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post #6 of (permalink) Old 7th May 2009
Technical Supremo

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The flash-point of petrol is - 43 degress C - not much chance of that being attained - well in this country anyway. So ignition in UK ambient temperatures is relatively easy.

So at any temperature above this point petrol can be ignited.
Now to cause an explosion is a very different matter - explosions are just fast fires and will depend on a number of factors such as fuel to air ratio, available space, available oxygen, etc. Energy (not temperature) of the ignition source is the most important factor - for instance a lit cigarrete hasn't enough energy to ignite mains or bottled gas but a match will have.
But the spontaneous temperatutre of petrol is around 200C which is easily attainable by most cars exhausts - BOOM!!!!!!!!

Have a read through the link below - it ain't too scientific but makes all the relevant points
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