Comparing the Burning Speed of Scented and Unscented Candles

Topics: Candle, Beeswax, Paraffin Pages: 3 (784 words) Published: December 4, 2012
Burn, Baby, Burn: Comparing the burning speed of scented and unscented candles

This experiment was performed to compare how quickly a scented and an unscented candle will burn. The tests were done by comparing the length that the candles will burn in 30 minutes - using unscented, rose scented and apple scented candles. Hypothesis:

Unscented candles burn more quickly than scented candles.

Candles are a convenient way of providing light and heat when no electricity is available. They are normally made from paraffin wax with a wick in the middle. Candles can also be made from soy wax or other plant wax, animal fat or bee wax. Wax acts as a fuel to keep the candle burning. The wick has to be an absorbent twine with strong capillary ability. When the wick of a candle is lit, the heat from the flame will melt the wax surrounding the wick. The melted wax will be absorbed by the wick and the capillary action will pull the wax upwards. When the wax approaches the flame, it will start to vaporize and the vaporized wax will start to burn. The wick itself will not burn because the vaporizing wax will cool the wick.

Candle manufacturers produce both scented and unscented candles. Common scents used in candles include kitchen aromas such as vanilla, fruit scents, flower scents, spa scents like green tea and ocean breeze. Candles are also found in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. Scientific Terms

Paraffin wax, wick, capillary action, vaporized
- The materials required for this science project5 unscented candles - 5 rose scented candles
- 5 apple scented candles
All of the 15 candles should have the same diameter, length and  be made by the same manufacturer - A ruler
- A caliper
- A stopwatch
- A box of matches or lighter
1. For this experiment, the independent variable is the type of candle used – unscented, rose scented and apple scented. The dependent variable is the reduction in the candle’s length after 30...
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