Researchers climb inside of the fire to tweak the flame
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): B. Fellman
Publication Year: 1987

Cataloging Information

  • air quality
  • chemical compounds
  • combustion
  • education
  • energy
  • fire control
  • fire suppression
  • flame length
  • gases
  • heat effects
  • hydrocarbons
  • ignition
  • light
  • pollution
  • public information
  • soot
  • temperature
  • water
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 35029
Tall Timbers Record Number: 9320
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File DDW
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


'...'The development of beautiful diagnostic methods enables us to slice through and unpeel a flame,' says Howard B. Palmer, professor of energy science at Penn State University and president of the Combustion Institute, the largest professional organization in this field. Many in the business like to talk about 'tweaking the flame': playing molecular traffic cop to make the hundreds of chemical reactions that take place in as little as a millionth of a second work more to our liking. While such Promethean powers are not yet available, the emerging knowledge about what makes a fire tick, so to speak, has already suggested solutions for problems ranging from a diesel's bad breath to figuring out the optimal size for water droplets in an automatic sprinkler system...'

Fellman, B. 1987. Researchers climb inside of the fire to tweak the flame. Smithsonian, v. 18, no. 7, p. 71-78.