What Is the Ignition Temperature of Paper?


Quick Answer

Paper ignites without an external flame in a range of 424 to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. This is known as the autoignition temperature, and it varies with the atmospheric pressure, humidity, altitude and oxygen content of the environment.

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Full Answer

Generally, the autoignition temperature of a substance decreases with an increase of oxygen concentration and a decrease of humidity. Traditionally, paper is said to ignite at 451 degrees Fahrenheit, which is an approximate average of the range. Noted American science fiction author Ray Bradbury wrote a book titled "Fahrenheit 451," in which a dystopic government burns books. The autoignition temperature of paper is referenced several times throughout the novel.

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