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Chemical Kinetics and Fire



Gregory T. Linteris, John Griffiths


The purpose of this chapter is to set out the principles of chemical kinetics as they apply to combustion in flames and fires. Chemical equilibrium, which was discussed in a previous chapter, deals with the final preferred state of a given set of reactants after an infinite time has passed. In contrast, chemical kinetics deals with the rate at which the system proceeds to the equilibrium state, i.e., the specific participating chemical reactions and their rates. Chemical equilibrium and chemical kinetics are related in that the thermodynamic, equilibrium state provides the driving force for chemical reaction. The material in this chapter is covered briefly; more detailed descriptions can be found in chemistry [1] and combustion [2-4] text books, from which much of the material was drawn.
SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering, Fifth Edition
Publisher Info
National Fire Protection Association, Quincy, MA


Fire Chemistry, soot formation, heat release rate, fire suppression, flame extinction, ignition, combustion, fire


Linteris, G. and Griffiths, J. (2015), Chemical Kinetics and Fire, SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering, Fifth Edition, National Fire Protection Association, Quincy, MA (Accessed April 14, 2024)
Created October 7, 2015, Updated February 19, 2017