Producing Electricity from Fossil
Fuels and Renewable Sources
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For many years, we have generated electricity in much the same way:
We can also use the heat from NUCLEAR REACTIONS to make the steam.
Nuclear fuels become hot without burning but the most
commonly used fuels are burned to make heat. These are:
COAL, OIL and NATURAL GAS (Methane)
These fuels were dug out of the ground. They had taken millions of
years to make and so are called FOSSIL FUELS and are NON-
Made from the remains of plants
COAL which died millions of years ago
OIL and NATURAL GAS (Methane)
Made from the decayed remains of sea creatures
which died millions of years ago
Even though it was not made from dead plants or animals,
nuclear fuel is considered to be a fossil fuel because it comes
from the ground and is running out.
All these fossil fuels are running out
and burning them increases carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
which increases the GREENHOUSE EFFECT, causing
Some fossil fuels contain SULPHUR and when they burn
this becomes SULPHUR DIOXIDE, a poisonous gas
which reacts with water in the atmosphere to form
SULPHURIC ACID or ACID RAIN.
To solve the problems of fossil fuels, we need to
RENEWABLE FUELS such as BIOMASS (Wood etc).
Quick-growing plants can be burnt in power stations
instead of fossil fuels but plants can also be grown to
produce oils or sugars to make alcohol which can be
used as a fuel like petrol.
RENEWABLE forms of energy such as:
These use the GPE of water on hills to generate electricity as it flows downhill.
Special versions of this can be used to produce energy
quickly on demand.