• The combustion of fuels is a major source of atmospheric pollutants.

Most fuels, including coal, contain carbon and/or hydrogen and may also contain some sulfur.

The gases released into the atmosphere when a fuel is burned may include carbon dioxide, water vapour, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen. Solid particles and unburned hydrocarbons may also be released that form particulates in the atmosphere.

Students should be able to:

  • describe how carbon monoxide, soot (carbon particles), sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen are produced by burning fuels
  • predict the products of combustion of a fuel given appropriate information about the composition of the fuel and the conditions in which it is used.

WS 1.2 Use a variety of models such as representational, spatial, descriptive, computational and mathematical to solve problems, make predictions and to develop scientific explanations and understanding of familiar and unfamiliar facts.