Bunsen burner, what is it and where to buy it?

November 2, 2021

There are many models of lighters that we can find two clear examples are the alcohol burner and in this case the Bunsen burner . This time we will focus mainly on the Bunsen burner.

History of Bunsen burners

The history of the Bunsen burner begins in 1852 when the University of Heidelberg made the decision to hire Bunsen . With this contract, the university assigned him a new laboratory building, in which he began to install public lighting by means of gas lamps, something that did not go unnoticed by the people of the university.

After some time in 1854 the university laboratory, which was still under construction, received some suggestions from Bunsen. Being in this same year when he asked Peter Desaga to create the model of the lighter.

The creation of Desaga by Bunsen guidelines was better than they thought, even surpassing the previous burners. It managed to reduce the illumination of the flame while increasing the intensity of the heat . Furthermore, this considerably reduced the amount of soot that was produced.

After two years passed the same public a description of the Bunsen burner, thanks to this description many of his colleagues began to adopt the same design. It is important to mention in previous years Michael Faraday built a burner very similar to that of Bunsen-Desaga. However, this was not so widespread, but it is believed that Desaga was inspired by Faraday’s work.

If we come to the present, we have that thanks to this technology it is possible to develop more advanced and much more efficient burners. Although the Bunsen burner design is still in use today.

What is the Bunsen burner?

Bunsen lighters are an instrument with which we can control the flame. This is because it has a base, gauze source, sliders vulva, and a neck with a hole in the top. It is a device used in a large number of laboratories, both in physical and chemical matters.

In these cases we are talking about a lighter that uses gas in the form of fuel to generate the flame. Thanks to the flame generated, it is possible to heat substances and produce chemical reactions . Although it can also be used as a way to sterilize laboratory items.

Parts of the laboratory Bunsen burner

To better understand this type of lighter, we must take into account its parts. To start this device has a base, where we can find a source of gas. This base can be found attached to the neck. Between them we find a fuel valve , with which we manage to regulate the flow of natural gas.

At the same time we can find something known as intake valves . These are practically a series of holes that we can find on the sides of the neck. With which air is allowed or prevented from passing.

To finish we can find in the upper part of the neck, an opening through which the gas that creates a flame comes out. This flame is created by coming into contact with an ignition spark .

Characteristics of the Bunsen burner

Bunsen lighters are devices with a couple of features that make them very functional and practical. To begin with, they have a heavy metal base , with which it manages to maintain its stability. At the same time, it has a large number of features such as;

  • Perforations on the sides.
  • It has a regulating base to control the gas inlet.
  • It manages to generate a heat source that does not exceed 1500 ° C.
  • In order for the gas to enter, we have a rubber tube that connects directly to the gas inlet.

The holes in the sides allow the flame to burn more when they are open, but if they are not, the flame will be less. When it is more intense we can notice a blue flame , but when it is not we find a reddish or yellow flame.

Bunsen burner What is it for?

To begin this instrument has a source of natural gas in the lower part. The gas flow is regulated by means of a valve located between the junction of the neck and the base of the instrument.

This instrument can be used in laboratories where a heat source is needed as long as we want it to not exceed 1500 ° C. At the same time it can be used to sterilize laboratory utensils . In the same way, to produce chemical reactions in substances that need a large and direct source of heat. The uses of the Bunsen burner can be;

  • To know the solubility and volatility.
  • In the oxidation of dissolved substances in vitreous flow.
  • Achieves reduction on charcoal or with vitreous flow.
  • Oxidation tests, to release volatile products.
  • In oxidation processes that do not need high temperatures.
  • Investigate the presence of volatile substances that can color the flame.

How is the Bunsen burner used?

If we are clear about the characteristics of this type of device, we can manipulate it without any problem. In this instrument the essential element are the holes found on the sides of the neck, thanks to which the air flow is allowed.

Thanks to this flow, as we mentioned, it is possible to control the calls produced by the lighter. When we want to light the lighter we must adjust the holes on the sides . In the event that a bright flame is desired, we must completely close the lighter.

Once this is done, we must open the gas valve and wait a few seconds for it to mix with the air in the neck of the instrument. At this point, what we must do is bring the lighter or a lit match, which will serve as an ignition spark to produce the flame.

How to sterilize the Bunsen burner?

What flames are produced with the Bunsen burner?

With the help of the Bunsen burner we can produce different types of flames , such as the well-known dirty or bright flames, clean or blue flames and the ideal flame. The latter being the one that occurs when the holes are 90% open.

To better understand what has been said, we will know a little more about the different types of flames that this lighter produces;

  • Bright or dirty flame ; It is the one that occurs when the sides are closed, achieving a safe and bright flame such as yellow, red and orange.
  • Blue or clean flame ; It is the one that is achieved when the holes are completely open and there are more airs. In these cases the gas burns completely without leaving any residue.
  • Ideal flame ; As we mentioned, it is the one that occurs when the holes are open at 90% of their capacity. It is known as an ideal flame, since no residues such as soot are produced and there is a safe flame.

Parts of the flames generated by the Bunsen burner

An important point to keep in mind about the Bunsen burner is to know the different parts of the flames generated by this instrument. Specifically, we can say that it has three parts that are;

  • Inner cone ; This part of the flame can be found in the center of it. In general, in this area the temperatures that are reached are lower. Due to this no combustion occurs in this place.
  • Mango; In this case we are talking about the part that surrounds the inner cone. It is known as the area where air and burning gas converge. Due to this, the temperature that is generated is much higher.
  • Tip; As we can imagine this is the upper part of the flame and two types are known which are the reducing and the oxidizing. In the case of the reducer we are talking about the one that is generated when there is a lack of air, so in these cases it is considered a luminous flame. Quite the opposite in the case of oxidant, since it occurs when air is abundant.

What precautions should I take when using a Bunsen burner?

When we are going to use the Bunsen burner, it is important to take into account a series of precautions . Remember that we are working with fire, and fuel, so it can be a bit dangerous, especially if we don’t know how to handle it correctly.

To begin we must bear in mind that before lighting the lighter we must make sure that the pipe that passes gas is well connected. Basically we must be sure that they do not have any loss.

On the other hand, it is important that the lighter is only manipulated by one person , otherwise an accident could occur. Finally, we must light the match before opening the tap that supplies the gas and we must not wrap the hose around the lighter.

It is important to follow each of these indications, otherwise, accidents may end up. We must bear in mind that we are working with fire and grass, so we must be very careful.

Dr. Loony Davis5
 | Website

Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *