What are fossil fuels? Fossil fuels are fuels formed from the organic remains of prehistoric plants and animals. These fuels include a huge proportion of carbon and hydrocarbons.
What are the different types of fossil fuels? There are three types of fossil fuels. Coal, a solid fossil fuel, oil, a liquid fossil fuel and natural gas which is a gas fossil fuel.
How is coal formed? Coal is formed while peat is heated and obtains a huge amount of pressure over time. It is buried by sediment and all of the peats water is squeezed out very quickly.
Different stages of coals formation: Buried by the sediment, peat goes through a continual amount of heat and pressure. Peat is dead vegetation. It is compressed to form lignite. This goes on for a long period of time until coal is formed.
How is coal used as a fossil fuel? 93% of the coal used in the United States is used for producing electricity. Also, industries take apart coal and use its ingredients to make products such as plastic, medicines and more.
How is oil formed? Oil was formed from the remains of animals and plants that lived millions of years ago in a water setting. The remains were covered by silt and sand. Heat and pressure turned layers into what we call crude oil today.
How is oil used as a fossil fuel? In America, we use oil for fuel for lamps and lighting. Humans also use oil to manufacture medicine, plastics and other materials.
How is natural gas formed? Millions of years ago, plants and animals that died and decayed built up into layers. After a while, silt and sand turned into rock which piled on top of the decomposed matter. This turned some of the substance into oil, some into coal and some into natural gas.
How is natural gas used as a fossil fuel? Natural gas is used to create steal, glass, paper, electricity and more. Some raw materials that use this gas are fertilizers, paints, photographic film, and much more. People also use natural gas as a heating supplementary in their homes. We can also use it for dryers, stoves and water heaters.
What are refineries and why are they important to the production of fossil fuels? A refinery is a production facility that takes raw materials and turns them into equipment people need. They are important to the production of fossil fuels because without the refineries, there would be no way to craft what we need from the fuels.
Exxon Valdez oil spill This oil spill occurred when an oil tanker was on its way to California but hit Prince William Sound Reef and spilled a minimum of 10.8 million gallons from the US. To clean it up, dispersant was used. After it was discontinued, the process of burning it was brought up. Thousand of animals were killed immediately following the spill including sea birds, sea and river otters, seals, bald eagles, orcas and more. After the spill, sea otters and ducks started dying out immensely. This is because the intake of their pray, which had a lot of oil inside of it.
Deep Water Horizon catastrophe This ongoing oil spill started from an underwater oil gusher. This caused an explosion on the Deep Water oil platform. 11 people are missing and assumed dead and 17 others are injured. To clean up, there are 700 workers, 4 airplanes and 32 vessels to contain the oil. The US military then said they would assist in the clean up. Then, on May 4th, there were 170 vessels and almost 7,500 human resources involved in the cleanup, with another 2,000 volunteers assisting. The environment was threatened when there was news of a slick, endangering more than 400 species. Later, there were reports of oil washing up on Louisiana’s Golf Coast. This current can spread oil to the Atlantic Ocean, imperiling even more life.