Talk:Autoignition temperature

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Flash point of paper[edit]

Paper flash point is not 451 F, and not 481 F. Auto ignite means starts on fire instantly - you can test paper in your oven and when it reaches 481 F, it should be already on fire - it did not burn. Paper is most likely closer to pine auto-ignition. 71.197.77.252 (talk) 05:23, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

The fact that the autoignition point of paper popularized from Fahrenheit 451 is incorrect. The actual autoignition temperature is 450 degrees Celsius, about 842 degrees Fahrenheit. This data from Handbook of Physical Testing of Paper, By Jens Borch, Richard E. Mark, M. Bruce Lyne. http://books.google.com/books?id=qa-I8QAOUL8C&pg=PA406&lpg=PA406&dq=flash+point+of+paper&source=web&ots=FjB5FslcKK&sig=Vlr2cc8M2-TWy3qkdwzGUeK-vnM&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=10&ct=result#PPA406,M1 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aboutblank (talkcontribs) 14:56, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

^^^ maybe we should get rid of the fictional value and also clean up the references to remove redundancy —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.211.22.82 (talk) 16:28, 23 December 2008 (UTC)


Actually, 451 degrees F is much more nearly correct. Your "Handbook" quotes a 1958 Japanese "manual for dangerous article treating" that was probably mistranslated by the author. I found a forensics source and one recent physics research paper to back up the correction:

http://www.tcforensic.com.au/docs/article10.html Paper ignites 218°-246° (that would be 424-474°F)

http://nautilus.fis.uc.pt/personal/mfiolhais/artigosdid/did18.pdf A small thin piece of paper burns3 at T ≈ 233 ◦C ≈ 506 K (there are many other places you can find this paper "Physics of the fire piston and the fog bottle" but this server in Portugal has full text available for free)

The Handy Science Answer Book page 5 gives 450 degrees F, 230 degrees C

I also found another book, "Forensics The Easy Way" that supports your wrong number... but it also quotes wood at near the actual ignition point of paper, which just doesn't make any logical sense, why would paper ignite at twice the temperature of wood, when it is made of wood pulp? The Australian Fire Investigators data is much more consistent. Chadnibal (talk) 04:33, 25 February 2009 (UTC)


The Australian Fire Investigators does not claim this value to be the autoignition temperature, only that "Paper ignites" - its not clear under what conditions this is stated. A far more definitive source is the Handbook of Physical and Mechanical Testing of Paper and Paperboard (Richard E. Mark) which gives the 450C number. Certainly the bulk of the information in print, I suspect we can agree, states the 450C figure. I have editted the article and added the new reference. - Andrew


I can't answer to the "bulk of the information in print," but I've been looking around the web and the ONLY reference I have found to the 450C number is in the Handbook of Physical and Mechanical Testing of Paper and Paperboard, which I agree would qualify as an authoritative source by its very name, but that fact doesn't save it from possibly containing errors. I saw forensics sites, firework sites, a site on chemical spills, and other various technical sites that all listed the 450F number. I saw a couple of references to 450C, but each one of these refers specifically to Richard E. Mark's Handbook.

I know this point is original research and therefore invalid for use on the Wikipedia page itself, but as a cook, I can't swallow the idea that the ignition point of paper is 450C, considering what it looks like when it's been in the oven at temperatures nowhere near that high (but close to 450F).

Here are some sources that quote the 450F number (at least one specifies that it means the spontaneous ignition point): http://www.tcforensic.com.au/docs/article10.html http://www.unesco.org/webworld/ramp/html/r9214e/r9214e04.htm http://www.fireworksafety.com/ignite.html http://www.amazing1.com/fire.htm http://www.mda.state.mn.us/en/chemicals/spills/ammoniaspills/properties.aspx http://www.physlink.com/Education/askexperts/ae531.cfm

I would like to make this change in the article. But I will wait for a while to see if anyone disagrees. BLT (talk) 20:34, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

I made the change - forgot to sign in so my changes are not signed. BLT (talk) 22:00, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Shouldn't the apparently incorrect information have been removed. It looks like Bradbury was pretty accurate in the novel title after all. My original research contribution (No! I am not going to quote it!) is that my oven goes nowhere near 450°C and frequently burns pizza boxes :-}. By the way this wrong data also made its way to the entry for Fahrenheit 451. 189.122.129.88 (talk) 02:16, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

Auto-ignite, means burns right now (one source in the article, uses 2 minutes as right now), not in 10 minutes after browning, or 2 hours after you left the pizza box next to the electric coil which goes past 1000F. Auto-ignite, need some standard, is it 2 minutes, or what. Put paper in oven at 451F, it takes 10 minutes to brown up, that is not auto-ignition. This is science, not cut and paste from sources. In fact, was it a standard day, etc. etc. etc. After 15 minutes at 451 my paper was browning up like my french fries, not auto-ignition burnt, on fire. Maybe paper will ignite at 451F after 20 minutes, that is not auto-ignition. Is Flash = auto-ignition? I thought it meant burn up now, at 451F, and paper does not, my paper was 490F and it was not burning, in air, 1200 feet. Go ahead, take paper and raise it to 451F, I did it, I have the paper not burned after 15 minutes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.20.19.100 (talk) 17:24, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Holy cow, anal much guys? How many people would even know about the flash point/fire point/autoignition point of paper had it not been for Bradbury's book? Completely eliding any reference at all to it is pretty much making the point the book was trying to hint at: people tend to destroy truths they can't handle. Anyone claiming a higher autoignition point of paper is more than welcome to try to heat paper to that point and actually still HAVE paper and not charcoal: there's the rub, if the paper changes form to charcoal, the experiment is NOT validly testing the autoignition point of paper at that point. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 208.54.32.138 (talk) 17:09, 17 August 2013 (UTC)


(please disregard last. i was on the wrong page comment deleted by author)

While in the Navy on a submarine we were taught 450F was the ignition point of paper. The manual is the NSTM 555 (you can google it, first result is a .pdf). It's basically the navy's how-to for firefighting and gives the ignition points (I don't remember exactly where) of several common materials on ships. Paper is one, and they might have a source cited in the manual. I don't have an account, so take it for what it is. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.189.137.9 (talk) 06:45, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Butane[edit]

how come butane and N-Butane get very seperate entries, they are the same chemical. I fixed it, feel free to replace. Ozone 07:43, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Magnesium[edit]

I think the autoignition temperature is to low for magnesium. I think it's around 650 degrees Celsius. --KrDa (talk) 19:49, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Please, find an appropriate reference and fix it. The current value (473°C) was added 23 December 2005 and is supported by inchem.org (a very good reference). The value in the Magnesium article (630 °C (903 K; 1,166 °F) in air[1]) was change 12 December 2009. Related talk Unfortunately, I can not verify the value because that reference is behind a paywall. ----
  1. ^ Ravi Kumar; N. V. (2003). "Effect of alloying elements on the ignition resistance of magnesium alloys". Scripta Materialia 49 (3): 225–230. doi:10.1016/S1359-6462(03)00263-X. 

Extreme Outlier?[edit]

From http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/explainer/2012/06/ray_bradbury_death_does_paper_really_burn_at_451_degrees_fahrenheit_.html

"Several Internet contrarians claim that [Ray] Bradbury confused Celsius and Fahrenheit, putting his estimate off by 391 Fahrenheit degrees. They cite as evidence the Handbook of Physical Testing of Paper, which lists paper’s ignition temperature as 450 degrees Celsius. (Wikipedia cites the same source.) It’s not entirely clear how this number was arrived at, but it is an extreme outlier. The author appears to have used paper made with rayon or cotton, which could have a different auto-ignition temperature from pure wood pulp paper, but 450 degrees Celsius still sounds wrong. It’s also possible that the experimenters didn’t wait long enough or that they (and not Bradbury) switched Celsius and Fahrenheit."

-Guy Macon (talk) 07:18, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Carbon disulfide[edit]

In the correspondent page is reported an autoignition temperature of 102 °C, here it's 90 °C. Which is correct? Riccardo Rovinetti (talk) 11:35, 27 June 2014 (UTC)