Testable Question - Burn Times of Different Kinds Of Wood

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by charlierobb
Last updated 4 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Experiments

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Testable Question - Burn Times of Different Kinds Of Wood

Abstract- The man from whom I got my wood is an arborist (a scientist that studies trees).- Pine wood is known to burn the fastest out of all four of my kinds of wood.- Fire in a living room fireplace is usually 1200 to 1500 degrees F.- One reason that I chose this topic is because I love having regular fires in the winter, so I thought it would be cool if I did an experiment on something I already really liked.- There is a misperception that when you burn pine in a fireplace, the pine tar will coat the inside of your chimney and become a fire hazard. But actually, the man from whom I got my wood said that the only time burning pine is a hazard is when you burn it in a wood stove with the stove doors closed, because this reduces the amount of oxygen available. Thus, the pine burns less completely, allowing tar residue to accumulate in the chimney. - My aunt and uncle's house is heated only by a wood stove.- I had to collect kindling in the woods behind my house for my test fires. I tried to get the drier pieces, so my fires would burn more easily.- Our house is one of the only ones in the neighbourhood with a wood burning fireplace.- A lot of people say that having an electric fire is awesome. They say there is no smoke and all you have to do is flip a switch. I disagree. Collecting kindling in the woods is really fun. I also love building the fires and lighting them.- Having fires and playing board games near them is one of my family's favorite pastimes.

My Procedure My experiment was designed to compare the lengths of time that different kinds of wood burn. I went out to a man's house to get my wood. I got four different kinds of wood and four logs of each kind. I had two, two log fires for each kind of wood. I had my test fires in my family's indoor fireplace at home. The fireplace is about 1 yard wide and 2 feet in depth. In order to give each pair of logs an equal chance to burn, I covered the bottom of the fireplace with crumpled up newspaper for every fire. I put twigs and small sticks on top of the paper for kindling. For each fire I tried to put the same amount of paper and kindling so the conditions were identicle. Then I put on the logs. Every time I tried to put the two logs in sort of an X formation. For each fire I lit the paper under the logs in four points. Left, left middle, right middle, and right. I also used a bellows (a tool used to blow air on a fire) about 25-30 times to get the logs caught. I used the same timer for all the fires. I started it when I lit the first bit of paper, and I stopped it when all the flames were out.

Science Testable Question Expierement: Burn Times of Different Kinds of Wood

My Testable QuestionWill different kinds of wood stay lit for different periods of time?

My

My HypothesisMy hypothesis was that if I built all the fires in the same way, then the pine wood would stay lit the longest. The reason I thought this was because I already knew that pine has a lot of air in it, and that means it will burn more easily.

Materials Used- Indoor fireplace- Newspaper- Kindling- I used twigs and small sticks- Four different kinds of wood, four pieces of each kind- A bellows- Matches- A timer- A pencil- A sheet of paper for note taking

ConclusionThe results of my experiment support my hypothesis. Pine burned for by far the longest. Seven out of the eight fires burned for about the same amount of time. But the last fire just kept burning and burning. It burned for about 30 minutes. The next longest burning fire burned for about 13 minutes. One reason that the last fire may have burned for so long is that those two pine logs sat inside and dried out for a few days more than any of the other wood. When wood gets a chance to dry, it loses water, giving the wood more air. Pine wood is known to have a lot of air in it, so it makes since that it stayed lit for the longest. Now I know from experience that pine wood stays lit for a long time.

Limitations- At the beginning of the experiment my testable question was how long different kinds of wood would take to burn to ash. I soon had to change that to my actual current testable question, which is will different kinds of wood stay lit for different lengths of time. The reason I had to change my testable question was because I was having trouble keeping the fires going. There would have been too many variables.- Another limitation was the amount of ash in the fireplace for the various fires. I did not remove the ashes after each test fire, so it accumulated over time. Ash affects the way that a fire burns so that could have been a reason for different burn times.- A last limitation was the amount of kindling that we had. I had to do many kindling walks to collect more sticks. Some of the kindling might have been drier than other kindling, changing the way that the fires burned.

Raw Data

ObservationsI noticed that the pine wood stayed lit the longest by far. Then the next longest were the two different oaks. I noticed that the two oaks stayed lit for almost the same amount of time. Then finally came the red maple. Maybe red maple has a lot less air than the pine wood.

Result Graph


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