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Gasoline is composed of 20% C

8
H
18
, 20% C
9
H
20
, 15% C
10
H
22
, 15% C
11
H
24
, 8% C
6
H
6
, 10%
C
7
H
8
, 10% C
8
H
7
and 2% C
8
H
10
by mass. The Specific Gravity of Gasoline is .74

2C
8
H
18
+ 25O
2
-> 16CO
2
+ 18H
2
0
C
9
H
20
+ 14O
2
-> 9CO
2
+ 10H
2
0
2C
10
H
22
+ 31O
2
-> 20CO
2
+ 22H
2
0
C
11
H
24
+ 17O
2
-> 11CO
2
+ 12H
2
0
2C
6
H
6
+ 15O
2
-> 12CO
2
+ 6H
2
0
C
7
H
8
+ 9O
2
-> 7CO
2
+ 4H
2
0
4C
8
H
7
+ 39O
2
-> 32CO
2
+ 7H
2
0
2C
8
H
10
+ 21O
2
-> 16CO
2
+ 10H
2
O

You can use this information to perform some lengthy calculations and come to the conclusion
that burning 1 gallon of gasoline produces 8.7 kg of CO
2
. That's what most people want to know.

Introduction
The notes below relate to the combustion process. Combustion is a rapid reaction between a
fuel and oxygen that produces heat (the chemical energy content of a fuel is converted to heat
energy).

Composition of Dry Air
Oxygen is involved in the majority of combustion reactions and this is present in the air.
The composition of dry air as mole fractions is 0,7809 N
2
, 0,2095 O
2
, 0,0093Ar, and 0,003 CO
2
.
For combustion equations it is convenient and practical to treat Ar and CO
2
as Nitrogen. The
composition of molar air can then be taken as (approx.) 0,79kmol N
2
and 0,21 kmol O
2
per kmol
of Air.

Note: I am using kmols (The molar volume is 22,414 m�/kmol at 0 �C and 101.325 kPa
absolute pressure )

The equivalent mass fractions of air are 0,768N
2
and 0,232 O
2
per unit of air. These values are
conveniently represented as
1 kmol O
2
+ 3,76 kmol N
2
= 4,76 kmol Air
1 kg O
2
+ 3,31 kg N
2
= 4.31 kg Air

Combustion Notes
When considering the combustion of fuels with air equations are used to determine the
proportions of the various chemicals involved. The fuels generally are composed of carbon,
hydrogen and sulphur with other substances including oxygen and ash. The carbon, hydrogen
and sulphur combine with oxygen in the air and the nitrogen and other gases in air are assumed
to take no part in the combustion process.....

The proportion of air for complete combustion is called the stoichiometric air/fuel
ratio. Normally an excess of air is available and the mixture is weak or lean. When insufficient
air is available for complete combustion the mixture is rich...

Some of the terms used in combustion are identified below.....
 Air/Fuel Ratio R = (Amount on air) /(Amount of fuel)
 Stoichiometric air/fuel Ratio for complete combustion = R
s

 Percentage excess Air E = [(R - R
s
) /R
s
]100%
>
 Mixture Strength M
s
= ( R
s
/R )100 %
Weak mixture M
s
less than 100%
Rich mixture M
s
greater than 100%

It is important to note that the total combustion of a fuel requires ideal conditions. The fuel
must be intimately mixed with the oxygen, the temperature must be appropriate, the ignition
cannot start without a source of activation energy ( a spark, or flame, or local high temperature).
Once the ignition has commence the combustion will generally spread spontaneously. For an car
engine it may be desireable to have a rich mixture to allow for maximum power or at start up. A
boiler requires an excess or air to ensure complete combustion of the fuel for efficient
operation....





Combustion Equations
The following typical equations are used to determine the combustion process
 Carbon ...C + O
2
-> CO
2

 Carbon ...2C + O
2
-> 2CO...Incomplete Combustion
 Hydrogen ...2H
2
C + O
2
-> 2H
2
O
 Sulphur ...S + O
2
-> SO
2

Reaction equations are generally based on volumes for gases and masses for liquids and solids.
An reaction equation can include the enthalpy change Δ H at the end of the equation eg
C H
4
+ 2 O
2
-> CO
2
+ 2 H
2
- Δ H
The enthalpy term is negative if the reaction is exothermic and positive if the reaction is
endothermic.

Consider the combustion of Propane gas (C
3
H
8
)as an example...
Writing down the basic reaction equation without identifying the quantities
C
3
H
8
+x O
2
-> y C O
2
+ z H
2
O..x, y z being unknown
There are three carbon atoms on the LHS and therefore y = 3. There are 8 Hydrogen
atoms on the left hand side ( H
8
) and therefore z = 4 (4.H
2
) . The equation resulting is
therefore
C
3
H
8
+x O
2
-> 3 C O
2
+ 4 H
2
O..x being unknown
To determine x it is easily calculated that there are now 10 Oxygen atoms on the RHS
(3 O
2
+ 4 O) x is therefore 5. The reaction equation is therefore .
C
3
H
8
+5 O
2
-> 3 C O
2
+ 4 H
2
O..
In terms of kmoles 1 kmol C
3
H
8
+ 5 kmol O
2
= -> 3 kmol C O
2
+ 4 kmol H
2
O

Transfer into mass units ( 1 - kmol has a mass in kg = Molecular Weight)
[1 kmol of C
3
H
8
= 44kg + 5 kmol of O
2
= 160 kg ] -> [3 kmol of C O
2
= 132 kg +
4 kmol of H
2
O = 72 kg ]
Now considering the equations with respect to Air. For each volume of O
2
there are
4,76 volumes of Air. Therefore the stoichiometric ratio of for combustion of propane
is 1 to 5.4,76 = 1:23.8 based on volume..
Table showing various substances involved in combustion with their Molecular Weights

Substance Formula
Approx.
molecular
Weight
Benzene C
6
H
6
78
Butane C
4
H
10
-
Carbon C 12
Carbon
Monoxide
CO 28
Carbon
Dioxide
CO
2
44
Ethane C
2
H
6
30
Ethanol
C
2
H
5
OH
46
Ethene C
2
H
4
28
Hydrogen H
2
2
Methane CH
4
16
Nitrogen N
2
28
Octane C
8
H
18
114
Oxygen O
2
32
Pentane C
5
H
12
72
Propane C
3
H
8
44
Propene C
3
H
6
42
Sulphur S 32
Sulphur
Monoxide
SO 48
Sulphur
Dioxide
SO
2
64
Water H
2
O 18



You realize that Diesel fuel is not a single compound, but rather a mixture of hydrocarbons. The
"average" is C12H23. Diesel goes from C10H20 to C15H28.

The chemical equation for the complete combustion of Diesel fuel would then be:

4C12H23 + 71O2 --> 48CO2 + 46H2O

Of course, in the real world we don't get the complete combustion of Diesel fuel, so that what
comes out the exhaust is a widely varying mixture of substances from elemental carbon to
potentially unburned fuel.