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I did the following experiment and I have a question. I took a lit incense stick and a small lit wax candle, then I held the lit tip of the incense stick on the wax of the candle such that the wax melts in a way that the effervesces of the incense stick passes through the flame of the candle. I saw that the incense stick has caught the flame. It looks like the flame of the candle has passed through the effervescence to the stick. How does it happen?
Question Date: 2012-07-20
Answer 1:

Not sure what you mean by effervesces of the incense, since incense is solid rather than liquid. Based on your description, my guess is that the effervescences of the incense stick are volatile organic compounds (which is why you can smell them), and, being organic, they are fundamentally flammable, and the flame ignited the gasses in the air.

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