Glossary

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Browse terms related to these fuel groups:   alternative fuels    coal     electricity     natural gas     nuclear     petroleum    renewable

F

F.A.S.:  See Free Alongside Ship.

f.a.s. value:  Free alongside ship value. The value of a commodity at the port of exportation, generally including the purchase price plus all charges incurred in placing the commodity alongside the carrier at the port of exportation in the country of exportation.

F.O.B:  See Free On Board.

f.o.b. price:  The price actually charged at the producing country's port of loading. The reported price should be after deducting any rebates and discounts or adding premiums where applicable and should be the actual price paid with no adjustment for credit terms.

f.o.b. value (coal):  Free-on-board value. This is the value of coal at the coal mine or of coke and breeze at the coke plant without any insurance or freight transportation charges added.

Fabricated fuel:  Fuel assemblies composed of an array of fuel rods loaded with pellets of enriched uranium dioxide.

Facilities charge:  An amount to be paid by the customer in a lump sum, or periodically as reimbursement for facilities furnished. The charge may include operation and maintenance as well as fixed costs.

Facility:  An existing or planned location or site at which prime movers, electric generators, and/or equipment for converting mechanical, chemical, and/or nuclear energy into electric energy are situated or will be situated. A facility may contain more than one generator of either the same or different prime mover type. For a cogenerator, the facility includes the industrial or commercial process.

Fahrenheit:  A temperature scale on which the boiling point of water is at 212 degrees above zero on the scale and the freezing point is at 32 degrees above zero at standard atmospheric pressure.

Failure or hazard:  Any electric power supply equipment or facility failure or other event that, in the judgment of the reporting entity, constitutes a hazard to maintaining the continuity of the bulk electric power supply system such that a load reduction action may become necessary and reportable outage may occur. Types of abnormal conditions that should be reported include the imposition of a special operating procedure, the extended purchase of emergency power, other bulk power system actions that may be caused by a natural disaster, a major equipment failure that would impact the bulk power supply, and an environmental and/or regulatory action requiring equipment outages.

Farm out (in) arrangement:  An arrangement, used primarily in the oil and gas industry, in which the owner or lessee of mineral rights (the first party) assigns a working interest to an operator (the second party), the consideration for which is specified exploration and/or development activities. The first party retains an overriding royalty or other type of economic interest in the mineral production. The arrangement from the viewpoint of the second party is termed a "farm-in arrangement."

Farm use:  Energy use at establishments where the primary activity is growing crops and/or raising animals. Energy use by all facilities and equipment at these establishments is included, whether or not it is directly associated with growing crops and/or raising animals. Common types of energy-using equipment include tractors, irrigation pumps, crop dryers, smudge pots, and milking machines. Facility energy use encompasses all structures at the establishment, including the farm house.

FASB:   Financial Accounting Standards Board

Fast breeder reactor (FBR):  A reactor in which the fission chain reaction is sustained primarily by fast neutrons rather than by thermal or intermediate neutrons. Fast reactors require little or no moderator to slow down the neutrons from the speeds at which they are ejected from fissioning nuclei. This type of reactor produces more fissile material than it consumes.

FBR:   Fast Breeder Reactor

Federal coal lease:  A lease granted to a mining company to produce coal from land owned and administered by the Federal Government in exchange for royalties and other revenues.

Federal electric utility:  A utility that is either owned or financed by the Federal Government.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC):  The Federal agency with jurisdiction over interstate electricity sales, wholesale electric rates, hydroelectric licensing, natural gas pricing, oil pipeline rates, and gas pipeline certification. FERC is an independent regulatory agency within the Department of Energy and is the successor to the Federal Power Commission.

Federal Power Act:  Enacted in 1920, and amended in1935, the Act consists of three parts. The first part incorporated the Federal Water Power Act administered by the former Federal Power Commission, whose activities were confined almost entirely to licensing non-Federal hydroelectric projects. Parts II and III were added with the passage of the Public Utility Act. These parts extended the Act's jurisdiction to include regulating the interstate transmission of electrical energy and rates for its sale as wholesale in interstate commerce. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is now charged with the administration of this law.

Federal Power Commission (FPC):  The predecessor agency of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The Federal Power Commission was created by an Act of Congress under the Federal Water Power Act on June 10, 1920. It was charged originally with regulating the electric power and natural gas industries. It was abolished on September 30, 1977, when the Department of Energy was created. Its functions were divided between the Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, an independent regulatory agency.

Federal region:  In a Presidential directive issued in 1969, various Federal agencies (among them the currently designated Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, the Office of Economic Opportunity, and the Small Business Administration) were instructed to adopt a uniform field system of 10 geographic regions with common boundaries and headquarters cities. The action was taken to correct the evolution of fragmented Federal field organization structures that each agency or component created independently, usually with little reference to other agencies' arrangements. Most Federal domestic agencies or their components have completed realignments and relocations to conform to the Standard Federal Administration Regions (SFARs).

Fee interest:  The absolute, legal possession and ownership of land, property, or rights, including mineral rights. A fee interest can be sold (in its entirety or in part) or passed on to heirs or successors.

Feeder line:  An electrical line that extends radially from a distribution substation to supply electrical energy within an electric area or sub-area.

FERC:   Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

FERC guidelines:  A compilation of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's enabling statutes; procedural and program regulations; and orders, opinions, and decisions.

Fertile material:  Material that is not itself fissionable by thermal neutrons but can be converted to fissile material by irradiation. The two principal fertile materials are uranium-238 andthorium-232.

FGD:   Flue-Gas Desulfurization

Field:  An area consisting of a single reservoir or multiple reservoirs all grouped on, or related to, the same individual geological structural feature and/or stratigraphic condition. There maybe two or more reservoirs in a field that are separated vertically by intervening impervious strata or laterally by local geologic barriers, or by both.

Field area:  A geographic area encompassing two or more pools that have a common gathering and metering system, the reserves of which are reported as a single unit. This concept applies primarily to the Appalachian region.

Field discovery year:  The calendar year in which a field was first recognized as containing economically recoverable accumulations of oil and/or gas.

Field production:  Represents crude oil production on leases, including lease condensate. Excludes plant condensate and other processed liquids. Note: In some EIA publications, field production includes NGPL production, in accordance with definitions used prior to January 2014.

Field separation facility:  A surface installation designed to recover lease condensate from a produced natural gas stream usually originating from more than one lease and managed by the operator of one or more of these leases.

File rate schedule:  The rate for a particular electric service, including attendant contract terms and conditions, accepted for filing by a regulatory body with appropriate oversight authority.

Filing:  Any written application, complaint, declaration, petition, protest, answer, motion, brief, exception, rate schedule, or other pleading, amendment to a pleading, document, or similar paper that is submitted to a utility commission.

Final order:  A final ruling by FERC that terminates an action, decides some matter litigated by the petitioning parties, operates to some right, or completely disposes of the subject matter.

Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB):  An independent board responsible, since 1973, for establishing generally accepted accounting principles. Its official pronouncements are called "Statements of Financial Accounting Standards" and "Interpretations of Financial Accounting Standards."

Finished leaded gasoline:  Contains more than 0.05 gram of lead per gallon or more than 0.005 gram of phosphorus per gallon. Premium and regular grades are included, depending on the octane rating. Includes leaded gasohol. Blendstock is excluded until blending has been completed. Alcohol that is to be used in the blending of gasohol is also excluded.

Finished motor gasoline:  See Motor gasoline (finished).

Firm:  An association, company, corporation, estate, individual, joint venture, partnership, sole proprietorship, or any other entity, however organized, including: (a) charitable or educational institutions; (b) the Federal Government, including corporations, departments, federal agencies and other instrumentalities; and (c) state and local governments.

A firm may consist of (1) a parent entity, including the consolidated and unconsolidated entities (if any) that it directly or indirectly controls; (2) a parent and only its consolidated entities; (3) an unconsolidated entity; or (4) any part or combination of the above. Reporting by parent companies is preferred to minimize the possibility of double-counting or under-reporting.

  • Parent - A firm that is not directly or indirectly controlled by another entity.
  • Parent and its Consolidated Entities - A parent and those firms (if any) that are affiliated with the parent entity for purposes of financial statements prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). An individual shall be deemed to control a firm that is directly or indirectly controlled by him/her or by his/her father, mother, spouse, children, or grandchildren.
  • Unconsolidated EntityUnconsolidated Entity - A firm that is affiliated with a parent entity but not consolidated with the parent entity for purposes of financial statements prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). An individual shall be deemed to control a firm that is directly or indirectly controlled by him/her or by his/her father, mother, spouse, children, or grandchildren.
  • Affiliate - An entity that is directly or indirectly owned, operated, or controlled by another entity.
  • Parent and Affiliated Firms - A parent and those firms that are its consolidated and/or unconsolidated entities.

Firm power:  Power or power-producing capacity, intended to be available at all times during the period covered by a guaranteed commitment to deliver, even under adverse conditions.

First purchase (of crude oil):  An equity (not custody) transaction commonly associated with the transfer of ownership of crude oil coupled with the physical removal of the crude oil from a property (lease) for the first time. A first purchase normally occurs at the time and place of ownership transfer where the crude oil volume sold is measured and recorded on a run ticket or other similar physical evidence of purchase. The reported price is the first purchase average cost paid by the purchaser, allowing for any adjustments (deductions or premiums) passed on to the producer or royalty owner.

First purchase price:  The price for domestic crude oil reported by the company that owns the crude oil the first time it is removed from the lease boundary.

First purchaser:  A firm that acquires ownership of domestic crude oil by a first purchase transaction. Physical custody of the crude oil is not a prerequisite. In the case of multiple owners, only one firm should report to avoid double-counting.

Fiscal year:  The U.S. Government's fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; e.g., fiscal year 2002 begins on October 1, 2001 and ends on September 30, 2002

Fissile material:  Material that can be caused to undergo atomic fission when bombarded by neutrons. The most important fissionable materials are uranium-235, plutonium-239, and uranium-233.

Fission:  The process whereby an atomic nucleus of appropriate type, after capturing a neutron, splits into (generally) two nuclei of lighter elements, with the release of substantial amounts of energy and two or more neutrons.

Fixed asset turnover:  A ratio of revenue to fixed assets which is a measure of the productivity and efficiency of property, plant, and equipment in generating revenue. A high turnover reflects positively on the entity's ability to utilize properly its fixed assets in business operations.

Fixed assets:  Tangible property used in the operations of an entity, but not expected to be consumed or converted into cash in the ordinary course of events. With a life in excess of one year, not intended for resale to customers, and subject to depreciation (with the exception of land), they are usually referred to as property, plant, and equipment.

Fixed carbon:  The nonvolatile matter in coal minus the ash. Fixed carbon is the solid residue other than ash obtained by prescribed methods of destructive distillation of a coal. Fixed carbon is the part of the total carbon that remains when coal is heated in a closed vessel until all matter is driven off.

Fixed charge coverage:  The ratio of earnings available to pay so-called fixed charges to such fixed charges. Fixed charges include interest on funded debt, including leases, plus the related amortizations of debt discount, premium, and expense. Earnings available for fixed charges may be computed before or after deducting income taxes. Occasionally credits for the "allowance for funds used during construction" are excluded from the earnings figures. The precise procedures followed in calculating fixed charges or interest coverages vary widely.

Fixed cost (expense):  An expenditure or expense that does not vary with volume level of activity.

Fixed operating costs:  Costs other than those associated with capital investment that do not vary with the operation, such as maintenance and payroll.

Flare:  A tall stack equipped with burners used as a safety device at wellheads, refining facilities, gas processing plants, and chemical plants. Flares are used for the combustion and disposal of combustible gases. The gases are piped to a remote, usually elevated, location and burned in an open flame in the open air using a specially designed burner tip, auxiliary fuel, and steam or air. Combustible gases are flared most often due to emergency relief, overpressure, process upsets, startups, shutdowns, and other operational safety reasons. Natural gas that is uneconomical for sale is also flared. Often natural gas is flared as a result of the unavailability of a method for transporting such gas to markets.

Flared natural gas:  See flare.

Flat and meter rate schedule:  An electric rate schedule consisting of two components, the first of which is a service charge and the second a price for the energy consumed.

Flat demand rate schedule:  An electric rate schedule based on billing demand that provides no charge for energy.

Flat plate pumped:  A medium-temperature solar thermal collector that typically consists of a metal frame, glazing, absorbers (usually metal), and insulation and that uses a pumped liquid as the heat-transfer medium predominant use is in water-heating applications.

Fleet vehicle:  Any motor vehicle a company owns or leases that is in the normal operations of a company. Vehicles which are used in the normal operation of a company, but are owned by company employees are not fleet vehicles. If a company provides services in addition to providing natural gas, only those vehicles that are used by the natural gas provider portion of a company should be counted as fleet vehicles. Vehicles that are considered "off-road" (e.g., farm or construction vehicles) or demonstration vehicles are not to be counted as fleet vehicles. Fleet vehicles include gasoline/diesel powered vehicles and alternative-fuel vehicles.

Flexible fuel vehicle:  A vehicle that can operate on

  1. alternative fuels (such as M85 or E85)
  2. 100-percent petroleum-based fuels
  3. any mixture of an alternative fuel (or fuels) and a petroleum-based fuel.
Flexible fuel vehicles have a single fuel system to handle alternative and petroleum-based fuels.
Flexible fuel vehicle and variable fuel vehicle are synonymous terms.

Flexicoking:  A thermal cracking process which converts heavy hydrocarbons such as crude oil, tar sands bitumen, and distillation residues into light hydrocarbons. Feed stocks can be any pumpable hydrocarbons including those containing high concentrations of sulfur and metals.

Floor (coal):  The upper surface of the stratum underlying a coal seam. In coals that were formed in persistent swamp environments, the floor is typically a bed of clay, known as "underclay," representing the soil in which the trees or other coal-forming swamp vegetation was rooted.

Floor price:  A price specified in a market-price contract as the lowest purchase price of the uranium, even if the market price falls below the specified price. The floor price may be related to the seller's production costs.

Floor space:  The area enclosed by exterior walls of a building, including parking areas, basements, or other floors belowground level. It is measured in square feet.

Floor, wall, or pipeless furnace:  Space-heating equipment consisting of a ductless combustor or resistance unit, having an enclosed chamber where fuel is burned or where electrical-resistance heat is generated to warm the rooms of a building. A floor furnace is located below the floor and delivers heated air to the room immediately above or (if under a partition) to the room on each side. A wall furnace is installed in a partition or in an outside wall and delivers heated air to the rooms on one or both sides of the wall. A pipeless furnace is installed in a basement and delivers heated air through a large register in the floor of the room or hallway immediately above.

Flow control:  The laws, regulations, and economic incentives or disincentives used by waste managers to direct waste generated in a specific geographic area to a designated landfill, recycling, or waste-to-energy facility.

Flue:  An enclosed passage way for directing products of combustion to the atmosphere.

Flue gas desulfurization:  Equipment used to remove sulfur oxides from the combustion gases of a boiler plant before discharge to the atmosphere. Also referred to as scrubbers. Chemicals such as lime are used as scrubbing media.

Flue-gas desulfurization unit (scrubber):  Equipment used to remove sulfur oxides from the combustion gases of a boiler plant before discharge to the atmosphere. Chemicals such as lime are used as the scrubbing media.

Flue-gas particulate collector:  Equipment used to remove fly ash from the combustion gases of a boiler plant before discharge to the atmosphere. Particulate collectors include electrostatic precipitators, mechanical collectors (cyclones), fabric filters (baghouses), and wet scrubbers.

Fluid catalytic cracking:  The refining process of breaking down the larger, heavier, and more complex hydrocarbon molecules into simpler and lighter molecules. Catalytic cracking is accomplished by the use of a catalytic agent and is an effective process for increasing the yield of gasoline from crude oil. Catalytic cracking processes fresh feeds and recycled feeds.

Fluid coking:  A thermal cracking process utilizing the fluidized-solids technique to remove carbon (coke) for continuous conversion of heavy, low-grade oils into lighter products.

Fluidized-bed combustion:  A method of burning particulate fuel, such as coal, in which the amount of air required for combustion far exceeds that found in conventional burners. The fuel particles are continually fed into a bed of mineral ash in the proportions of 1 part fuel to 200 parts ash, while a flow of air passes up through the bed, causing it to act like a turbulent fluid.

Fluorescent lamp:  A glass enclosure in which light is produced when electricity is passed through mercury vapor inside the enclosure. The electricity creates a radiation discharge that strikes a coating on the inside surface of the enclosure, causing the coating to glow. Note: Traditional fluorescent lamps are usually straight or circular white glass tubes used in fixtures specially designed for them. A newer type of fluorescent lamp, the compact fluorescent lamp, takes up much less room, comes in many differently-shaped configurations, and is designed to be used in some fixtures originally intended to house in candescent lamps.

Fluorescent light bulbs:  These are usually long, narrow, white tubes made of glass coated on the inside with fluorescent material, which is connected to a fixture at both ends of the light bulb; some are circular tubes. The light bulb produces light by passing electricity through mercury vapor, which causes the fluorescent coating to glow or fluoresce.

Fluorescent lighting other than compact fluorescent bulbs:  In fluorescent lamps, energy is converted to light by using an electric charge to "excite" gaseous atoms within a fluorescent tube. Common types are "cool white," "warm white," etc. Special energy efficient fluorescent lights have been developed that produce the same amount of light while consuming less energy. Note: for definition of compact fluorescent bulbs, go to compact fluorescent bulbs.

Flux material:  A substance used to promote fusion, e.g., of metals or minerals.

Fly ash:  Particulate matter mainly from coal ash in which the particle diameter is less than 1 x 104 meter. This ash is removed from the flue gas using flue gas particulate collectors such as fabric filters and electrostatic precipitators.

FME:  Free Market Economies. Countries that are members of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) are not included.

Footage drilled:  Total footage for wells in various categories, as reported for any specified period, includes (1)the deepest total depth (length of well bores) of all wells drilled from the surface, (2) the total of all bypassed footage drilled in connection with reported wells, and (3) all new footage drilled for directional sidetrack wells. Footage reported for directional side-track wells does not include footage in the common bore that is reported as footage for the original well. In the case of old wells drilled deeper, the reported footage is that which was drilled below the total depth of the old well.

Forced outage:  The shutdown of a generating unit, transmission line, or other facility for emergency reasons or a condition in which the generating equipment is unavailable for load due to unanticipated breakdown.

Foreign access:  Refers to proved reserves of crude, condensate, and natural gas liquids applicable to long-term supply agreements with foreign governments or authorities in which the company or one of its affiliates acts as producer.

Foreign currency transaction gains and losses:  Gains or losses resulting from the effect of exchange rate changes on transactions denominated in currencies other than the functional currency (for example, a U.S. enterprise may borrow Swiss francs or a French subsidiary may have a receivable denominated in kroner from a Danish customer). Gains and losses on those foreign currency transactions are generally included in determining net income for the period in which exchange rates change unless the transaction hedges a foreign currency commitment or a net investment in a foreign entity. Intercompany transactions of a long-term investment nature are considered part of a parent's net investment and hence do not give rise to gains or losses.

Foreign currency translation effects:  Gains or losses resulting from the process of expressing amounts denominated or measured in one currency in terms of another currency by use of the exchange rate between the two currencies. This process is generally required to consolidate the financial statements of foreign affiliates into the total company financial statements and to recognize the conversion of foreign currency or the settlement of a receivable or payable denominated in foreign currency at a rate different from that at which the item is recorded. Translation adjustments are not included in determining net income, but are disclosed as separate components of consolidated equity.

Foreign operations:  These are operations that are located outside the United States. Determination of whether an enterprise's mobile assets, such as offshore drilling rigs or ocean-going vessels, constitute foreign operations should depend on whether such assets are normally identified with operations located outside the United States.

Foreign-controlled firms (coal):  Foreign-controlled firms are U.S. coal producers with more than 50 percent of their stock or assets owned by a foreign firm.

Forward cost (1):  Forward costs are those operating and capital costs yet to be incurred at the time an estimate of reserves is made. Profits and "sunk" costs, such as past expenditures for property acquisition, exploration, and mine development, are not included. Therefore, the various forward-cost categories are independent of the market price at which uranium produced from the reserves would be sold.

Forward cost (2):  The operating and capital costs still to be incurred in the production of uranium from in-place reserves. By using forward costing, estimates for reserves for ore deposits in differing geological settings and status of development can be aggregated and reported for selected cost categories. Included are costs for labor, materials, power and fuel, royalties, payroll taxes, insurance, and applicable general and administrative costs. Excluded from forward cost estimates are prior expenditures, if any, incurred for property acquisition, exploration, mine development, and mill construction, as well as income taxes, profit, and the cost of money. Forward costs are neither the full costs of production nor the market price at which the uranium, when produced, might be sold.

Forward costs (uranium):  The operating and capital costs that will be incurred in any future production of uranium from in-place reserves. Included are costs for labor, materials, power and fuel, royalties, payroll taxes, insurance, and general and administrative costs that are dependent upon the quantity of production and, thus, applicable as variable costs of production. Excluded from forward costs are prior expenditures, if any, incurred for property acquisition, exploration, mine development, and mill construction, as well as income taxes, profit, and the cost of money. Note: By use of forward costing, estimates of reserves for ore deposits in differing geological settings can be aggregated and reported as the maximum amount that can theoretically be extracted to recover the specified costs of uranium oxide production under the listed forward cost categories.

Forward coverage:  Amount of uranium required to assure uninterrupted operation of nuclear power plants.

Fossil fuel:  An energy source formed in the Earth's crust from decayed organic material. The common fossil fuels are petroleum, coal, and natural gas.

Fossil fuel electric generation:  Electric generation in which the prime mover is an internal combustion engine or a turbine rotated by high-pressure steam produced in a boiler or by a hot exhaust gas produced from the burning of fossil fuels.

Fossil fuel plant:  A plant using coal, petroleum, or gas as its source of energy.

Fossil fuel steam-electric power plant:  An electricity generation plant in which the prime mover is a turbine rotated by high-pressure steam produced in a boiler by heat from burning fossil fuels.

Foundry:  An operation where metal castings are produced, using coke as a fuel.

Foundry coke:  This is a special coke that is used in furnaces to produce cast and ductile iron products. It is a source of heat and also helps maintain the required carbon content of the metal product. Foundry coke production requires lower temperatures and longer times than blast furnace coke.

FPC:   Federal Power Commission

Fractionation:  The process by which saturated hydrocarbons are removed from natural gas and separated into distinct products, or "fractions," such as propane, butane, and ethane.

Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC):  An agreement opened for signature at the "Earth Summit" in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 4, 1992, which has the goal of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent significant anthropogenically forced climate change.

Free alongside ship (f.a.s.):  The value of a commodity at the port of exportation, generally including the purchase price plus all charges incurred in placing the commodity alongside the carrier at the port of exportation.

Free on board (f.o.b.):  In the international petroleum industry, this term typically refers to the price of oil or natural gas actually charged at the producing country's port of loading. The reported f.o.b. price includes deductions for any rebates and discounts or additions of premiums where applicable and should be the actual price paid to the seller with no adjustment for the cost of ocean freight, insurance, or credit. For coal and breeze, f.o.b. has the dual meaning of the price of coal at the coal mine, or the price of coal at the producer country‚Äôs port of loading, both before the cost of insurance, freight, and credit.

Free well:  A well drilled and equipped by an assignee as consideration for the assignment of a fractional share of the working interest, commonly under a farm-out agreement.

Fresh feed input:  Represents input of material (crude oil, unfinished oils, natural gas liquids, other hydrocarbons and oxygenates or finished products) to processing units at a refinery that is being processed (input) into a particular unit for the first time.

Examples:

(1) Unfinished oils coming out of a crude oil distillation unit which are input into a catalytic cracking unit are considered fresh feed to the catalytic cracking unit.

(2) Unfinished oils coming out of a catalytic cracking unit being looped back into the same catalytic cracking unit to be reprocessed are not considered fresh feed.

Fresh feeds:  Crude oil or petroleum distillates that are being fed to processing units for the first time.

FRS:  Financial Reporting System Survey (EIA survey).

Fuel:  Any material substance that can be consumed to supply heat or power. Included are petroleum, coal, and natural gas (the fossil fuels), and other consumable materials, such as uranium, biomass, and hydrogen.

Fuel cell:  A device capable of generating an electrical current by converting the chemical energy of a fuel (e.g., hydrogen) directly into electrical energy. Fuel cells differ from conventional electrical cells in that the active materials such as fuel and oxygen are not contained within the cell but are supplied from outside. It does not contain an intermediate heat cycle, as do most other electrical generation techniques.

Fuel cycle:  The entire set of sequential processes or stages involved in the utilization of fuel, including extraction, transformation, transportation, and combustion. Emissions generally occur at each stage of the fuel cycle.

Fuel efficiency:  See Miles per gallon.

Fuel emergencies:  An emergency that exists when supplies of fuels or hydroelectric storage for generation are at a level or estimated to be at a level that would threaten the reliability or adequacy of bulk electric power supply. The following factors should be taken into account to determine that a fuel emergency exists 1. Fuel stock or hydroelectric project water storage levels are 50 percent or less of normal for that particular time of the year and a continued downward trend in fuel stock or hydroelectric project water storage level is estimated; or 2. Unscheduled dispatch or emergency generation is causing an abnormal use of a particular fuel type, such that the future supply of stocks of that fuel could reach a level that threatens the reliability or adequacy of bulk electric power supply.

Fuel ethanol:  Ethanol intended for fuel use. Fuel ethanol in the United States must be anhydrous (less than 1 percent water). Fuel ethanol is denatured (made unfit for human consumption), usually prior to transport from the ethanol production facility, by adding 2 to 5 volume percent petroleum, typically pentanes plus or conventional motor gasoline. Fuel ethanol is used principally for blending in low concentrations with motor gasoline as an oxygenate or octane enhancer. In high concentrations, it is used to fuel alternative-fuel vehicles specially designed for its use. See Alternative-Fuel Vehicle, Denaturant, E85, Ethanol, Fuel Ethanol Minus Denaturant, and Oxygenates.

Fuel Ethanol Minus Denaturant:  An unobserved quantity of anhydrous, biomass-derived, undenatured ethanol for fuel use. The quantity is obtained by subtracting the estimated denaturant volume from fuel ethanol volume. Fuel ethanol minus denaturant is counted as renewable energy, while denaturant is counted as nonrenewable fuel. See Denaturant, Ethanol, Fuel Ethanol, Nonrenewable Fuels, and Oxygenates .

Fuel expenses:  These costs include the fuel used in the production of steam or driving another prime mover for the generation of electricity. Other associated expenses include unloading the shipped fuel and all handling of the fuel up to the point where it enters the first bunker, hopper, bucket, tank, or holder in the boiler-house structure.

Fuel injection:  A fuel delivery system whereby gasoline is pumped to one or more fuel injectors under high pressure. The fuel injectors are valves that, at the appropriate times, open to allow fuel to be sprayed or atomized into a throttle bore or into the intake manifold ports. The fuel injectors are usually solenoid operated valves under the control of the vehicle's on-board computer (thus the term "electronic fuel injection"). The fuel efficiency of fuel injection systems is less temperature-dependent than carburetor systems. Diesel engines always use injectors.

Fuel oil:  A liquid petroleum product less volatile than gasoline, used as an energy source. Fuel oil includes distillate fuel oil (No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4), and residual fuel oil (No. 5 and No.6).

Fuel oil supplier:  See Energy supplier.

Fuel purchase agreement:  An agreement between a company and a fuel provider which stipulates that the company agrees to purchase its fuel from the fuel provider. If the company has a credit card for use at a fuel provider's locations, but is not bound by an additional agreement to purchase fuel from that provider, the credit card agreement alone is not considered a fuel purchase agreement.

Fuel ratio:  The ratio of fixed carbon to volatile matter in coal.

Fuel switching capability:  The short-term capability of a manufacturing establishment to have used substitute energy sources in place of those actually consumed. Capability to use substitute energy sources means that the establishment's combustors (for example, boilers, furnaces, ovens, and blast furnaces) had the machinery or equipment either in place or available for installation so that substitutions could actually have been introduced within 30 days without extensive modifications. Fuel-switching capability does not depend on the relative prices of energy sources; it depends only on the characteristics of the equipment and certain legal constraints.

Fuel wood:  Wood and wood products, possibly including scrubs and branches, etc, bought or gathered, and used by direct combustion.

Fuel-switching DSM program assistance:  DSM program assistance where the sponsor encourages consumers to change from one fuel to another for a particular end-use service. For example, utilities might encourage consumers to replace electric water heaters with gas units or encourage industrial consumers to use electric microwave heaters instead of natural gas-heaters.

Fuel/fabricator assembly identifier:  Individual assembly identifier based on a numbering scheme developed by individual fuel fabricators. Most fuel fabricator assembly identifiers schemes closely match the scheme developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and are therefore unique.

Fuels solvent deasphalting:  A refining process for removing asphalt compounds from petroleum fractions, such as reduced crude oil. The recovered stream from this process is used to produce fuel products.

Fugitive emissions:  Unintended leaks of gas from the processing, transmission, and/or transportation of fossil fuels.

Full forced outage:  The net capability of main generating units that are unavailable for load for emergency reasons.

Full power day:  The equivalent of 24 hours of full power operation by a reactor. The number of full power days in a specific cycle is the product of the reactor's capacity factor and the length of the cycle.

Full power operation:  Operation of a unit at 100 percent of its design capacity. Full-power operation precedes commercial operation.

Full requirements consumer:  A wholesale consumer without other generating resources whose electric energy seller is the sole source of long-term firm power for the consumer's service area. The terms and conditions of sale are equivalent to the seller's obligations to its own retail service, if any.

Fumarole:  A vent from which gas or steam issue; a geyser or spring that emits gases.

Furnace:  The part of a boiler or warm-air space-heating plant in which combustion takes place.

Furnace coke plant:  A coke plant whose coke production is used primarily by the producing company.

Furnaces that heat directly, withoutusing steam or hot water (similar to a residential furnace):  Furnaces burn natural gas, fuel oil, propane/ butane (bottled gas), or electricity to warm the air. The warmed air is then distributed throughout the building through ducts. Many people use the words "boilers" and "furnaces" interchangeably. They are not the same. We mean that warm air is produced directly by burning some fuel. Warm-air furnaces typically rely on air ducts to carry the warm air throughout the building. Warm-air furnaces are often built in combination with central air-conditioning systems, so that they can use the same air ducts for either heating or air-conditioning (depending on the season). Other terms for describing this type of equipment include "central system," "split system," and "forced air/forces air furnace."

Futures market:  A trade center for quoting prices on contracts for the delivery of a specified quantity of a commodity at a specified time and place in the future.