Scientists have discovered a new kind of ‘blue whirl’ flame that could lead to cleaner ways of burning fuel, as well as helping in the clean-up of oil spills.
The refined flame is based on fire whirls, which naturally occur when rising heat and turbulent winds combine to create a thin tornado of flames. When creating fire whirls in the lab, researchers happened upon their blue whirl flame, which has never before been observed.
“A fire tornado has long been seen as this incredibly scary, destructive thing. But, like electricity, can you harness it for good? If we can understand it, then maybe we can control and use it,” said fire protection engineer, Michael Gollner, from the University of Maryland.
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