The orange flame of the stove does not indicate that the gas has been “mixed” with oxygen to lower costs

The orange flame of the stove does not indicate that the gas has been “mixed” with oxygen to lower costs
The orange flame of the stove does not indicate that the gas has been “mixed” with oxygen to lower costs
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On September 21, 2022, a post was published on Facebook containing two different photos of a hob with the stove on. In the image above the flames are blue, while the photo below shows the same orange flames.

The images are accompanied by a text which reads: «ATTENTION! Pay close attention to the color of the flames from the hobs. If the flame is blue, all the gas is well mixed and the flame temperature is around 1500-1700 degrees celsius. If the flames, on the other hand, are orange / red they are selling you gas mixed with a higher dose of oxygen, with the result of a lower flame temperature around 900-1200 degrees celsius and therefore with a greater consumption of gas to heat them. dishes…. and the counter runs for a longer time, making you increase your consumption costs! ».

This is fake news.

That of gas “mixed” with air to lower production costs is a die-hard urban legend, which has its roots in the old practice, in use in some Italian cities, of using propane air instead of natural gas. , more difficult to distribute in peripheral areas. Propane air is a 50 percent mixture of propane gas (the result of oil refining processes) and air, but its distribution networks have now almost completely disappeared.

The gas used today in most Italian homes is the so-called “natural gas”, a fossil fuel extracted from the subsoil and not subjected to refining processes.

As the Sgr Luce Gas website (a company that distributes electricity and gas, as well as a site specialized in energy sources) explained in 2019 in an attempt to deny the long-lived content of disinformation, “inserting air into gas would be technically complicated and expensive”, from moment that “big compressors” would be needed to feed it into the networks. But the operation would be above all “extremely dangerous”, since a mixture of air and natural gas would become “explosive”.


But then what does the different color of the flames shown in the post depend on? As explained again by Sgr, this phenomenon is due to the process of mixing methane with oxygen that takes place, yes, but inside our hob. Natural gas is in fact composed of 90 percent methane and this is mixed with oxygen through a small tube leading from the burner nozzle, for better combustion. The optimal mixing of the two gases generally produces a blue flame, but it can happen that the flame takes on an orange or yellow color in case of a greater quantity of oxygen.

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As concluded by Sgr, another cause of the different color of the gas could be found in the impurities present in the nozzles of the hob, such as kitchen salt or traces of detergents.

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The article is in Italian

Tags: orange flame stove gas mixed oxygen costs

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