Question
Thu January 26, 2012 By: Ashok Sharma

Why do coal and petroleum contain nitrogen,hydrogen and sulphur in addition to carbon?Name the gas which on burning coal and petroleum leads to global warming.Under what conditions is carbon monoxide released when fossil fuels are burnt?

Expert Reply
Fri January 27, 2012

Since coal and petroleum have been formed from biomass (plant and animal material), therefore, in addition to carbon and hydrogen, they also contain nitrogen and sulphur elements. Carbon dioxide gas produced on burning coal and petroleum leads to global warming.

If combustion of fossil fuels takes place in an insufficient supply of air (or oxygen), then some carbon monoxide is also produced along with carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide etc.

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