Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Fuels and illuminants
(1,349 words)

1. Definition

Fuels and illuminants are naturally occurring or manufactured substances, solid, liquid, or gaseous, composed largely of carbon and hydrogen molecules, that catch fire in the presence of oxygen. Naturally occurring examples include wood, lignite, black coal, peat, petroleum, and natural gas. With the exception of natural gas, these have been used to some degree since Antiquity and, with regional variations, have contributed the majority of fuel and illuminants in Euro…

Cite this page
Bleidick, Dietmar, “Fuels and illuminants”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 17 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_017772>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180208



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