Standard Article

6 The Combustion of Low Heating Value Gaseous Fuel Mixtures

Part 3. Gaseous and Liquid Fuels

  1. Ghazi A. Karim

Published Online: 15 JUL 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9783527628148.hoc045

Handbook of Combustion

Handbook of Combustion

How to Cite

Karim, G. A. 2010. The Combustion of Low Heating Value Gaseous Fuel Mixtures. Handbook of Combustion. 3:6:141–163.

Author Information

  1. University of Calgary, Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2010


The presence of diluents such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen with methane lowers significantly the effective heating value of the fuel mixture and can bring about adverse changes to the combustion characteristics of the methane. It may undermine its effective utilization altogether depending on the composition and the type of device used and the associated operating conditions. Such fuel mixtures are often encountered with varying composition in numerous natural, industrial and biogases and represent a potential energy source that needs to be exploited effectively. This section will discuss primarily how the presence of such diluent gases with methane modifies significantly the thermodynamic, kinetic and combustion characteristics of the fuel in air. It is shown that the presence with methane of nitrogen is tolerated relatively much better in combustion systems than the corresponding similar presence of carbon dioxide. The bases for these trends are discussed with examples of some operational considerations.


  • gaseous fuel mixtures;
  • low heating value;
  • combustion;
  • thermodynamics;
  • chemical kinetics;
  • natural gas;
  • diluent gas;
  • methane;
  • carbon dioxide