Chem. Rev. 2023, XXXX, XXX, XXX-XXX
Science Published: (Apr/2023)
Combustion is a reactive oxidation process that releases energy bound in chemical compounds used as fuels─energy that is needed for power generation, transportation, heating, and industrial purposes. Because of greenhouse gas and local pollutant emissions associated with fossil fuels, combustion science and applications are challenged to abandon conventional pathways and to adapt toward the demand of future carbon neutrality. For the design of efficient, low-emission processes, understanding the details of the relevant chemical transformations is essential. Comprehensive knowledge gained from decades of fossil-fuel combustion research includes general principles for establishing and validating reaction mechanisms and process models, relying on both theory and experiments with a suite of analytic monitoring and sensing techniques. Such knowledge can be advantageously applied and extended to configure, analyze, and control new systems using different, nonfossil, potentially zero-carbon fuels. Understanding the impact of combustion and its links with chemistry needs some background. The introduction therefore combines information on exemplary cultural and technological achievements using combustion and on nature and effects of combustion emissions. Subsequently, the methodology of combustion chemistry research is described. A major part is devoted to fuels, followed by a discussion of selected combustion applications, illustrating the chemical information needed for the future.