In a statement released to the press yesterday from Anaheim, USA, and published on the ASC website, scientists reported on the discovery of a technique to suppress fires with zaps of electric current.
Ludovico Cademartiri, Ph.D., who spoke for the researchers in the group of George M. Whitesides, Ph.D., at Harvard University, is quoted as saying that when they connected a powerful electrical amplifier to a wand-like probe and used the device to shoot beams of electricity at an open flame more than a foot high, the flame was snuffed out almost instantly.
In describing the reason for the reaction, Dr. Cademartiri cited carbon particles, or soot, generated in the flame as being key. He said soot particles can easily become charged and the charged particles respond to the electric field, affecting the stability of flames.
Today IFRF was contacted for comment on the research. Readers are invited to read the full ACS press release for themselves.