Silicon, like its congener, carbon, is fairly inert. Like carbon, silicon will burn vigorously in oxygen if ignited to produce silica:
Si(s) + O2(g) = SiO2(s)Silicon ignites if heated to temperatures around 1000°C. But saying that silicon can't exist in an oxygen environment is like saying a charcoal briquet can't exist in air.
Burning silicon releases about 860 kJ of heat per mole, compared to 394 kJ per mole for burning carbon, so a silicon fire could potentially burn quite a bit hotter than a carbon fire.
Author: Fred Senese firstname.lastname@example.org
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Last Revised 08/17/15.URL: http://antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/inorganic/faq/print-silicon-burns.shtml