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Gold Medal for Propane

2014 Winter Olympics Torch Relay

Tonight, the Winter Olympics of 2014 in Sochi, Russia, kick off with the opening ceremonies. There are so many big moments in every opening ceremony, but the one moment that always stands out is the lighting of the Olympic Flame from the iconic Olympic Torch. Quite a lot of development and technology goes into the flame for the Olympic Torch. Have you ever wondered how the traveling torch works and remains fueled to stay lit? Let’s begin by reviewing when and where the Olympic Torch originated from.

From  about.com: While the original Olympic Torch was simply an Olympic Flame that was kept burning throughout the original Greek Olympic Games, the modern torch is sophisticated device that is used in a relay. In the context of the modern Games, the Olympic Flame represents the positive values that man has always associated with fire. The purity of the flame is guaranteed by the way it is lit using the sun’s rays. The design of the torch changes and is customized for every set of Olympic Games. Recent torches use a double burner, with an outer bright flame and a small inner blue flame. The inner flame is protected such that if the torch is blown out by wind or rain, the small flame acts as a sort of pilot light, re-igniting the torch. A typical torch carries fuel sufficient to burn for about 15 minutes. Fun fact: Some early torches were fueled by olive oil! More recent games have utilized a design burning a mixture of butane and propane or polypropylene. Propane is one of the lightest, simplest hydrocarbons in existence, and, as a result, is one of the cleanest burning of all fossil fuels.

Rt.com reported that this year’s Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, their journey of the Olympic Torch Relay of the Sochi 2014 Flame will be lit on the ancient ground of Olympia. It arrived in Moscow on October 7th 2013. Before the Olympic Flame will reach the cauldron of the stadium in Sochi tonight, it will have spent 100 days traveling through 2,900 Russian cities and settlements. The torch will have traveled 65,000km with the help of over 14,000 torchbearers. This year’s device uses ecologically friendly natural propane gas to produce a stable large flame in all weather conditions from -40 to +50 Celsius. Naturally, an ISS spacewalk, the Baikal Lake dive and the Elbrus conquest will imply more sophisticated devices to be used. Propane, also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LP-gas), is one of the nation’s most versatile sources of energy. It has always been a “green” fuel, far ahead of today’s trend. The torch weighs nearly 1.8 kg, is 0.95 m tall and 54 mm wide. Its weight and center of gravity were carefully calculated so as to make the torch as comfortable as possible to carry whilst running.

We wish all of the athletes competing in this year’s Winter Olympic Games the best of luck!

 

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