Spontaneous Combustion - Cause and Ignition

Cause and Ignition

  1. A substance with a relatively low ignition temperature (hay, straw, peat, etc.) begins to release heat. This may occur in several ways, usually oxidation by a little moisture and air, bacterial fermentation generates heat.
  2. The heat is unable to escape (hay, straw, peat, etc. are good thermal insulators), and the temperature of the material rises.
  3. The temperature of the material rises above its ignition point (even though much of the bacteria are destroyed by ignition temperatures).
  4. Combustion begins if sufficient oxidizer, such as oxygen, and fuel are present to maintain the reaction into thermal run-away.

Read more about this topic:  Spontaneous Combustion