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Fossil Fuels

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3 Major Forms of fossil fuelsPetroleum: Also called crude oil, the term petroleum encompasses multiple types of hydrocarbons, which are compounds consisting primarily of hydrogen and carbon but possibly containing other elements as well. Petroleum forms mainly from marine vegetation and bacteria that lived in the oceans or other saltwater environments millions of years ago. Petroleum deposits are often found in the same locations as natural gas, each of which can be extracted for energy production. Petroleum is used in the production of plastic and medications among many other products.Coal:Coal forms from plants such as ferns, moss and trees which lived near shorelines and in swamps and bogs millions of years ago. When these plants die, they are slowly covered with sediment and over time pressed deep into the earth where they are affected by mounting heat and pressure. Under these conditions, the organic matter becomes richer in carbon and hydrogen, and increasingly deprived of oxygen. Coal goes through various stages of development based on its increasing carbon content, and coal containing higher levels of carbon burns cleaner than those with lower levels. The purest form of coal is graphite, which consists almost entirely of carbon. Natural Gas: Natural gas forms mainly from the remains of plankton, or a type of small water organisms including algae. Consisting mostly of methane, natural gas is often found on top of deposits of petroleum due to its lower density, and is extracted in the same process. However, deposits containing only natural gas do exist. Natural gas is desirable in part because it burns cleaner than coal and petroleum. Natural gas is commonly used in residential applications for home heating and has a myriad of other applications

Fossil Fuels

evaluating fossil fuels
Evaluating Fossil Fuels



  • A major advantage of fossil fuels is their capacity to generate huge amounts of electricity in just a single location. 
  • Fossil fuels are very easy to find. 
  • When coal is used in power plants, they are very cost effective. Coal is also in abundant supply. 
  • Transporting oil and gas to the power stations can be made through the use of pipes making it an easy task. 
  • Power plants that utilize gas are very efficient. 
  • Power stations that make use of fossil fuel can be constructed in almost any location. This is possible as long as large quantities of fuel can be easily brought to the power plants. 
  • Pollution is a major disadvantage of fossil fuels. This is because they give off carbon dioxide when burned thereby causing a greenhouse effect. This is also the main contributory factor to the global warming experienced by the earth today. 
  • Coal also produces carbon dioxide when burned compared to burning oil or gas. Additionally, it gives off sulphur dioxide, a kind of gas that creates acid rain. 
  • Environmentally, the mining of coal results in the destruction of wide areas of land. Mining this fossil fuel is also difficult and may endanger the lives of miners. Coal mining is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. 
  • Power stations that utilize coal need large amounts of fuel. In other words, they not only need truckloads but trainloads of coal on a regular basis to continue operating and generating electricity. This only means that coal-fired power plants should have reserves of coal in a large area near the plant?s location. 
  • Use of natural gas can cause unpleasant odors and some problems especially with transportation.
renewable resources
Renewable Resources
  • Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable (naturally replenished). About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from hydroelectricity. New renewables (small hydro, modern biomass, wind, solar, geothermal, and biofuels) accounted for another 3% and are growing very rapidly. The share of renewables in electricity generation is around 19%, with 16% of global electricity coming from hydroelectricity and 3% from new renewables.

Examples Of Renewable Resources…..

  • Solar Energy
  • Wind Energy
  • Oxygen
non renewable resources
Non-Renewable Resources
  • A non-renewable resource is a natural resource which cannot be produced, grown, generated, or used on a scale which can sustain its consumption rate, once depleted there is no more available for future needs. Also considered non-renewable are resources that are consumed much faster than nature can create them. Fossil fuels (such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas), nuclear power (uranium) and certain aquifers are examples. Metals are prime examples of non-renewable resources. In contrast, resources such as timber (when harvested sustainably) are considered renewable resources.

Examples Of Non-Renewable Resources…

  • Coal
  • Oil
  • Gas
solar energy
Solar Energy
  • Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar energy technologies include solar heating, solar photovoltaics, solar thermal electricity and solar architecture, which can make considerable contributions to solving some of the most urgent problems the world now faces.
  • Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute solar energy. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors to harness the energy. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.
  • In 2011, the International Energy Agency said that "the development of affordable, inexhaustible and clean solar energy technologies will have huge longer-term benefits. It will increase countries’ energy security through reliance on an indigenous, inexhaustible and mostly import-independent resource, enhance sustainability, reduce pollution, lower the costs of mitigating climate change, and keep fossil fuel prices lower than otherwise. These advantages are global. Hence the additional costs of the incentives for early deployment should be considered learning investments; they must be wisely spent and need to be widely shared".