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Chapter: 11th 12th std standard Home Science Maintain Basic Knowledge for family life Higher secondary school College

Fuels and Ovens - Types of Fuels

The more economical, convenient, clean and attractive the kitchen, the greater is the satisfaction it gives to the housewife. Wise selection of fuels and ovens help to conserve time and energy of the homemaker and induce economy in family finance.

FUELS AND OVENS

 

The more economical, convenient, clean and attractive the kitchen, the greater is the satisfaction it gives to the housewife. Wise selection of fuels and ovens help to conserve time and energy of the homemaker and induce economy in family finance.

 

Combustible substances used for the production of heat are known as fuels. They can be graded according to the amount of heat produced. No home or industry can exist without them. All fuels contain the basic combustible elements carbon and hydrogen along with non- combustible materials such as carbon-di-oxide and moisture.

 

Qualities of a Good Fuel

 

A good fuel should be

 

1.     Exothermic

 

2.     Inexpensive

 

3.     Easily storable and transportable

 

The products of combustion should be easily disposable.

TYPES OF FUELS

 

Fuels fall under three major categories solid, liquid and gaseous in their natural or prepared state. Fourth category is electricity and micro wave and fifth category includes solar energy.

Solid fuels   :         Natural       :         Wood, Coal

                   Prepared     :         Charcoal

Liquid fuels :         Natural       :         Petroleum

                   Prepared     :         Kerosene

Gaseous fuels       :         Natural       :         Natural gas

                   Prepared     :         Coal gas, Acetylene,Biogas, Methane gas

Electricity and Microwave Solar energy.                                

Wood

 

It is the cheapest and widely used type of fuel. When considering wood, some burn quickly and steadily for a longer time. Wood is well dried and cut into desired pieces before use. When one end of a piece of wood is burnt, an oily liquid can be seen to ooze out at the other end. The more the oil in the wood, the better it burns (e.g.) Eucalyptus. Commonly the wood of tamarind, margosa, mango and casuarina trees are used. Expensive wood is never used unless it is decayed. People who are bothered about the use, care and maintenance of oil, feel that gas or electricity is highly convenient than fire wood. It is freely available in many rural parts of India.

The disadvantages of using wood are as follows:

1.     It is difficult to kindle and when wet, does not burn properly.

 

2.     Transportation and storage may be a problem.

 

3.     Storage place may become a breeding place for ants, white ants and reptiles.

4.     Certain types of fire wood gives out more smoke.

 

5.     Smoky kitchen suffocates the worker. The kitchen and vessels are darkened with soot and smoke from fire wood.

 

6.     Cleaning the dirty vessels will be more difficult for the homemaker.

 

7.     Proper chimneys need to be constructed to let out the smoke from the kitchen.

 

Cowdung

 

In India, cowdung cakes are used as a supplementing fuel along with firewood. They are considered unhygienic since a lot of insects multiply in the place where they are stored. However, they are good fertilisers and it would be more appropriate to use them as manure.

 

Coal

 

Owing to earthquakes and other natural phenomenon, forests were burnt and burried. As a result, coal is the product of heat and pressure on vegetable and animal matter through many generations. Coal is dugout from underground mines, in many parts of India. In India, coal mines exist in Singareni of Andhrapradesh, and Raniganj of West Bengal. Lignite is available in Neyveli. It gives intense heat and produces more smoke.

 

Charcoal

 

It is the charred remains of wood heated out of contact with air and is widely used for domestic purposes all over India. It burns till completely consumed.

 

Liquid Fuels

 

The liquid fuels are petroleum, petrol spirit, kerosene, alcohol, etc. Kerosene is commonly used in rural Indian homes for stoves and lamps. It is cheap and easy for use in stoves.

Gaseous Fuels

 

Coal gas, acetylene gas, liquefied petroleum gas, cowdung gas are gaseous fuels. In India liquefied petroleum gas is commonly used. It is considered as the best domestic fuel as it does not blacken the vessel and wall. It is economical and the heat can be easily regulated. Gas can cause carbon monoxide poisioning if it is not lighted hence care must be taken to turn off the cylinder valve securely when not in use.

 

Cowdung gas (Biogas)

 

Bio gas is produced by the degradation of biological matter by the bacterial action in the absence of free oxygen. The cheapest and easily obtainable biogas is gobar gas or dung gas which is produced by the anaerobic fermentation of cattle dung in specially constructed plants. Methane 60% and hydrogen 40% are the main combustible constituents of biogas. Bio gas burns with a smokeless blue flame. The gas has all the advantages of gaseous fuel such as high calorific values, economical and cheaper, cleanliness of utensils and surrounding areas, absence of smoke, dust and dirt. It does not contain the poisonous gas carbon monoxide as an ingredient.

Gas Plant

 

The fermentation tank is a brick-lined well, which is filled with cowdung made into a liquid paste with water. This is then covered with an iron drum, introduced upside down into the well. The gas produced is collected into the inverted drum. Through an opening at the top of the drum, the gas can be led to the kitchen by pipes. It solves the fuel problem in villages.

 

Electricity

 

Though electricity is the common fuel in many advanced countries, its use for cooking is a luxury, known only to a few rich Indian families. It gives intense heat very quickly. There is no botheration of smoke or dust, and the kitchen can be kept clean. Electric cooking ranges are still beyond the reach of many people in India. One has to remember the saying that electricity is a good servant, but bad master.

 

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11th 12th std standard Home Science Maintain Basic Knowledge for family life Higher secondary school College : Fuels and Ovens - Types of Fuels |


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