don’t lose their leaves when the winter comes, unlike the hardwood trees, which lose all of their leaves in the winter time and have to grow them back in the spring (Zink-Sharp, 2010). Since hardwoods grow slower most of the time they are burned wetter than softwoods. In general hardwoods produce longer fires, is denser, dries slower, contains more heat per volume but less heat per unit than softwoods (Houck and Eagle, 2007).
Like hardwood and softwoods the moisture content of the wood affects how fast or slow the wood will ignite, or if it will ignite at all. Moisture content is the water that is contained inside the piece of wood, but is not part of the wood molecules. This is called “free water”. The moisture content of the wood is determined by weighing the wood, drying it out completely and weighing it again. Moisture content is very important in burning wood because if the moisture is too high it makes the wood very hard to start and sustain the fire. If the wood is too dry it can burn at a very fast rate and burn...