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Burning Fuels - Fuels are substances that release energy when they react with oxygen. This reaction is known as burning, or combustion. Combustion is an exothermic reaction
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Fuels are substances that release energy when they react with oxygen. This reaction is known as burning, or combustion. Combustion is an exothermic reaction. The energy which is given out by combustion is used in a variety of ways:
> > Energy from burning methane in gas cookers is used for heating.
> > Energy from burning candles is used for lighting.
> > Energy from burning petrol in car engines is used to create motion.
> > Energy from burning coal in power stations is used to generate electricity.
The oxidation of fuels gives chemical products, as well as energy. Most of the fuels used today are hydrocarbons. When hydrocarbons burn, carbon dioxide and water are the usual chemical products:
e.g. CH4(g) + 2O2(g) ® CO2(g) + 2H2O(l)
If the air/oxygen supply for burning is limited, then incomplete combustion may occur. The combustion will not only be less exothermic, but the chemical products will also differ - carbon monoxide is formed instead:
e.g. CH4(g) + 11/2O2(g) ® CO(g) + 2H2O(l)
Carbon monoxide is an extremely poisonous gas. If the air/oxygen supply
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