Debunked: Black Smoke and orange flames as an indicator of an Oxygen Starved Low temp fire

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
A common claim regarding 9/11 was that the fires were not very serious because there was some black smoke and some of the flames looked "dark orange". The claim is that this indicates an oxygen starved fire.

However, this was no basis in reality. Here's an example of a fire in open air, with thick black smoke and dark orange flames creating temperatures of nearly 2000F. It's from the National Geographic Channel's show in 2011, "9/11 Science and Conspiracy"

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jrUsKiu2CU&feature=youtu.be&start=1576



The "black smoke = cool" myth is just based on wood-burning stoves. The buildings contained a large amount of plastics, which burns with black smoke at all temperatures. And they had a ready supply of oxygen though the impact hole, and many broken windows.

This fire of plastic containers in an open field is clearly not lacking oxygen.


And while certainly not white, the fires on 9/11 were nowhere near even the open air black seen above:



In fact the WTC smoke is not significantly different in color from an open-air forest fire:


And nor are the flames a particularly dark color


Again, obviously not oxygen starved.

.........................
See Also:
http://www.911myths.com/html/black_smoke.html
 
Last edited:

Ron J

Active Member
"A common claim regarding 9/11 was that the fires were not very serious because there was some black smoke and some of the flames looked "dark orange". The claim is that this indicates an oxygen starved fire."

All one has to do is look at the flames pouring out Tower windows from floor to ceiling and beyond, to understand the fire was not oxygen starved and that it was HOT.

"The buildings contained a large amount of plastics, which burns with black smoke at all temperatures."

An inconvenient fact. Just like with the "small office fires" meme on WTC7, the critics attempt any way they can to belittle the fires, in order to promote controlled demolition as the only possible means by which the buildings collapsed.

"And while certainly not white, the fires on 9/11 were nowhere near even the open air black seen above:"

I think the coloration of the smoke depends on the photograph, as opposed to being an absolute difference between the two. I have seen video or photos of the South Tower, which show what looks like extremely black smoke, rising up along the east windows, as black as the smoke in the burning plastics photo. The smoke from the Towers flattened out above the buildings, as opposed to billowing high into the sky, as in the plastics photo, which makes a direct comparison difficult.
 

Ammon Wade

New Member
Thanks for the post about smoke. I am new to the forum but had to sign up to comment on this. Taking smoke as a "black smoke" or "white smoke" thing is not how to determine how hot or how much oxygen is was consuming. The color of the smoke simply determines the content of the smoke, how much tar, ash (non-combustible minerals), fluids (oils), aerosols, etc that the smoke contains. The hotter the fire the less smoke it will emit since those elements will burn off.

So I thoroughly agree, color of smoke is a poor indicator of fire temperature. Although it is part of the 'ol "volume, velocity, density, and color" equation ... this is not really meant to determine temperature.

I would also add though, in a box structure like the WTC, this black smoke was certainly not much over 1000F because the enclosure would trap the gases and burn it off in a flashback once the temperature of about 1000F was attained (depending on the exact composition of the smoke).

Also, it is most curious to me how 15% of a building can drop on the lower 85% of a building and despite all regard for Newtons Third Law it can crush everything without disintegrating that 15% first ...

Ref.
1. Fire Protection Handbook, 19th Edition, Volume I, Section 3, National Fire Protection Association, Quincy, MA, 2003
2. Industrial fire protection engineering, Robert G. Zalosh, copyright 2003
3. Hoopa High School Physics Class, Teacher - Donald Winter
 

jaydeehess

Senior Member.
I would also add though, in a box structure like the WTC, this black smoke was certainly not much over 1000F because the enclosure would trap the gases and burn it off in a flashback once the temperature of about 1000F was attained (depending on the exact composition of the smoke).
Well in some compartments perhaps. This was not a typical office fire though, in that any interior walled compartments were likely opened up by the aircraft debris, and due to none of those walls(aside from perimeter) being load bearing, by the fuel explosion at impact. Huge swaths of windows were also broken. Gasses would be trapped along the ceiling, above window level, before flashover at which time their heat would come into contact with the floor trusses and truss seating arrangements.

Also, it is most curious to me how 15% of a building can drop on the lower 85% of a building and despite all regard for Newtons Third Law it can crush everything without disintegrating that 15% first ...
Off topic in this thread. Dealt with elsewhere. However the error you make here is quite common wrt the towers. The mass of the structure has little to do with keeping it erect.
 
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