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O2 is flammable - true or false?

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  • O2 is flammable - true or false?

    I'm reading through a welding book last night and the author states that pure oxygen is flammable.

    What say you?

  • #2
    O2 by itself no, but combustion without it is not possible. The more O2 the more violent the fire..Oxy/acetylene cutting is a good illustration of this.


    • #3

      Okay, I will bite. Oxygen is not flammable. It is an oxidizer and not a fuel. It is highly reactive and supports combustion. There are a large number of oxides that form when a wide variety of materials, elements react with it. Iron easily burns in the presence of pure oxygen so iron is a fuel and it is flammable in the presence of oxygen.



      • #4
        You you should state the authors name so others can avoid wasting money on the book his initials wouldn't be R.F. would they.
        Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
        I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
        All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only


        • #5
          No pure element is flammable by itself. It requires at least two elements to make a chemical compound via an exothermic reaction.
          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


          • #6
            I'd say it's time to get a new book.

            Are you still reading that same book?
            Not trying to be be negative, but did the answers not sit right with you the last time you asked this question?

            Like I said, I'm not here to jump on anybody, just wondered what I'm missing.
            Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
            Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

            Location: British Columbia


            • #7
              I say it is flammable.

              O2, the presence of which supports combustion. The fact that it is considered an oxidizer rather than a fuel in a chemical reaction is semantics.

              A leaking O2 cylinder can turn a lit cigarette into a conflagration. Just as much as a leaking acetylene cylinder.

              It is flammable in the sense it is not non-flammable, as could describe asbestos. But O2 can be described as flammable, reactive, explosive, corrosive, etc.

              Appearance is Everything...


              • #8
                Thanks Willy!!!

                I thought I might have posted that here before but I didn't look long enough to find it. Geez, that was over 5 years ago. At least I'm consistent.

                Yep, I read parts of that book before but never finished it so I began again.

                That still burns my butt that he put that in his book.

                He wrote some more stuff in there that I question too but so far that's the one that bugs me the most.
                Last edited by pgmrdan; 10-12-2011, 06:08 PM.


                • #9
                  It's not flammable but in concentrations higher than what you find naturally it can turn stuff that would not normally burn into flammable material. An oxy-acetylene torch is one example - the jet of pure oxygen when pressing the lever causes the iron or steel to ignite.
                  Peter - novice home machinist, modern motorcycle enthusiast.

                  Denford Viceroy 280 Synchro (11 x 24)
                  Herbert 0V adapted to R8 by 'Sir John'.
                  Monarch 10EE 1942


                  • #10
                    There are many reactions where a material combines with a gas other than oxygen to produce heat to the extent that the gaseous and particulate products glow. Whether you call this burning, and whether you say that X is flammable in Y, is up to you.

                    Either way, it's the material that's flammable in the gas. The gas is not the flammable substance. The gas supports combustion.

                    If you create conditions so artificial that you ignite a jet of oxygen in an atmosphere of methane, say, then bully for you, and maybe then the oxygen is burning.

                    Under normal conditions, oxygen is not flammable.
                    Richard - SW London, UK, EU.


                    • #11
                      Burning is oxidation so what does oxygen oxidise to?

                      I have tools I don't know how to use!!


                      • #12
                        You guys got it all wrong. It toke phlogiston to keep a fire going. Spark plugs are phlogiston injectors etc. Then there is captive phligiston like in the bvatteries of flashlights. It's all very scienfific

                        Buncha morons. Have to explain everything to them.


                        • #13
                          Some of the answers to questions like this are what almost convince me to stop reading bulletin boards. The folks that insist on re-defining a word to suit their biases or erroneous ideas. If everyone was free to change the meaning of a word just imagine how much information would ever get transferred. About ZERO. :-(


                          • #14
                            Flammability is a measure of how easliy a product can be ignited to start burning. Burning is a process of oxidation. Oxygen cannot be oxidized, therefore is not flammable. Most everything else is flammable in the presence of pure oxygen, even diamond.


                            • #15
                              O2 + Heat --->O2

                              Not flammable. Oxygen supports combustion but by itself it is not combustible. However real world is that everything around us is fairly combustible and if you add oxygen it is only going to make it more so.