Key to carbon-free cars? Look to the stars

For nearly half a century, astrophysicists and organic chemists have been on the hunt for the origins of C6H6, the benzene ring—an elegant, hexagonal molecule comprised of 6 carbon and 6 hydrogen atoms.

Giving oxygen to the question of air quality

The simplest of organic molecules have a much more complex relationship with oxygen than previously thought. Researchers from KAUST and their international collaborators have shown that alkanes participate extensively in ...

Scientists significantly improved coal-burning efficiency

A team of Russian scientists from NUST MISIS, Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) and Boreskov Institute of Catalysis has suggested a new approach to modifying the combustion behavior of coal. The addition of copper salts ...

Using metals for fuel

Did you know that in microgravity we are preparing one of the most promising fuels for the future?

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Combustion

Combustion (English pronunciation: /kəmˈbʌs.tʃən /) or burning is the sequence of exothermic chemical reactions between a fuel and an oxidant accompanied by the production of heat and conversion of chemical species. The release of heat can result in the production of light in the form of either glowing or a flame. Fuels of interest often include organic compounds (especially hydrocarbons) in the gas, liquid or solid phase.

In a complete combustion reaction, a compound reacts with an oxidizing element, such as oxygen or fluorine, and the products are compounds of each element in the fuel with the oxidizing element. For example:

A simple example can be seen in the combustion of hydrogen and oxygen, which is a commonly used reaction in rocket engines:

The result is water vapor.

Complete combustion is almost impossible to achieve. In reality, as actual combustion reactions come to equilibrium, a wide variety of major and minor species will be present such as carbon monoxide and pure carbon (soot or ash). Additionally, any combustion in atmospheric air, which is 78% nitrogen, will also create several forms of nitrogen oxides.

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