Johnston, Francis J. Department of Chemistry, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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A rapid but persistent chemical reaction accompanied by the emission of light and heat. The reaction is self-sustaining, unless extinguished, to the extent that it continues until the fuel concentration falls below a minimum value. Most commonly, it results from a rapid exothermic combination with oxygen by some combustible material. Flame and heat also may result from a reaction involving an agent other than oxygen. Thus, certain reactive metals such as zinc will burn in an atmosphere of chlorine.
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