Natural Gas Products of Combustion

April 29, 2015 – 12:34 pm

Graph of Co2 emission trends. Described in text above.We will now look at six products of combustion:

  1. Carbon Dioxide
  2. Carbon Monoxide
  3. Sulfur Dioxide
  4. Nitrogen Oxides
  5. Lead
  6. Particulate Matter

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

Carbon dioxide is the principal product of combustion of fossil fuels since carbon accounts for 60–90 percent of the mass of fuels that we burn.

China has emerged as the largest single emitter of energy related CO2 emissions, reaching an all-time high of 8320 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2010. United States emitted about 5610 million metric tons in 2010. The chart below shows the trend in carbon dioxide emission from 1980. Asia and Oceania, particularly China ad India emission can be seen to increase significantly in the past two decades.

Source: US Energy Information Administration: International Energy Statistics

Each of the end sectors (users) and their contribution (percent) to the overall CO2 emissions is shown in the table below.

Energy-Related CO2 emissions by source and sector for the United States, 2011 (Million Metric Tons)
Sources Residential Commercial Industrial Transportation Electric Power Source Total
Coal Carbon Monoxide Emissions: On-Road Vehicles-55%, Non-road vehicles & Engines-22%, Industrial Processes-4%, Fuel Consumption-4%, Misc.-15%1 151 1, 718 1, 874
Natural Gas 256 171 419 39 411 1, 296
Petroleum 78 49 345 1, 802 25 2, 299
Other 11
Electricity 827 767 567
Sector Total 1, 162 992 1, 482 1, 845 2, 166 5, 481

1= preliminary data

Data was pulled from the US Energy Information Administration

In 2010, 41.9 percent of U.S. fossil-fuel emissions came from the consumption of petroleum products, and coal usage accounted for 35.4 percent of U.S. fossil-fuel CO2 emissions. About 22.5 percent of the CO2 emissions were as a result of natural gas use.

Carbon Monoxide (CO)

Carbon monoxide, or CO, is a colorless, odorless gas that is formed when carbon in fuel is not burned completely. The figure below shows the contribution of various sources to the emissions of CO:

Carbon Monoxide is a component of motor vehicle exhaust, which contributes about 55 percent of all CO emissions nationwide. Other non-road engines and vehicles (such as construction equipment and boats) contribute about 22 percent of all CO emissions nationwide. Higher levels of CO generally occur in areas with heavy traffic congestion. In cities, 85 to 95 percent of all CO emissions may come from motor vehicle exhaust.

Products formed during combustion of fossil fuels. Sources of Sulfur Dioxide Emissions:  Fuel Consumption-Electric utilities=70%, Fuel combustion – Industrial and Other=16%, Industrial Processing=9%, Non Road Vehicles=3%, Highway Vehicles=2% Sources of Nitrogen Oxide Emissions:  Transportation-54%, Fuel Consumption-39%, Insustrial-5%, Misc-2% Smog over Los Angeles
Source: www.e-education.psu.edu
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