What are Fossil fuels?<br />They are natural stuff like coal, natural gases and oil which contains hydrocarbons. These three were formed hundreds and millions of years before their were dinosaurs.<br />
Different types of fossil fuels<br />Coal<br />Oil<br />Wood<br />Diesel<br />Petroleum <br />Natural gases<br />
How is coal formed?<br />Coal is made from massive amounts of dead vegetation that dell down in a place like a swamp in the Carboniferous Period. Its made out of stuff like sulfur, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, carbon. <br />
Describe the different stages of coal formation?<br />The way that coal is made is similar to the way oil was made. Coal is organic material that is buried in the ground is plant material. Most of the coal that is found in the world today originates from the Carboniferous Period over 300 million years ago. At this time, there were many low-lying swamps that had large numbers of tree ferns and leafy trees. When these trees died, they fell into the swamp and were fairly quickly covered with sediments. Even the lowest grade of coal can be burned to produce heat, unlike the microscopic organism that comprised oil. <br />
How is coal used as a fossil fuel? <br />Coal does get used for other purposes, although some of these uses get mixed with generating electricity. About 6% of the coal used in the U.S. goes toward other industrial uses, which can include those that create electricity for use on site or for combined heat-power generation. Another .5% is designated as residential/commercial use, which is mostly used for heat, but can be used for generating electricity at universities and hospitals. The remaining 3% of the coal consumed in the U.S. goes toward making coke, which is used in the refining of metal ores. Top Coal-Producing States (2001) (Thousand Short Tons) State Amount Wyoming 368,749 West Virginia 162,416 Kentucky 133,834 Pennsylvania 74,146 Texas 45,042<br />
How is oil formed? <br />Begins with plants using solar energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and carbohydrates through a process known as photosynthesis. When the plants die, the sediments containing them become buried and, as the depth of burial increases, heat and pressure transform the carbohydrates into hydrocarbons. <br />
How is oil used as a fossil fuel? <br />When we think of crude oil, gasoline naturally pops right into out heads. For most people, the two are inseparable. There is good reason for this connection in the U.S.: we use 45% of our crude oil to produce gasoline for use in our automobiles. This is necessary for the ever-burgeoning number of cars on the roads and miles that they drive. There were over 235 million registered vehicles in the U.S. in 2001, which were driven, on average, almost 12,000 miles each year.4 Of this number, 137 million consisted of passenger vehicles that got an average of 22 miles per gallon<br />
How is natural gas formed? <br />In the world of fossil fuels, natural gas is often the overlooked ugly duckling. It gets lumped in with oil, as in “oil and gas industry”, even though the discussion usually centers upon oil. It does not help that gasoline, which is derived from oil, is shortened to “gas”. In many people’s mind, the “gas” in “oil and gas” refers to gasoline, and not natural gas. Natural gas is composed primarily of methane (CH4). It does contain other chemical species, such as butane and propane. If the mixture is comprised only of these species, it is called dry natural gas, as there will be no liquid components at standard pressure and temperature<br />
How is natural gas used as a fossil fuel? <br />Over the last century, the use of natural gas has become more diversified. In 2002, 22.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas were used in the U.S. Table 1 shows a list of the different uses of this amount of natural gas. As you can see, natural gas has come a long way from being used primarily to provide lighting. The greatest use today is in the industrial sector as an energy source and as a chemical feedstock for such things as fertilizer. The second greatest use is for generating electricity. <br />
What are refineries and how are they important to production of fossil fuels?<br /> Oil is stored in large tanks until it is sent to various places to be used. At oil refineries, crude oil is split into various types of products by heating the thick black oil. Oil is made into many different products - fertilizers for farms, the clothes you wear, the toothbrush you use, the plastic bottle that holds your milk, the plastic pen that you write with<br />
Exxon Valdez Oil Spill The Exxon Valdzen spilled 11 million gallons of oil into the Mississippi river. In 1989, the Exxon Valdzen leaked 500 gallons of crude oil per second. Environmental control used floating orange balloons filled with air to keep the oil back from land. This worked, due to the fact that oil is less dense than water<br />
Deep water horizon oil catastrophe On April 20, 2010, an explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon, a drilling rig leased by the oil company BP, set off a blaze that killed 11 crew members. Two days later, it sank about 50 miles off the Louisiana coast and crude oil began gushing out of a broken pipe. Attempts to shut down the flow, at first estimated at about 1,000 barrels per day, failed when a safety device called a blowout preventer could not be activated<br />
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