What is fossil fuels? Natural resources, such as coal, oil and natural gas, containing hydrocarbons. These fuels are formed in the Earth over millions of years and produce carbon dioxide when burnt.
What are different types of fossil fuels? There are many different types of fossil fuels, these are the important ones: coal, petroleum, and natural gas.
How is coal formed? Coal is formed from plant remains that have been compacted, hardened, chemically altered, and metamorphosed by heat and pressure over geologic time.
Different stages of coal formation? Coal is formed when peat is altered physically and chemically. This process is called "coalification." During coalification, peat undergoes several changes as a result of bacterial decay, compaction, heat, and time. The stages of this trend proceed from plant debris through peat, lignite, sub-bituminous coal, bituminous coal, anthracite coal, to graphite.
Coal uses Coal is very commonly used today to produce electricity. Coal is also used in iron and steel production, cement manufacturing, in the production of coal tar, home heating, and any number of industrial applications that require heat.
How is oil formed? Oil was formed from the remains of animals and plants that lived millions of years ago in a marine environment before the dinosaurs. Over millions of years, the remains of these animals and plants were covered by layers of sand and silt. Heat and pressure from these layers helped the remains turn into what we call crude oil. The word "petroleum" means "oil from the earth."
Oil Uses When petroleum is refined, its various chemical parts are separated and some become gasoline, some lubricants, some asphalt, and others the raw materials for plastics and rubber and many more things.
How is natural gas formed? The main ingredient in natural gas is methane, a gas (or compound) composed of one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms.
Natural gas uses Natural gas is used to produce steel, glass, paper, clothing, brick, electricity and as an essential raw material for many common products. Some products that use natural gas as a raw material are: paints, fertilizer, plastics, antifreeze, dyes, photographic film, medicines, and explosives.
Refineries A refinery is a production facility composed of a group of chemical engineering unit processes and unit operations refining certain materials and converting raw material into products of value. An oil refinery or petroleum refinery is an industrial process plant where crude oil is processed and refined into more useful petroleum products.
Exxon Valdez oil spill The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska, on March 24, 1989, when the Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker bound for Long Beach, California, hit Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef and spilled an estimated minimum 10.8 million US gallons of crude oil. It is considered to be one of the most devastating human-caused environmental disasters ever to occur in history.
Deepwater horizon oil spill The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is a massive ongoing oil spill stemming from a sea floor oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico. The spill started with an oil well blowout on April 20, 2010 which caused a explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil drilling platform that was situated about 40 miles southeast of the Louisiana coast. The gusher originates from a deepwater oil well 5,000 feet (1,500 m) below the ocean surface. Numerous estimates have been made for the amount of oil being discharged, ranging from 5,000 barrels (210,000 US gallons; 790,000 litres) to 100,000 barrels (4,200,000 US gallons; 16,000,000 litres) of crude oil per day.