Fossil Fuels and Alternative Fuels



A “fuel” is generally defined as any material that can be altered to release energy in a controlled manner in the form of heat and/or work. Fuels can be solids, liquids, or gases. Conventional fuels are of two types: fossil fuels and nuclear fuels. The word “altered” in the above definition signifies a chemical or physical process to which the fuel is subjected to release energy. Nuclear fuels, such as fissionable uranium, are “altered” through a chained nuclear reaction of fission to generate useful energy in the form of high temperature heat. Fossil fuels represent fossilized biomass, which stores carbon out of the natural carbon cycle in sediments for a long time. When combusted, fossil fuels release the carbon into the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide, thus contributing to global warming. Biomass also emits carbon dioxide when combusted; however, the emitted carbon is only returned in the global carbon cycle in this way; thus, biomass is considered a renewable energy resource. Biomass represents biological material of recently living organisms, which is regarded both as an alternative fuel and as a source of materials for synthetic fuels production.


Carbon Dioxide Emission Alternative Fuel Fast Pyrolysis High Heating Value Fuel Blend 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Molar concentration


Specific exergy, kJ/mol


Gross calorific value, MJ/mol


Specific enthalpy, kJ/mol


Total enthalpy, kJ


Iodine value


Mass ratio


Molecular mass, kg/kmol

\( \mathcal{M} \)

Specific CO2 emission, kg/kg or kg/GJ


Number of moles


Net calorific value, MJ/mol


Heat, kJ


Specific entropy


Saponification value


Temperature, K


Moisture content, kg/kg


Work, kJ


Molar fraction

Greek Letters

\( \eta \)


\( \nu \)

Specific volume, kg/kmol

\( \rho \)

Density, kg/m3

\( \zeta \)

Heat recovery factor



Reference state


Dry and ash-free












\( (\sim ) \)

Dimensionless value


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering & Applied ScienceUniversity of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT)OshawaCanada

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