Electric car switch on for health benefits

Could the health benefits and reduced costs to healthcare systems be enough to justify subsidizing charging infrastructure to allow society to switch from the internal combustion engine to electric vehicles faster than current ...

Improving engine performance and fuel efficiency

A study conducted in part at the Canadian Light Source (CLS) at the University of Saskatchewan suggests reformulating lubricating oils for internal combustion engines could significantly improve not only the life of the oil ...

Flame design in space may lead to soot-freeĀ fire

For decades, scientists have been able to burn fuels in a flame without creating any soot, and they think they know why. They've crunched the numbers and run experiments in high-tech facilities, but there's only one way to ...

Exhaust gas is to blame: Ground-level ozone is damaging crops

It is generally known that pollution has damaged the ozone layer around the Earth. The ozone layer is important for protecting life from harmful UV rays from the sun. However, the fact that pollution leads to too much ozone ...

Color-changing sparks

Sparks are a fascinating phenomenon well-known from campfires, flint stones and electric sparklers and other pyrotechnic articles. Looking at sparks more closely reveals the limited colors in which they appear. Dark red-orange ...

Electric shift prompts belt-tightening for German carmakers

German carmakers are increasingly turning to electric vehicles to master tough new emissions limits looming in the EU, but the shift away from internal combustion engines will entail years of lower margins and profits, cost ...

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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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