fossil fuels/non-renewable energy sources used to generate electricity
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Fossil Fuels/Non-Renewable Energy Sources Used to Generate Electricity
Fossil fuels Formed many hundreds of millions of years ago before the time of the dinosaurs that is why they were name fossil fuels.
How Did Fossil Fuels Form?As the trees and plants died, they sank to the bottom of the swamps of oceans. They formed layers of a spongy material called peat. Over many hundreds of years, the peat was covered by sand and clay and other minerals, which turned into a type of rock called sedimentary.More and more rock piled on top of more rock, and it weighed more and more. It began to press down on the peat. The peat was squeezed and squeezed until the water came out of it and it eventually, over millions of years, it turned into one of 3 types of fossil fuels.
Why are fossil fuels non-renewable?Fossil fuels take millions of years to make. We are using up the fuels that were made more than 300 million years ago before the time of the dinosaurs. Once they are gone they are gone. We can save fossil fuels by conserving energy and by using renewable resources to make electricity.
There are 3 major forms of fossil fuels: CoalOilNatural Gas
Coal A hard, black colored rock-like substance. It is made up of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and varying amounts of sulphur, oil and natural gas.www.freefoto.com
Oil Formed more than 300 million years ago.Some scientists say that tiny diatoms are the source of oil. Diatoms are sea creatures the size of a pin head. They do one thing just like plants; they can convert sunlight directly into stored energy. ncgogreen.myncblogs.com
Natural gas Natural gas is mostly made up of a gas called methane. Methane is a simple chemical compound that is made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms. It's chemical formula is CH4 - one atom of carbon along with four atoms hydrogen. This gas is highly flammable.www.energy.gov.ab.ca
How are fossil fuels used to make electricity? Coal-fired units produce electricity by burning coal in a boiler to heat water to produce steam. The steam, at tremendous pressure, flows into a turbine, which spins a generator to produce electricity. The steam is cooled, condensed back into water, and returned to the boiler to start the process over.
Oil and Natural GasCombustion turbines are designed to start quickly to meet the demand for electricity during peak operating periods. They are normally run with natural gas as a fuel, although low-sulfur fuel oil can also be used as needed. The turbines operate like a jet engine: they draw in air at the front of the unit, compress it, mix it with fuel, and ignite it. The hot combustion gases then expand through turbine blades connected to a generator to produce electricity.
Oil & Natural Gas.
Over 70% 0f Electricity is Produced by Fossil Fuelshttp://www.treepower.org/quickfacts.html
Advantages of Fossil Fuelscapacity to generate huge amounts of electricity in just a single location. 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.
e. Information on how important is this source likely to become in the future.
Disadvantage of Fossil FuelsPollution 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. Use of natural gas can cause unpleasant odors and some problems especially with transportation. Use of crude oil causes pollution and poses environmental hazards such as oil spills when oil tankers, for instance, experience leaks or drown deep under the sea. Crude oil contains toxic chemicals which cause air pollutants when combusted.
ReferencesTennessee Valley Authority. Fossil-Fuel Generation. 8 May 2009. .Alternative Energy Sources. 9 May 2009..California Energy Commission. April 22, 2002 Energy Story. 9 May 2009. .Energy Matters. 1998. 9 May 2009. http://library.thinkquest.org/20331/types/fossil/advant.html.