Fuels are the source of energy that runs all the mechanical and electronic systems that we use and see all around us. There are many materials that can be used as fuels. For example: from earlier days wood, charcoal, dry leaves, dry dung cakes etc. were used as fuel to generate heat to cook food and boil water and keep oneself warm. Later coal was discovered, and it then was used as fuel and later on petroleum and later on electricity.
Fuels made from mineral oil:
Mineral oil fuels are mixtures of many hydrocarbons. Gasoline and diesel fuel for example consist of more than 200 different hydrocarbon compounds. The ratio of the individual component determines to the large extent, the engine performance of the fuel.
Chemical composition of the mineral oil fuel:
Hydrocarbons present in the fuel can be classified according to the following groups.
These are chain type hydrocarbons with single bonds.
Normal paraffins are linear chain hydrocarbons. They are represented by C(n)H(2n+2), where C stands for carbon atom, H stands for hydrogen atom and n stand for natural numbers of choice.
- Iso- Paraffins are branched hydrocarbons. They are represented by
Chain type hydrocarbons with a double bond. The configuration can be linear and branched. Stability is limited since they tend to resinify due to oxide formation.
Mono-olefins: are chain type hydrocarbons with a C=C bond (double bond). They are represented by C(n)H(2n).
Di-Olefins (alkadienes): Alkadienes are ethenes with two double bonds. They are represented by C(n)H(2n-2).
Naphthenes (cycloalkanes): These are ring type hydrocarbons with a single bond. They are represented by C(n)H(2n).