Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » OT: OILY DOGFOOD SYNDROME

    Filed at 9:49 am under by dcobranchi

    Here’s one you don’t see everyday. A fire in an animal rescue organization’s facility was apparently caused by the spontaneous combustion of dog food. It’s basically the same phenomenon as the old linseed oil-soaked rag fires.

    Here’s the process in case anyone is interested: A slow oxidation causes a minute amount of heat to be generated. If the pile is big and dense enough, the heat cannot escape so the temperature goes up slightly. Chemical reaction rates increase exponentially with temperature so the oxidation rate goes up, generating more heat. A vicious cycle ensues until the temperature exceeds the auto-ignition temperature (AIT) of the linseed oil.

    And, yes, I am a chem-geek.

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