Hydrocarbon combustion describes the chemistry reaction wherein a hydrocarbon reacts v oxygen to produce carbon dioxide, water, and also heat. Hydrocarbons room molecules consisting of both hydrogen and carbon. They space most famous for being the main constituent the fossil fuels, namely herbal gas, petroleum, and also coal. For this reason, fossil fuel sources are regularly referred to as hydrocarbon resources.

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<1> energy is derived from fossil fuel through combustion (burning) the the fuel. Although impurities exist in fossil fuels, hydrocarbon combustion is the primary process in the burn of fossil fuel. An example of hydrocarbon burning is depicted in figure 1. View simulation at the bottom of the page for much more examples.


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


1 Description


Regardless of the kind of hydrocarbon, combustion with oxygen produce 3 products: carbon dioxide, water and heat, as presented in the basic reaction below. The power required to rest the bonds in the hydrocarbon molecule is substantially less than the energy released in the development of the bond in the CO2 and H2O molecules. For this reason, the procedure releases far-reaching amounts the thermal power (heat). This thermal power can it is in used straight (perhaps to heat a home) or rather it deserve to be convert to mechanically energy, using a heat engine. However, this is topic to effectiveness losses, resulting in necessary far-reaching energy casualty (as garbage heat) administer by the second law of thermodynamics. The resulting useful mechanical energy will be a lot less than the initial heat energy listed 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 atoms in the hydrocarbony describes the variety of hydrogen atoms in the hydrocarbonN refers to the variety of oxygen atoms forced in the hydrocarbon burning reaction

Hydrocarbon Combustion and Fossil Fuels

Note that CO2 is always produced in hydrocarbon combustion; it doesn"t issue what form of hydrocarbon molecule. Creating CO2 and H2O is in reality how helpful energy is derived from fossil fuels. For this reason, that is vital to distinguish between carbon dioxide and other "waste" assets that arise indigenous impurities in the fuel such as sulfur and also nitrogen compounds.<1> Wastes that arise from impurities deserve to be eliminated with the ideal technology; CO2 can not be eliminated unless the fossil fuels room not burned (used) in the first place.

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

Since various hydrocarbons have different ratios the hydrogen to carbon, they produce different ratios of water come carbon dioxide. In general, the longer and also more complex the molecule, the better the ratio of carbon come hydrogen. For this reason, burning of equal quantities of various hydrocarbons will yield different quantities the carbon dioxide, depending upon the proportion of carbon to hydrogen in molecule of each. Because coal consists of the longest and also most complicated hydrocarbon molecules, burning charcoal releases more CO2 보다 burning the very same mass of oil or organic gas. This additionally changes the energy thickness of each of this fuels.

Carbon dioxide emissions

Below is a chart of the CO2 emitted native the production of 293.1 kWh (1,000,000 BTUs) of energy from assorted 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 from the fall down food selection to check out the net reaction that occurs throughout combustion.