Definition - What does Combustion mean?

Combustion is the process of burning petroleum products, coal or any other material that produces heat energy. For industrial purpose, this heat energy is converted into mechanical energy. All major equipment such as crude distillation unit, boilers, furnaces, internal combustion engines and refinery equipment work on the basis of combusting fuel. Atmospheric oxygen acts as an oxidant in the combustion process and is thus, a necessary constituent without which the process would not occur.

Petropedia explains Combustion

Fossil fuels such as crude oil, natural gas, petroleum products and coal are burnt in the presence of atmospheric oxygen thereby producing heat, burnt out gases (exhaust gases) and ash. In every exothermic redox reaction or a combustion process, the byproducts obtained are carbon dioxide, water and heat energy. Some of the simple exothermic reactions are as follows:

C + O2 = CO2 + Heat

2H2 + O2 = 2H2O + Heat

CH4 + 2O2 = CO2 + 2H2O + Heat

In order to maintain an efficient combustion process in any industrial process, certain parameters are necessary such as-:

  • The quality of fuel should be good with very minimal or no impurities.
  • Sufficient amount of air or oxygen should be provided for proper combustion process to take place.

Many a times, because of inefficient combustion or other reasons, many other toxic and harmful gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, soot and ash are also produced.

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