Hydrocarbon combustion describes the chemical reaction where a hydrocarbon reacts through oxygen to produce carbon dioxide, water, and also heat. Hydrocarbons room molecules consisting of both hydrogen and carbon. They space most famous for gift the main constituent of fossil fuels, namely natural gas, petroleum, and also coal. Because that this reason, fossil fuel resources are regularly referred to as hydrocarbon resources.

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<1> power is obtained from fossil fuels through combustion (burning) of the fuel. Return impurities exist in fossil fuels, hydrocarbon burning is the primary process in the burning of fossil fuel. An example of hydrocarbon burning is shown in figure 1. View simulation at the bottom that the web page for much more examples.


Figure 1. Methane combining with 2 oxygen to kind carbon dioxide, water and also heat.<2>


1 Description


Regardless that the type of hydrocarbon, burning with oxygen produce 3 products: carbon dioxide, water and heat, as shown in the basic reaction below. The energy required to rest the bonds in the hydrocarbon molecules is substantially much less than the power released in the development of the binding in the CO2 and H2O molecules. For this reason, the procedure releases far-ranging amounts that thermal energy (heat). This thermal energy can it is in used straight (perhaps to warmth a home) or else it have the right to be convert to mechanically energy, making use of a warmth engine. However, this is subject to performance losses, bring about necessary far-reaching energy accident (as garbage heat) administer by the second law that thermodynamics. The resulting helpful mechanical power will it is in a lot much less than the initial heat energy noted by the hydrocarbon combustion.

General Reaction Equation:

C_xH_y + N(O_2)\leftrightarrow x(CO_2) + \fracy2 (H_2O)x refers to the number of carbon atom in the hydrocarbony refers to the number of hydrogen atoms in the hydrocarbonN describes the number of oxygen atoms required in the hydrocarbon burning reaction

Hydrocarbon Combustion and also Fossil Fuels

Note that CO2 is always developed in hydrocarbon combustion; the doesn"t issue what kind of hydrocarbon molecule. Producing CO2 and H2O is in reality how helpful energy is obtained from fossil fuels. For this reason, that is important to distinguish in between carbon dioxide and also other "waste" commodities that arise indigenous impurities in the fuel such together sulfur and also nitrogen compounds.<1> Wastes the arise indigenous impurities can be eliminated with the ideal technology; CO2 cannot be got rid of unless the fossil fuels room not melted (used) in the very first place.

Not all fossil fuels have the exact same composition. Natural gas is created of end 90% methane (CH4) i beg your pardon is the smallest hydrocarbon molecule. Oil often tends to be composed of medium sized molecules, although ingredient varies significantly from one grade of crude to the next. In general, the denser the oil, the much longer the carbon chain in the molecules. Finally coal has the largest and most complex hydrocarbon molecules.<1>

Since different hydrocarbons have various ratios that hydrogen come carbon, they develop different ratios of water to carbon dioxide. In general, the longer and also more complicated the molecule, the greater the proportion of carbon to hydrogen. For this reason, burning of equal quantities of different hydrocarbons will yield different quantities that carbon dioxide, relying on the proportion of carbon come hydrogen in molecules of each. Because coal contains the longest and most complex hydrocarbon molecules, burning coal releases much more CO2 보다 burning the exact same mass of oil or natural gas. This also changes the energy thickness of every of this fuels.

Carbon dioxide emissions

Below is a chart of the CO2 emitted from the production of 293.1 kWh (1,000,000 BTUs) of energy from various hydrocarbon fuels.

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Fuelkg of CO2 emissions
Anthracite Coal104
Bituminous Coal93.5
Lignite Coal97.9
Subbituminous Coal97.4
Natural gas53.2

Combustion Animation

Choose a fuel native the drop down food selection to watch the net reaction that occurs during combustion.