Fossil fuels

Table 12.3.1 Fossil fuels, reserves and projected availability (reach)

2001

Resources

Identified reserves

Reach (years)

236 Gt 378 Tm2 4594 Gt

152 Gt 161 Tm2 661 Gt

43 67 210

Natural gas Coal

Commonly used fossil fuels for space heating can be divided into fuels that can be stored on site (for example, coals, oil and propane) and fuels delivered by a network (such as natural gas). The characteristics of the different fossil fuels are given in Table 12.3.2.

Table 12.3.2 Characteristics of common fossil fuels

Natural gas Propane Light fuel oil Hard coal Lignite

Table 12.3.2 Characteristics of common fossil fuels

Natural gas Propane Light fuel oil Hard coal Lignite

Composition ( per cent)

ch4

70-90

C3H8 >98

C

86

C

81-91

C

45-65

VOC

5-15

H

12

H

4.1-5.5

H

4.8-6.1

CO2

0-10

O

0.8

O

3-10

O

18-30

N2

0-15

S

1.2

N

1-2

N

0.4-2.8

h2s

0-2

S

0.5-6

S

0.3-3.4

Lower calorific value

8.8-11.1

kWh/m3

12.9 kWh/kg

11.8

kWh/kg

7.9-i

8.7 kWh/kg

2.6-

8.3 kWh/kg

Household price

€0.40/m3

€0.38/litre

€0.38/litre

Specific CO2 emissions

229 g/kWhfin

293g/kWhfin

396g/kWhfin

377g/kWhfin

Source: BMWA (2003)

Source: BMWA (2003)

Each fossil fuel has inherent environmental disadvantages, both in transport and storage. Coal emits dust when transported and needs a voluminous dry space for storage. Oil emits fumes in case of temperature increase and must be stored in tanks that require periodic checkups for tightness. Propane needs to be stored in pressurized tanks, making it unsuitable for inside or underground storage because of explosion danger. Considering these aspects, natural gas and propane are the most favourable fossil fuels with respect to environmental aspects, whereas oil and coal rank behind gas and propane on the same environmental level.

Guide to Alternative Fuels

Guide to Alternative Fuels

Your Alternative Fuel Solution for Saving Money, Reducing Oil Dependency, and Helping the Planet. Ethanol is an alternative to gasoline. The use of ethanol has been demonstrated to reduce greenhouse emissions slightly as compared to gasoline. Through this ebook, you are going to learn what you will need to know why choosing an alternative fuel may benefit you and your future.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment