Why is some smoke black while others are grey or white?

This project is about finding out what gives the color of the smoke.
Jessica Rajapandian Kadilo Cally-Ntete
Grade 6


Our problem is we want to find out what makes the different colors of smoke.


We have deployed Qualitative research techniques using observations and document analysis as our data collection tools. As part of our observation techniques, we tried burning different substances and observed the smoke emitted, and also validated our findings through document analysis by reading through the other research materials as well.


The research was aimed at finding out what constitutes the color of the smoke. To establish the source of the color, different studies were referenced. Based on the references done certain key conclusions were made.

The key conclusions made during the study were further validated with the observations made with the real-world examples and were found to be true.




The synopsis of the data analyzed is given in the following table


Source of Smoke Color Seen Types of Scenarios Observed
Wood White Forest fire
Man-made waste Black Factory Smoke
Artificial Coloring Pink/Blue Multi-colored smoke (Artificial)
Wood White Fuel is more
Wood Grey Fuel is less/ fire is about to die


There are several factors that affect the colour of the smoke. When things get burnt differently, their colour is affected. It depends on the raw materials being burnt, fuel, and also the stage of the fire.


Hence our hypothesis is partly right.



We would like to thank the judges for spending their time to watch our project.