How does fuel burn?

Fuel combustion, also known as fuel burn, is the process by which a fuel reacts chemically with oxygen in the presence of heat, resulting in the release of energy in the form of heat and light.

Fire triangle

Fire triangle

The fire triangle is a model used to understand the components required for a fire to occur. It consists of three elements:

  1. Heat
  2. Fuel
  3. Oxygen

        If any one of these elements is missing, a fire cannot be generated.


It is the tendency to convert from liquid state to vapour state. A fuel with higher volatility will vaporize more easily while a fuel with lower volatility is less likely to vaporise.


Flammable or inflammable:

Flammable or inflammable both refers to the materials that can easily catch fire and burn. Opposite is non-flammable material.

Flammable or inflammable

Flash point:

It is the temperature at which liquids form vapours and can catch fire when shown a spark. In case of petrol flash point is low and in case of lube oil flash point is going to be high. In ship flash point should be more than 60º for fuel or any other lube oil.

Flash point

How does fuel burn on a ship?

In an engine fuel is burnt due to three main reasons-


When we receive the fuel in ship it has kinematic viscosity of 380 cst at 50°  which is very thick and will not pass through the valves so it is heated to 130 deg centigrade and brought down to 13 cst.



After the fuel is heated and brought to its desired viscosity it passes through the fuel nozzles which makes fine droplets for proper burning. The droplets should not be very small otherwise it will not reach all corners.


Proper penetration-

The fuel droplets should be of proper size so that it reaches to all corners of the combustion chamber which leads to proper penetration.

proper penetration


If you want to learn more about this topic, we suggest checking out our Combo package with the given link . It’s a great way to dive deeper into the subject through video explanations. This package covers all the important details and presents them in an easy-to-understand format. Watching the videos will help you grasp the topic better and make learning more enjoyable. So, we highly recommend giving our Combo package a try to enhance your knowledge on the subject.

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