MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: Does the material in candles affect how long it burns?

Area: Chemistry
Posted By: Artem Evdokimov, Grad student, Structural Biology (Chemistry)
Date: Mon Apr 28 16:18:20 1997
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 858303245.Ch

Dear user,

In short, yes. The precise relationship between the time of burning and the material from which the candle is made is hard to define (although I am sure that some German person circa 18-th century has made a detailed study of the subject). The length of burning would depend very strongly on the degree upon which the candle material conducts heat. The larger the heat conductivity, the faster the candle would melt down to the end. Another factor is heat dissipation, the bigger it is, the longer the candle would last. Among others I can off-handedly propose heat production per mass unit of material, melting tepmerature, and the lower flame zone temperature. I suggest M. Faraday's "History of the candle" for further reading on the subject.

Hope it helps.


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