Science

What is hotter lava or fire?


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While lava can be as hot as 2200 F, some flames can be much hotter, such as 3600 F or more, while a candle flame can be as low as 1800 F. Lava is hotter than a typical wood or coal-buring fire, but some flames, such as that of an acetylene torch, is hotter than lava.

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When fire is burning a candle, the wick can be as hot as 1400 °C. By comparison, close to Earth’s core, the mantle’s temperature can be as high as 4000 °C. Yet near the surface, as the magma spills out onto Earth’s surface as lava the temperature is closer to 1200 °C.

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It depends on the fire and the lava. A candle only burns at 1000 degrees Celsius (1800 Fahrenheit), while the chemical oxy-dicyanoacetylene burns at 4990 degrees Celsius (9000 degrees Fahrenheit). Red lava is colder than candle flames. Hawaiian bright orange lava is hotter.

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