The bursting into flame of a mass of material as a result of chemical reactions within the substance, without the addition of heat from an external source. Oily rags and damp hay, for example, are subject to spontaneous combustion.
The process of catching fire as a result of heat generated by internal chemical action, and not from an exterior spark, flame, etc.
Ignition of a substance, such as oily rags or hay, caused by a localized heat-increasing reaction between the oxidant and the fuel and not involving addition of heat from an outside source.
Sublimed sulphur also results from the spontaneous combustion of coal seams containing pyrites.
In some mining districts the coal is liable to spontaneous combustion.
Prairie fires or spontaneous combustion have ignited many coal seams. Some have already burnt out; others still emit smoke and sulphurous fumes from the crevices in the hillsides, and through the fissures may be seen the glowing coal and rock.
The property of the semi-drying oils to absorb oxygen is accelerated by spreading such oils over a large surface, notably over woollen or cotton fibres, when absorption proceeds so rapidly that frequently spontaneous combustion will ensue.
"Success isn't a result of spontaneous combustion.