Evolution of the Olympic Torch

Evolution of the Olympic Torch - Ancient Greece to Beijing
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Inaugurating a new era of flame stability, the 2000 Sydney Olympic torch (shown resisting rain in the inset) burned a mixture of propane and butane.

Both stored and drawn as a liquid, the Sydney torch's fuel flowed more steadilya departure from previous torches, which had converted stored liquid fuel to gas.

The result of this is we guarantee a constant flame, said Australian engineer Richard Kelso, chief design coordinator of the 2000 torch. We took that idea from old-fashioned kerosene blowtorches.

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—Graphic by Peter Lanspeary/University of Adelaide/Departments of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering/Fuel and Combustion Technology Ltd.; Inset Image courtesy University of Adelaide
 
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