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Overview         (For age - group : 11 - 16 )

Animated K8 + science " Chemistry of wood " . Wood's chemistry is tightly interlinked to its biology, with a common meeting point at cellulose, the biological unit of wood. The study of cellulose is the study of wood and the chemical process that take place due to its dissociation in presence of heat are what we call as burning. This chemistry animation gives in-depth information about how wood burning works.

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Time (hr:min:sec) 0:5:30
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Category : Science
Type : Animation
Total animation length: 5 minutes:30 sec

The animation covers:
Cellulose structure in wood
Chemical bonding in wood
Chemistry in wood burning
Burning on the basis of bond
How CO2 formation helps in burning
Why wood burns but diamond does not (even though both are made up of carbon)?


Chemistry of wood

Going inside wood to wood-cell-and all the way upto cellulose
Chemistry of wood
Going inside wood to wood-cell-and all the way upto cellulose
Burning of wood is nothing but a chemical process
Disintegration of cellulose in presence of heat
Burning of wood is nothing but a chemical process
Disintegration of cellulose in presence of heat
Liberation of carbon and oxygen on burning of wood
Liberation of carbon and oxygen on burning of wood
Details of the animation/ movie /software

The walls of all the plant cells are made up of cellulose. It is very tough substance, made up from long molecules, which are laid down in a crisscross pattern, giving strength and rigidity to the cell. Cellulose is natural polymer (C6H10O5) n. cellulose is a polysaccharide with glucose as its monomer. Glucose molecule is result of chemical bonding of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen

When wood burns, it releases energy in the form of heat and light. As we know wood is a chemical composition of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Hence when we supply heat to wood the bond between glucose molecules breaks and carbon oxygen and hydrogen become free. In the presence of oxygen, carbon produces carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.
In this reaction carbon is element that reacts with oxygen in air and produces heat and light, however in our daily life we use many carbon-containing materials but not all are burning materials such as diamond.
In diamond covalent bonds in diamond are too strong in comparison to wood therefore diamond does not burn.

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Q & A
Q1: how to define the chemical Trasforma serhane 17/9/2011
Q2: Exactly what is burning, molecules react to cause fire or burning? Kirk scott 18/10/2009
Q3: what is combustion? sid 17/8/2009
Q4: WHAT RESTRICATION ENZYME ghorbat 6/12/2008
Q5: If a tree is struck by lighting does it molecules change to make it not burn in woodstove/fireplace? Kimberly 23/9/2008
Q6: why does wood spit when burning sometimes? elliot 13/8/2007
Ans: Trees carry sap through their xylem cells like vessels and tracheids, once they are cut they need to be dried or seasoned by stacking for minimum nine months or oven dried to dry out the moisture from these cells , unseasoned wood contains sap that spits out sparks as it burns. Most evergreens are difficult to dry and retain sap while hardwoods burn well. Logs seasoned for a year still have moisture as they absorb it from the environment, a 22% moisture content is taken as dried.
Q7: Im am being told that for each 1 ton of firewood, burning will release 3.66 tons of CO2. My understanding is that you cannot get more weight of something than was origionally, infact byproducts such as the ashes must be deducted as well. Bill 10/3/2007
Ans: Firewood contains about 44-50% carbon by weight, 1 kg of firewood burns to produce 1.88 kg of CO2, so one ton will produce 1.88 ton of CO2, please note the weight is higher due to atmospheric O2 combining with C (it adds 32 kgms oxygen to 12 kgms of carbon). Ash content varies from 0.5-2% by weight of wood so it does not take away much carbon.
Q8: what is nitroselolose? hoshang 25/11/2006
Ans: Nitrocellulose (cellulose nitrate, flash paper, guncotton) is a highly flammable smokeless substance. Formed by HNO3 and H2SO4 reaction with cotton converting cellulose into cellulose nitrate and water. H2SO4 prevents dilution of HNO3 by water produced. 2HNO3+ C6H10O5 → C6H8(NO2)2O5 + 2H2O. All the hydroxyl groups of the cellulose molecule are esterified insoluble compound is formed. Incomplete nitrification produces soluble cellulose nitrate pyroxylin. Uses: inks and coatings, leather finishes.
Q9: what are the names of wood cells called? emily 14/3/2006
Ans: "Wood" classification is a study by itself, but generally wood cells are commonly separated into sapwood (the living outer portion of the tree-live cells) and heartwood (dead inner portion of the tree- containing dead cells)- does this answer your question?
Q10: I dont know how a diagram of burning looks like, i need a diagram of a procces of burning Tom 28/2/2006
Ans: We are putting one in our downloads section since it is part of an animation, we are unable to explain it fully in a single slide but you may get an idea. You can view, download, distribute or use it on any site as long it is for non-commercial purpose and our site address remains on it.

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