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Which of these three fuels; ethanol, methylated spirits or kerosene, would conduct the...

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maylita | (Level 2) Honors

Posted March 5, 2014 at 10:22 AM via web

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Which of these three fuels; ethanol, methylated spirits or kerosene, would conduct the most heat energy and why?

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sciencesolve | Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 5, 2014 at 7:32 PM (Answer #1)

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Ethanol fuel is a bio fuel that can be produced from a large diversity of feed-stocks and it is more efficient than kerosene, although the energy content by volume of ethanol, compared to the energy content by volume of kerosene, is much lower. The water content of ethanol influences its level of energy, hence, the more water the ethanol contains, the less amount of heat it produces. For example, 80% ethanol will produce less heat, per volume of fuel consumed, while 95% ethanol will produce more heat. Both 95% ethanol and 80% ethanol will have a constant flame temperature.

The advantage of ethanol combustion is that it produces less carbon monoxide than kerosene, hence, it could be admitted that the ethanol burns cleanly.

Kerosene or paraffin is a liquid fuel and it is produced from crude oils. Kerosene is less efficient than ethanol, its level of energy released depending on the technological complexity of appliances used. Kerosene does not burn cleanly, producing more emissions than propane, alcohol or liquid petroleum gases.

The methylated spirits represents a mixture between 5% methyl alcohol and 95% ethyl alcohol. The energy released by methylated spirits is superior to the energy released by ethanol, only.

Hence, as conclusion, the combustion of kerosene produces less heat energy than the combustion of ethanol and the combustion of ethanol produces less heat energy than the combustion of methylated spirits.

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