Fuels, other than coal, oil and natural gas, may include such substances as:
• Vegetation, both land and aquatic; e.g. bagasse from sugar cane, corn husks, etc.
• Tars as residue from coal and coke operations; e.g. from manufactured gas, steel making, etc.
• Garbage from industrial, commercial and residential waste, etc.
• Gases from garbage piles and manure heaps, etc.

The conversion of energy from geothermal sources, wind, direct solar exposure, tides, temperature differences between surface and deep sections of bodies of water and other esoteric sources, are all in the experimental stage whose economic feasibility is under consideration. Of all the sources mentioned, only hydro, coal, oil and natural gas are subject to procedures that may be considered adaptable to standardized operations.

The decision as to what fuel should be burned depends on the individual plant, the equipment and operating personnel, local conditions, and principally on the price of the fuel. The price, in turn, may be affected by its availability, transportation and handling costs.

In very small plants, hand fi ring with its consequent inefficient operation, cannot compete with oil or gas firing, but higher prices for oil and gas, and lower labor costs, may make such firing competitive.

In large central generating plants, the method and fuel used, whether stoker, pulverized coal, oil or gas, vary so little that price of the fuel is usually the determining factor.

Some of the advantages and disadvantages of oil and gas over coal are listed below; those for oil and gas are essentially the same, except those for gas are usually greater than for oil.

1. Reduction in fuel handling costs.
2. Labor savings; no ash or dust removal, etc.
3. Reduction, or elimination, of storage space.
4. High effi ciencies and capacities (especially for small plants).
5. No loss in heat value when properly stored.
6. Cleanliness and freedom from dust.

1. Usually cost more on equal Btu basis; gas, oil, coal in descending order.
2. Danger from explosion if not properly handled, gas more than oil.
3. Furnace maintenance high; may require closer supervision.

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