Natural Sciences

10 examples of solid fuel

Origin of solid fuel

Since man discovered fire, in the days of the caves, solid fuels have been used, with the intention of fueling the fire and having a permanent source of heat that would help them survive in cold environments.

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The main solid fuels are wood, coal and agricultural residues. Wood or firewood was the solid fuel par excellence until the middle of the 18th century, when the industrial revolution began to use other fuels, including coal.

10 examples of solid fuel

There are two subtypes of solid fuels, cellulosic and fossil fuels .

  • Cellulosic : They are organic compounds containing oxygen, hydrogen and carbon molecules, they are highly In general their ignition point is around 200-250ºC. Among this subtype are:
  • Wood: Woody fibers, sap, nitrogen and water are the components that make up wood, they separate inorganic salts, celluloses and sugars from the plant structure. During the winter seasons, the wood loses more water, and this is its main non-flammable component, therefore, it is ideal for making fire, in addition the percentage of residues by combustion or ash is small in relation to other fuels.

The woods are classified as follows:

  • Hard : They come from broad-leaved trees, their minimum weight is 0.55. They generally come from apple, walnut, pear, beech, cherry, oak, among others.
  • Soft : The softest woods come from trees such as linden, fir and pine, they have a weight less than 0.55.
  • The cardboard : The cardboard is made with layers of recycled paper and virgin fiber . There are four types of cardboard, this will depend on the raw material that is used during the manufacturing process:
  • Cardstock or solid bleached cardboard
  • Solid unbleached cardboard
  • Folding carton
  • Recycled fiber board
  • Natural fiber: Natural fiber is made up of hairs, fragments or strands that come from nature. By joining these materials they can be used as fuels to feed the fire, but they are also used as raw material in the textile world.

Natural fibers are classified into animal and vegetable, depending on their origin.

  • Animal : Animal fibers have been used by humans since prehistoric times, including hair, secretions and hides.
  • Vegetable : The fibers whose origin is vegetable, come from cellulose and are related to the parts of silver, that is, some fibers are extracted from the fruits, such as cotton, others from the stem such as flax and finally, from the leaves , as is the case with the Spartan.
  • Biomass : Biomass is composed of organic matter, either of plant or animal origin, for example, firewood, shrubs, pruning remains, forest and agricultural residues, wood residues, manure, sewage, urban waste, among others. All these components are used as natural fuels, which in turn take care of the environment, since they do not emit greenhouse gases like fossil fuels.
  • Plastics : Plastics are among solid fuels because they are organic polymers with high molecular weights. Plastic is vulnerable to heat, it cannot withstand high temperatures, its general combustion gases dangerous to humans, including NOx and CO.
  • Metals : On specific occasions, absolutely all metals are combustible, in fact, some components do not want the presence of oxygen to convert energy, proof of this are the alkali metals, magnesium and aluminum.
  • Fossils : Fossil fuels come from biomass. Its formation dates from past eras and has undergone multiple transformation processes, materials are subjected to burial, increased temperature and pressure, resulting in an element with high energy content , carbon is one of them.
  • Coal : Coal is made up of carbon, oxygen, sulfur, hydrogen, nitrogen, and water, all from plant decompositions. Likewise, coal is responsible for the great changes in the industrial revolution and the generation of electricity in the world. At the moment of combustion, the coal generates ashes due to the existence of the aforementioned inorganic components.
  • Coke : Another very useful solid fuel is coke, this is the result of bituminous coal distilled and heated to temperatures that rise to 1000 ° C and without having contact with air. 95% of this component is made up of carbon, however it has hydrogen, sulfur, oxygen and nitrogen in smaller quantities, it is generally used for the production of iron .
  • Calcium carbide: Calcium carbide is born from coke and calcium oxide at temperatures of 2,000-2,500 ° C, this grayish-looking product reacts when it comes into contact with water and gas to create a small but burning flame.
  • Spontaneously Combustion Substances: Certain solid-looking chemicals can spontaneously burn due to changes in temperature when they come into contact with catalytic impurities, for example acids, bases or compounds of heavy materials.

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