Fuel Calorific Value Calculation to know the Energy Content

Substances that can give out energy in the form of work or heat are referred as fuels. Based on the physical state, fuels are available in the market as solid, liquid and gas fuels. We use fuel for our automobiles, cooking devices, energy generator and mechanical machines. Many fuels are the combination of carbon and hydrogen. These elements reacts with oxygen and liberate energy. Even though latest machines and equipments are designed to conduct this operation, no equipment still now can convert 100 percent chemical energy into heat or work energy. So one, have to choose a perfect fuel to meet his demands with less energy loss. A parameter to choose or select a fuel is its calorific value.

The term calorie is given to heat and it the unit that is used to measure heat energy. Calorific value of a fuel tell us that when a unit fuel is burned completely in presence of oxygen, it release some heat energy it is measured and the value is given in calorie units. The measured value should include the heat quantity obtained when the product flue gases of fuel are condensed to room temperature.

So any fuel with carbon and hydrogen bond with oxygen to give heat, carbon dioxide and water. For one mole of carbon one mole of carbon dioxide is formed. Similarly for one mole of hydrogen one mole of water is formed. Each step consumes one mole of oxygen respectively. Calorific value of a fuel can be calculated for each mole (weight / molecular weight) as:

  • Carbon + Oxygen → Carbon dioxide + 97,644 calories
  • Hydrogen + Oxygen → Water + 69,000 calories

Using this data total calorific value of any fuel containing hydrogen and carbon can be calculated by

= { (% Carbon in the fuel × 8137) + (% Hydrogen in the fuel × 34500) } / 100

Calories 1-gram C = 8137 cal

Calorific value of 1-gram H2 =  34500 cal

Fuel Calorific Value Calculation Solver

Approximate calculation of GCV (gross calorific value) of coal using Dulong’s formula depends on the ultimate analysis method.