Whenever we think about the color “red,” we instantly think of it as referring to something very hot or deadly. On the other hand, “blue” represents cooler colors.
So, does it apply in case of fires as well?
Or is blue fire hotter than red fire?
As shocking as it may sound, blue fire is indeed hotter than red fire. The color blue indicates hotter temperatures in fires, while red indicates cooler temperatures.
Since more energy is contained within the photons for blue light, blue flames appear hotter and more dangerous than red fires.
If you’re interested in finding out more about blue and red fires, stay with us till the end.
What Is It That Makes Flames of Different Colors?
Flames of fire come in a bunch of different colors.
But why do these flames appear in so many different colors?
The flame’s heat and the fuel source being burned are responsible for the different colors in a flame.
The heat of the flame can influence the electrons and lead to changes in the color of the fire. A hotter flame stimulates the electrons to reach higher potential energy states.
This results in the emission of photons containing high energy.
Again, the color of the flame also depends on the fuel sources undergoing ignition.
Orange is the most common color in fire flames arising from the ignition of carbon-containing fuels.
Usually, it is derived from burning wood, charcoal, coal, oil, natural gas, or even paper products.
This results in the liberation of plenty of minuscule carbon particles producing orange flames.
However, in some cases, there are some organic materials that do not undergo complete burning.
The unburnt residues of the carbon-containing fuel substances create an orange-yellow or even a yellow color in the fire flames.
As the burning progresses, at one point, no carbon compound is left to burn, and it barely produces light.
A blue fire occurs when all the carbon particles have been burned, and there is no emitted light.
Copper or barium sources can produce a green flame, while magnesium sources can make the flames look white.
Strontium chloride or nitrates can produce a blazing red flame, and potassium sulfate combined with nitrate can turn the flames into violet.
The addition of lithium chloride can produce a pink flame. Combining metal salts with fuels can also lead to violet light and purple flame formation.
A candle flame shows a blue color at the base with an orange or yellow flame above.
The difference in the colors of a candle flame occurs due to the reaction of the wax molecules.
What Colors Can Be Found in Fires?
Fires originate because of a chemical reaction between fuel sources and oxygen called a combustion reaction. You can find different colors of the black body radiation spectrum in the flames of a fire.
Here are the colors that can be found in fires, starting from the cooler temperatures to the hotter ones-
- Infra-red (IR)
- White/ White-Blue
- Ultra-violet (UV)
As the colors progress from red to blue in the visible spectrum, the temperature increases, and the fire flames tend to get hotter.
The violet flame appears the hottest, and blue glow more than yellow or orange.
Why Is Blue Flame Hotter?
So, why is blue flame hotter?
As you move from left to right in the color spectrum, there is a rise in the wavelengths and a decrease in the frequencies for a given flame’s region.
In the VIBGYOR color spectrum, violet, indigo, and blue colors come first, which is why its frequency is very high and wavelength is quite low.
With the rise in frequency, there is higher energy found in the photons of blue flames.
This is mainly why the blue flames appear hotter.
Besides, blue fires contain higher oxygen content, so they tend to be on the hotter side.
Since gases burn hotter than organic materials, blue flame tends to be on the higher temperature side as well.
In the color spectrum, the closer a colored section is to white, the hotter that section of the flame is.
Mainly blue flames are closer to white, which is why blue flame tends to be hotter.
How Hot Is Blue Flame?
Blue fires are hotter than almost all other fires in the color spectrum apart from indigo, white, and violet.
The hotter blue fire has a very high temperature of 1400-1650 degrees Celsius, which is a lot higher than the red, orange-yellow range.
On the other hand, red fires’ temperature cannot exceed 800 degrees Celsius.
So, it is relatively cooler in comparison to blue fires.
What Is Hotter Than Blue Flame?
Although blue fires are hotter than red fires, they do not produce the hottest flames.
Indigo and white fires tend to be hotter than blue fires, but violet is the hottest of them all.
Violet fire burns at temperatures more than 1650 degrees Celsius.
This temperature is equivalent to almost 3000 degrees Fahrenheit on the Fahrenheit scale.
A temperature this high is capable of burning through any kind of material. You will often find violet lights in the fires for welding operations.
Violet fires are used to melt very strong and tough materials, including titanium and hard porcelain.
You can also get purple fire by adding blue from alcohol flames with red from strontium chloride.
Metal salts that release green, blue, purple range lights upon heating can produce purple flames when combined with fuels.
Again, when all flame colors combine, you can achieve a blue-white fire or pure white flame – which is even stronger than blue flames.
How Hot Is Red Fire?
Red fires burn below 800 degrees Celsius usually, which is why they are known as the coolest of all fires in the color spectrum.
Despite being one of the cooler fires, red light fires easily burn through glass, zinc, and many materials.
How Hot Is Orange Fire?
Orange fires are quite hotter compared to red flames and can burn at temperatures of 1100 degrees Celsius.
You can easily melt different metals like copper and gold with orange fire. Orange fires are produced as a result of the combustion of carbon-containing substances.
How Hot Is Yellow Fire?
A yellow fire burns at a temperature of 1200 degrees Celsius, which is not very hot compared to an orange one.
The small temperature change facilitates the smooth burning of the metals and can be controlled to a maximum extent.
How Hot Is Green Fire?
Green flames indicate the presence of copper in them. Unlike other colors, you cannot get an idea about the temperature range of green fires, which is why experts believe in avoiding this fire as much as possible.
If absolutely necessary, it is recommended to take necessary precautions around this fire since the temperature may be very high and can be potentially dangerous.
How Hot Is Indigo Fire?
Indigo fires can burn at 1650 degrees Celsius and are considered hotter than blue fires. The difference between blue and indigo fires is that you can take charge of the heat output from indigo fires compared to blue fires. This is why many people prefer working with indigo fires to blue ones.
So, is blue fire hotter than red fire? It can be said that blue fires are one of the hottest fires, while red fires fall on the cooler side. The energy stored within the photons, as well as the frequency in the color spectrum, makes this variation possible.
Despite being opposite in terms of temperatures, both blue and red fires can be used to burn through a wide range of metals and different substances.