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What will happen if you light Citric Acid in the powdered form on fire or expose to extreme heat? Josie
Question Date: 2006-07-30
Answer 1:

Citric acid is an organic compound; it will burn. I do not know how, specifically, it will combust, or if it will combust completely or not at moderately high heat, but it burns.

Answer 2:

Citric acid can actually exist in two different powdered forms, depending on how it is prepared- either anhydrous (without water) ormono-hydrate (with some amount of water trapped in the powder with the citric acid molecules). Citric acid is a weak, carboxylate acid. If you heat powdered citric acid to its melting temperature of 153degrees Celsius / 307 degrees Fahrenheit, then the powder will liquefy into a clear or brownish liquid (as additional heat is absorbed) and will burn.If you heat it slightly hotter, to 175 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit, which is what a sustained fire would do, it will spontaneously decompose-- that is, break down into smaller molecules including water and carbon dioxide (CO2). These smaller molecules will be very hot, and will become gasses- steam and CO2 in the air, which means that it will expand very quickly, i.e. it may explode. Be careful!

Answer 3:

Citric acid is an organic compound made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, so it should burn like any other organic substance. Please be careful.

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