fossil fuel

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fossil fuel:

see energy, sources ofenergy, sources of,
origins of the power used for transportation, for heat and light in dwelling and working areas, and for the manufacture of goods of all kinds, among other applications.
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; fuelfuel,
material that can be burned or otherwise consumed to produce heat. The common fuels used in industry, transportation, and the home are burned in air. The carbon and hydrogen in fuel rapidly combine with oxygen in the air in an exothermal reaction—one that liberates
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.
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fossil fuel

[¦fäs·əl ′fyül]
(geology)
Any hydrocarbon deposit that may be used for fuel; examples are petroleum, coal, and natural gas.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Fossil fuel

Any naturally occurring carbon-containing material which when burned with air (or oxygen) produces (directly) heat or (indirectly) energy. Fossil fuels can be classified according to their respective forms at ambient conditions. Thus, there are solid fuels (coals); liquid fuels (petroleum, heavy oils, bitumens); and gaseous fuels (natural gas, which is usually a mixture of methane, CH4, with lesser amounts of ethane, C2H6, hydrogen sulfide, H2S, and numerous other constituents in small proportions).

One important aspect of the fossil fuels is the heating value of the fuel, which is measured as the amount of heat energy produced by the complete combustion of a unit quantity of the fuel. For solid fuels and usually for liquid fuels the heating value is quoted for mass, whereas for gaseous fuels the heating value is quoted for volume. The heating values are commonly expressed as British thermal units per pound (Btu/lb). In SI units the heating values are quoted in megajoules per kilogram (MJ/kg). For gases, the heating values are expressed as Btu per cubic foot (Btu/ft3) or as megajoules per cubic meter (MJ/m3). The table gives heating values of representative fuels. See Energy sources

Heating values of representative fuels
Fossil fuel Btu/lb Btu/ft3 MJ/k MJ/m3
Natural gas 900 33.5
Petroleum 19,000 44.1
Heavy oil 18,000 41.8
Tar-sand bitumen 17,800 41.3
Coal
Lignite 8,000* 18.6
Subbituminous 10,500* 24.4
Bituminous 15,500* 36.0
Anthracite 15,000* 34.8
*Representative values are given because of the spread of subgroups with various heating values.
McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Engineering. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

fossil fuel

any naturally occurring carbon or hydrocarbon fuel, such as coal, petroleum, peat, and natural gas, formed by the decomposition of prehistoric organisms
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The NSO said telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery, as well as mineral fuels and fertilizers, accounted for the bulk of the imports from China.
The price increase in the overall domestic market was 2.2%, mainly due to higher prices of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials by 7.3%.
Prices of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials increased by 4.5% from April to May 2004 and petroleum and petroleum products by 7.6%.
Prices of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials increased by 1.0% from March to April 2004, and crude materials prices increased by 0.2%.
Prices of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials increased by 5.2% from February to March 2004, petroleum and petroleum products by 6.8% and electrical current by 1.6%.
Imports of mineral fuels and electricity increased by 9.9%, imports of machinery and transport equipment rose by 7.2% and imports of passenger cars by 18.5%.
Statistics Norway, the Norwegian state statistics agency, said on Wednesday (10 March) that the Norwegian price index of first-hand domestic sales increased by 0.4% from January 2004 to February 2004, mainly due to increased prices in most groups except mineral fuels.
Prices of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials increased by 1.7%, while prices of electricity decreased by 1.2% and petroleum and petroleum products prices increased by 4.2%.
Statistics Norway, the Norwegian state statistics agency, said on Friday (9 January) that the Norwegian price index of first-hand domestic sales decreased by 0.6% from November to December 2003, mainly due to lower prices of mineral fuels, lubricants and electricity.