What chemically happens when wood burns?

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August 19, 2008 2:13PM

Basically, the carbon in the wood reacts to the oxygen in the atmosphere to produce CO2. As this is an exothermic reaction, it gives off heat.

Smoke is caused by either non-carbon elements within the wood reacting with the oxygen to form more noxious compounds, or the incomplete reactio of the caarbon with oxygen, causing partially reacted carbon to be released in the form of soot.