Fuel Calorific Values

The calorific value of a fuel is the quantity of heat produced by its combustion – at constant pressure and under “normal”  (standard) conditions (i.e. to 0oC and under a pressure of 1,013 mbar).

The combustion process generates water vapor and certain techniques may be used to recover the quantity of heat contained in this water vapor by condensing it.

  • Higher Calorific Value (or Gross Calorific Value – GCV, or Higher Heating Value – HHV) – the water of combustion is entirely condensed and that the heat contained in the water vapor is recovered;
  • Lower Calorific Value (or Net Calorific Value – NCV, or Lower Heating Value – LHV) – the products of combustion contains the water vapor and that the heat in the water vapor is not recovered.

Arrow Right   Fuel Calorific Values

Natural gas 12500 kcal/kg
Propane-butane 11950 kcal/kg
Disel 10000 kcal/kg
Fuel oil 9520 kcal/kg
Brown coal 3500 kcal/kg
Woods 2500 kcal/kg
Electricity 860 kcal/kWh

Arrow Right 1 cubic meter of Methane weighs 0.717 kg/m³

Arrow Right   1 kW is obtained from:

0.072 kg natural gas
0,073 kg propane-butane
0,083 kg gasoline
0,085 kg disel
0,092 kg fuel oil
0,124 kg charcoal
0,144 kg coal
0,218 kg brown coal

Arrow Right   Composition of Natural Gas

Methane CH4 70-90%
Ethane C2H6 0-20%
Propane C3H8 Butane C4H10 Carbon Dioxide CO2 0-8%
Oxygen O2 0-0.2%
Nitrogen N2 0-5%
Hydrogen sulphide H2 S 0-5%
Rare gasesA, He, Ne, Xe trace

2 thoughts on “Fuel Calorific Values

  1. Jorge Martins

    Would the Calorific Values presented High or Low? I mean, should they be compared to High Heating Values or to Low Heating Values?


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