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This question is something that I have also seen doing the rounds on WhatsApp groups and public forums. There are lots of people who are going berserk thinking that given how high the temperature is rising this summer the fuel tank explosion could sure be a possibility. It is certainly a matter of great concern because none of us wants to burn to death, but there is also definitely more fiction out there than fact. Along with some of my friends, I also did a bit of research and here’s what you need to know, before you hit the panic button.
When we fill up the fuel tank with petrol, there is not much space left for air. So the possibility of combustion is erased, since we all know that to start a fire air or oxygen is needed. Also for any object to blow up into flames there needs to be oxygen and combustibles mixed in the right proportions. Thus in the fuel tank, 10% oxygen and 90% fuel will not be enough to blow up your car since the main supporting agent that is oxygen, is lacking there.
We have all read from our school days that fire is a chemical reaction which needs fuel, oxygen and heat to take place. So with a tank full of petrol only, the absence of the crucial element i.e. oxygen eliminates the chances of the tank getting ignited.
- It is a proved research data that even if the car or temperature outside reaches 50 degree Celsius, the petrol in the tank will not ignite since petrol requires much higher temperatures - in the range of hundreds of degrees, to self ignite. So once more, the fuel tank of your car will not blow up even if the outside temperature reaches 100 degrees. Just imagine the people living in the Middle Eastern countries, where the daily temperatures easily cross 55 degrees; their cars don’t burst into flames, so cars in India certainly won’t blow up!
Last updated 5 years ago