Lighting a Match

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by fresham
Last updated 5 years ago


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Lighting a Match

Lighting A Match

The Match



The head of the match contains Phosphorus, potassium chlorate, and Antimony(III) sulfide. It also contains ammonium phosphorus to prevent the "afterglow" of matches. Animal glue is used to stick these elements together, red dye has also be used at the head to give you the red tip. But in the base as we call it the "wooden stick part" has a smaller amount of phosphurous, sulfur, rosin, and a small paraffin wax to sustain combustion and to ease the burning.

Phosphorus is strong enough to break down potassium chlorate, and in the process, it also releases oxygen. This oxygen combines with sulfur, allowing the flame to thrive long enough for us to light a candle or barbecue.


Phosphorus, Patassium Chlorate & Sulphur

Matches are a significant because we have been using them ever since 1805 and still continuing to always be in need of their usage. For example when electricity fails on us and a blackout occurs we always run towards the matches that provides us with warmth and light.

How Matches WorkThe combustion of matches varies depending on type, but safetymatches are more commonly used. They contain a strong oxidising agent in the head of the match and red phosphorus in the striking surface. Striking the match causes small amounts of the oxidiser and phosphorus to combine and the heat generated by the friction of the striking causing it to ignite.

Chemical Equation:16KCl3 + 3P4S3 --> 16KCl +9SO2



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