Fact Check: Burning 10 grams of Ghee with two cow dung cakes does not produce Oxygen

False Medical Social

A number of DIY tips and home remedies for treatment and prevention have been going viral on Social Media ever since the Coronavirus Pandemic began more than a year ago. Fact Crescendo has debunked many such claims and has been arming its readers with the truth. 

Another such claim which has recently gone viral across Social media is that burning desi cow dung and ghee produces Oxygen and burning 10 grams of cow ghee produces 1000 tonnes of oxygen.

Original Link- Facebook | Archived Link

The post has a photo with text which is a list of benefits of cow dung and cow urine. The second point states that mixing ghee and cow dung produces oxygen.

WHAT OUR RESEARCH SHOWS: 

Fact Crescendo found during the investigation that the news going viral was wrong and misleading. Burning ghee and cow dung produces Carbon Dioxide. Oxygen is used to burn anything and hence oxygen is not produced when anything is burnt. 10 grams of ghee does not release 1000 tonnes of oxygen in the air. 

FACT CHECK METHODOLOGY: 

We began the investigation with a keyword search on Google and tried to find out what gases are produced when cow dung and ghee are burnt. We found an article published by the NCBI which says that biomass fuels such as wood, crop-waste and dried animal dung are major sources of domestic fuel. The burning of these objects in open fire and stoves leads to high concentrations of particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, as well as volatile and semi-volatile organic species in the indoor environment. 

Screenshot, NCBI article

Original Link: NCBI | Archived Link

Our search did not show any source that corroborates the claim that burning cow dung produces Oxygen. 

Instead, we found an article published by Science Learning Hub (sciencelearn.org.nz) which clearly states that in full combustion, burning fuel will produce only water and Carbon Dioxide (no smoke or other products). The flame is usually blue. This happens when the required amount of Oxygen is present and it produces fuel.  

Screenshot, Science Learning Hub article

Original Link- sciencelearn.org.nz | Archived Link

Many people use methane gas (CH4) to cook at home, commonly known as natural gas. When the gas is hot (from a flame or spark) and if there is enough Oxygen in the atmosphere, the molecules will break down and will be completely be transformed into water and Carbon dioxide. 

According to the above information, it is clear that Oxygen is required to burn anything and Carbon dioxide and water are produced when such substances burn. 

65% of cow manure is made of Methane and it is clearly written in the article below that burning of Methane produces water and Carbon Dioxide.

Screenshot KQED article

Original Link – KQED

Fact Crescendo approached Dr PR Nemade, Assistant Professor, ICT Mumbai and asked about the viral claim. He said: “The viral claim is totally false and misleading. Burning anything cannot produce Oxygen, if you are burning ghee, it will not produce Oxygen but Carbon Dioxide and water vapor and burning cow dung will also produce Carbon Dioxide and other gases and it use up Oxygen for burning. Burning ghee and cow dung together will also produce the same gas. “ 

He also added, “10 grams of ghee cannot convert 1000 tonnes of air into Oxygen.” 

Conclusion

After examining the facts, we found that the above claim is false. Burning desi cow ghee and dung together produces Carbon Dioxide and water vapour. Oxygen is used to burn anything and what is produced in this process of burning is Carbon dioxide and other gases and not oxygen.

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Title:Burning 10 grams of Ghee with two cow dung cakes does not produce Oxygen

Fact Check By: Manjori Borkotoky 

Result: False


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