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What is a Fuel?

A fuel is a substance that releases energy.
Some fuels (for example uranium) release energy
from nuclear reactions. Most fuels release their
energy by reacting with oxygen in the air (burning).

A fuel will burn more rapidly and release energy at a
faster rate if it is supplied with pure oxygen instead of air.
High temperature torches for metal welding use a
mixture of pure oxygen with a fuel called acetylene (ethyne).

What type of Substance makes a Good Fuel?

A substance is a good fuel if it is easily available,
releases a large amount of energy,
produces a small amount of pollutant products
and is easy to store and transport.
The amount of energy released by a fuel can
be measured using a simple calorimeter.

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