Chapter 3

Fuels and Combustion

Fuels are energy sources, classified as fossil fuel, nuclear fuel, and rocket fuel. Fossil fuels are hydrocarbons. There are three basic types of hydrocarbons, i.e., solid, liquid, and natural gas. The largest source of fossil-fuel energy is coal. In addition to fossil fuel, energy is available from renewable sources. Fossil fuels comprise complex compounds of five elements: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulfur, and nitrogen along with mineral matter and moisture. Coal generates ~41% of the world’s electricity and provides 30% of primary energy needs. Petroleum comprises a mixture of innumerable hydrocarbons in liquid form or natural gas. Combustion is a process where oxygen combines rapidly with fuels to release ...

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