One-nm-thick graphene engine mimics two-stroke engine

( —It may sound impossible that a 1-nm-thick piece of graphene—made of just a single layer of carbon atoms and containing some chlorine and fluorine atoms—can function as a two-stroke combustion engine. After ...

Converting waste heat into electricity

Bruce White worked with semiconductors and transistors at Motorola and Texas Instruments. But when he left industry for a position on Binghamton University's faculty, the materials scientist decided to take his research in ...

Carmakers brace for shocks as electrified future looms

Auto industry executives gathering this week for the Paris Motor Show will be rubbing shoulders with unusual company: dozens of tech experts eager to tackle what many consider the ultimate connected device.

A new way to degrade plastics that turns them into fuel

(—A combined team of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and University of California has found a way to degrade ordinary plastics in a way that allows for fuel to be created from plastic trash. In ...

Meet the nanomachines that could drive a medical revolution

A group of physicists recently built the smallest engine ever created from just a single atom. Like any other engine it converts heat energy into movement – but it does so on a smaller scale than seen before. The atom is ...

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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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