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A strangely coloured flame.

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Robin Graham02/09/2021 02:36:09
874 forum posts
261 photos

The council here in the Derbyshire Dales has suspended the weekly collection of food waste for composting because of a shortage of lorry drivers. We are supposed to bag up food waste to go into the landfill (non-recyclable) bin, which is collected fortnightly. It's been a bit of a problem because the kitchen bin doesn't get processed properly, becomes a bit stinky, and flies are attracted. I don't like flies in the kitchen.

My wife suggested that we could burn the food waste. I was enthusiastic, because being still a boy at heart I like burning things just 'to see what will happen'.

To get to the point - having been given a licence to burn I bunged a fat and charcoal encrusted piece of aluminium foil from from the grill pan into the wood burner. It produced a weird lime-green flame. I had a look and found that aluminium foil is 0.05% copper, so obviously I tried burning a ball of clean aluminium foil under the same conditions, but no hint of green.

Any suggestions? Arsenic gives a blue flame which combined with the yellow of the wood flame might give green. That's a bit pessimistic though.


Thor 🇳🇴02/09/2021 06:14:57
1411 forum posts
41 photos

Hi Robin,

This is similar to the "flame tests" we did at school, more info here.


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