COMBUSTION OF FUELS
Combustion of Fuels
We know that fuels produce energy only when they are burnt in the presence of oxygen. This process of burning of fuels in the presence of oxygen to produce energy is called combustion. The combustion of fuels can take place if following two essential conditions are satisfied:
1. Heating the fuel to its ignition temperature
No substance can catch fire unless it is heated up to a certain minimum temperature. This minimum temperature at which a substance begins to burn is called its ignition temperature. The ignition temperature of every substance is definite. For example, the ignition temperature of white phosphorous is 35°C. It means, white phosphorous will start burning only if it is heated up to 35°C.
To understand ignition temperature in detail watch this video
2. Presence of supporter of combustion
Those substances which help in combustion of fuels are called supporter of combustion. For example, oxygen is a supporter of combustion because in the absence of oxygen fuels cannot burn.
Characteristics of a Good Fuel
A fuel can be considered good if it possesses following characteristics:
- The cost of fuel should be low and it should be easily available.
- There shouldn’t be any problem in its storage and transportation.
- Its ignition temperature should be proper.
- Its calorific value must be high.
- It should not produce poisonous gases.
- No residue should be left behind after its combustion.
Test Your Understanding and Answer These Questions:
- What is combustion?
- What are the essential conditions for burning of fuels?
- What is ignition temperature?
- What is supporter of combustion?
- What are characteristics of a good fuel?
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