Topic 5: Fuels A

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  • Topic 5: Fuels A
    • Crude Oil
      • A hydrocarbon is a compound that contains carbon and hydrogen only.
      • A crude oil is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons.
      • The separation of crude oil into simpler, more useful mixtures uses fractional distillation.
        • A heater boils crude oil and the vapur passes into a tower, and different fractions condense at different temperatures to form individual fractions.
          • Gases are used in domestic heating and cooking.
          • Petrol is used as fuel for cars.
          • Kerosene is used as aircraft fuel.
          • Diesel oil is used to fuel some cars and trains.
          • Fuel oil fuels large ships and is used in power stations.
          • Bitumen is used to surface roads and roofs.
      • Hydrocarbons in different fractions differ from each other.
        • Gases have the shortest carbon chains, bitumen has the most (up to 40 carbon atoms).
        • Gases are easy to ignite, bitumen is hardest.
        • Gases have low boiling points, bitumen has the highest.
        • Gases are runny, bitumen is thick and sticky.
    • Combustion
      • The complete combustion of hydrocarbons involves oxidation of the hydrocarbons.
        • This is because carbon dioxide is produced in the reaction.
          • For example, lime water is used to test for carbon dioxide.
            • When this is used to test for burning hydrocarbons, it shows carbon dioxide is present in the waste gases.
      • The products of a complete combustion are always carbon dioxide and water - nothing else.
      • The reaction is described as complete combustion if all the hydrocarbon is used up and the only products are carbon dioxide and water.
      • To test for carbon dioxide, the test gas is bubbles through limewater, which will turn cloudy if carbon dioxide is present.
    • Incomplete Combustion
      • The incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons produces carbon and carbon monoxide.
        • This is because the hydrogen atoms form water but there is not enough oxygen to form carbon dioxide.
      • Soot produced in appliances such as boilers can clog pipes carrying away waste gases.


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