Fuels

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  • Fuels
    • Burning Fuels
      • The lighter fractions from crude oil are very useful as fuels
        • When burned in sufficent amounts of air, the carbon and hydrogen are completely oxidised
          • CO2 and H2O are produced
        • Impurities in these fuels can cause pollution when burned
          • Sulfur, found in all fossil fuels, produces SO2
        • Burning these fuels in a car engine can cause pollution
          • Carbon monoxide is formed when imcomplete combustion occurs
            • Imcomplete combustion occurs when there is insufficent oxygen present
            • CO is poisonous and can be fatal
            • Due to the high temperature, nitrogen and oxygen (from the air) react to make nitrogen oxides
              • NOs can cause acid rain and asthma
    • Cleaner Fuels
      • Substances produced when burning fuels can seriously harm the environment
        • CO2 causes global warming
        • CO can be dangerous to those with heart issues
        • Particulates cause global dimming
      • New technology can help reduce the polluting effects of burning fuels
        • Catalytic converters, which can be fitted into the exhaust systems of cars, greatly reduce the carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides produced
          • Metal catalysts inside have large surface areas, causing carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides to react to form carbon dioxide and nitrogen
            • These catalysts make them expensive, however
            • These do not decrease the amount of carbon dioxide produced
        • Filters can remove most particulates from diesel engines
        • Sulfur is removed from waste gases by reacting with calcium oxide
    • Alternative Fuels
      • Biofuels are fuels made from animal or plant products
      • Advantages to biofuels
        • Less harmful for wildlife as spillages break down quicker that crude oil
        • Produces little sulfur dioxide and few particultes when burned
        • Is CO2 neutral as plants used absorb CO2 as they grow
        • Waste produced can be fed to cattle
      • Disadvantages to biofuels
        • Crops used could be for food instead
        • Destruction of natural habitats for crop land
        • Produces less energy, so more is needed
      • Ethanol, made by feremting sugar, can be used

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