The Different Types of Fuel
Written By: Sean
August 24, 2016
Vehicles are technological marvels that people cannot live without. Cars, buses, jeeps, and trains are important because they transport people from one place to another. It is also important to take care of these vehicles to make sure they are working well. Every now and then, check for the functionality of its parts like the universal muffler and make sure you fill it up with the right type of fuel!.
Fuel, by the way, is any material that is made to react with other substances so that it releases chemical or nuclear energy as heat or to be used for work. It is highly combustible and/or flammable. Here are some of the types of fuel and their uses:
Chemical fuels are those that release energy by reacting to the substances around them. They can be classified thru their physical properties, which are solid, liquid and gas.
Solid fuel refers to the different types of solid material that are used to produce energy and provide heat. Some examples of solid fuels are wood, charcoal, coal, and some grains. Wood was the first solid fuel ever and it was used when mankind was experimenting on how to make fire. In the First Industrial Revolution, coal was the fuel source for furnaces and running steam engines. Coal and peat, another form of solid fuel, are still used in electricity in today’s society. However, some solid fuels like coal are already restricted in some areas due to toxic emissions.
Liquid fuels produce kinetic energy when harnessed and they take the shape of their container. Most liquid fuels are derived from the fossilized remains of dead plants and animals. Liquid fuels play the primary role in the economy and transportation of every country. They are easy to transport and can be handled with ease.
Many fuel gases are composed of hydrocarbons like methane or propane, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, or even a mixture of mentioned elements. These types of gases are sources of potential heat or light energy and can be distributed through pipes although some fuel gases can be liquefied for storage purposes. While they offer plenty of advantages with their gaseous nature, they have some risks as well. For example, fuel gases can collect in certain areas and risk an explosion, hence the reason why odorizers are added so people can detect the gas via smell.
Nuclear fuel is any material consumed for nuclear energy. All matter can be a source of nuclear fuel because any element, as long as it is under right conditions, can release nuclear energy. However, the materials that are commonly referred as nuclear fuels are those that produce energy without the need of extreme measures.
The most common type of nuclear fuel that people use is the heavy fissile elements that can undergo nuclear fission chain reactions. The nuclear cycle involves mining, refining, purifying, using, and eventually disposing of the used elements. The end products are then used for the generation of nuclear power and making of nuclear weapons.