from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a substance capable of taking fire spontaneously on exposure to the air, especially in a finely divided state
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Any one of several substances or mixtures which phosphoresce or ignite spontaneously on exposure to air, as a heated mixture of alum, potash, and charcoal, or a mixture of charcoal and finely divided lead.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A substance which takes fire on exposure to air.
- n. [capitalized] A notable genus of elaterid beetles, comprising nearly a hundred species, confined to tropical and subtropical America, and containing the most brilliant forms of luminous insects.
- n. [capitalized] A genus of arachnidans.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. tropical click beetles
This is the only method that I am aware of for procuring fire by friction in Burma, but on the hills and out of the way parts, that philosophical toy, the "pyrophorus," is still in use.
To examine the means whereby dragons produce fire and steam, we have studied a related species, the desert-lizard Lacerta pyrophorus.
Q: Did you dream last night? yea. pyrophorus and zach braff made appearances.
Here also is another kind of fuel which burns very-well as, if not better, than carbonso well, indeed, as to take fire of itself when it is in the air, as you see [breaking a tube full of lead pyrophorus].
Lead pyrophorus is made by heating dry tartrate of lead in a glass tube (closed at one end, and drawn out to a fine point at the other) until no more vapors are evolved.
I showed you how carbon went on dissolving in the oxygen, leaving no ash, whereas here [pointing to the heap of pyrophorus] we have actually more ash than fuel, for it is heavier by the amount of the oxygen which has united with it.
In this case, however, [holding up a small glass tube containing lead pyrophorus (5)], the lead has been very carefully produced in fine powder, and put into a glass tube, and hermetically sealed so as to preserve it, and I expect you will see it take fire at once.
There is also given a description of a pyrophorus obtained from iron and sulphur.
One of the most abundant -- and of much larger dimensions than the rest of the elaters or beetles -- pyrophorus noctilucus, called by the natives cocuja, displays both red and green light.
12 Comments Add your own pyrophorus | February 22, 2005 at 9: 36 pm