|Combustion=Fuel + Air
Air is an essential component of almost every energy
equation in our daily lives and too often our vital links to the
atmosphere are omitted in popular language (images-words). As a result our awareness of
ourselves as thermodynamic beings is diminished. Also reduced is our
awareness of the impact of human activities involving combustion on the gas/thermal balances of the
See also Energy
See also Energy Transformations.
This page is part of a programme Communicating and Teaching the scientific principles underlying Climate Change issues.
Food (fuel) is sometimes called ‘energy’. If we are unable
breathe in air containing oxygen then food is of no use to us.
Fuels are often called energy. For instance, gas is called
‘pure energy’ and Coal is called ‘solid energy’. In the process of combustion both coal and gas
have to be combined with oxygen to be of use.
Such terms obscure the fact that the atmosphere is mined as well as the earth
Such terms obscure the fact that the atmosphere is mined as well as the earth .
Some diagrams illustrating the operation of thermal
electricity generating plants omit to represent the large inflow of air
involved. Some even omit to illustrate the air intake fans.
Petroleum is often called ‘energy’ and retail outlets describe themselves as ‘energy centres’. The entire focus is on the petrol tank. Omitted is the vital role of the carburetor and the atmosphere in the powering of vehicles.