Fossil fuels types, uses, pros and cons:
Fossil fuel is formed from the fossils of animal and plants buried over many years. The age of these organisms is millions of years.
The heat of the Earth’s crust from beneath and the pressure of the rock from the top transform these fossils into fuel which is known as fossil fuel. Maximum percentage of composition of fossil fuel comes carbon and some percentage of other components such as petroleum, coal, natural gas etc.
How long does it take in the formation of fossil fuels?
Fossil fuels are formed under the surface of the earth through a slow process of decomposition of fossils of plants and animals. The fossil of living organisms takes millions of year to transform into fossil fuels; hence it is a prolonged natural process.
Fossil fuels include coal, natural gas, crude oil etc. Usually, the decomposed plants transform into coal, whereas crude oil & natural gas are generated from the fossils of marine organisms.
According to the studies, millions of years ago, many living organisms (plants & animals) were buried in mud after their death. After many years the buried plants & animals were transformed into fossils due to high temperature and pressure of the earth. Later on, these fossils were decomposed into fossil fuels.
Are Fossil Fuels and Renewables Similar?
Fossil fuels are carbon-based organic substances. When we use these substances to generate electricity, it releases greenhouse gases. The gas emits less carbon on burning as compared to coal.
On the other hand, renewables are not carbon-based matters. The sources of renewables are natural that are recharging naturally, such as the sun, wind, water etc.
One significant difference between fossil fuels and renewable is that renewable does not produce greenhouse gases while generating electricity, whereas fossil fuels do.
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What are the types of fossil fuels?
Fossil fuels are the underground natural resources which people use as the primary source for producing electricity, powering vehicles, cooking etc.
The need for energy has been increased with the industrialization from the past few decades. Fossil fuels are fulfilling the requirement of energy for us. Fossil fuels are mainly of 4 types as mentioned below-
Coal is an organic sedimentary rock which looks black in color. The main component of coal is carbon and it founds in layers.
Coal is an important fuel resource that helps in providing energy and electricity across the globe. Coal also plays an important role in the steel industry but the sad part is that it is one of the major reasons for greenhouse effects. This is why coal has comes to a declination mode these days.
Petroleum also termed as crude oil found in liquid form. The main component of petroleum is hydrocarbon and some other liquid organic components.
You can also call it black gold due to its importance in our life. The main usage of petroleum fossil fuel is for automobiles. Its demand is increasing every year but unfortunate excessive consumption of petroleum is working as an air & water pollutant.
- Natural Gas
Natural gas is an inflammable colorless fossil fuel. It consists of mainly methane gas also with ethane, propane, butane etc. and makes a mixture of hydrocarbon gases.
As compared to other fossil fuels, natural gas causes less pollution. Like coal natural gas also depleting but quite rapidly. Industrial, residential, commercial purposes etc. uses natural gases.
- LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas)
LPG is heavier as compared to natural gas. It is stored in liquid form under humble pressure to make it easy for transportation. However, LPG is gaseous in normal atmospheric states.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Fossil Fuel
Fossil fuel obtained from Earth and transformed into various modes to use in different ways such as coal, natural gas, petroleum etc. They make our life quite easy.
We need fuel to perform various tasks, whether it is about industrial usage, automobile usage or our daily life usage. Here we have listed the pros and cons of fossil fuels. –
Pros of Fossil Fuel
- The main advantage of fossil fuel is its capacity to produce electricity.
- Coal is a cost effective fossil fuel when we use it in power plants.
- The technologies for the extraction of fossil fuel have been accepted worldwide so that the maximum use can be made from these fuels.
- Fossil fuel is quite reasonable and durable at the same time.
- The contribution of fossil fuel is commendable to the economy as a whole.
- The fossil fuel helps in generating a massive amount of energy.
- The fossil fuels are available easily under the crust of Earth.
- They can be easily transported after its extraction and can be stored as well.
Cons of Fossil Fuel
- One of the main disadvantages of fossil fuel is its hazardous effect on the environment.
- Fossil fuels also increase the risks of acid rain.
- Fossil fuels are a non-renewable source of energy.
- Apart from all the advantages, unfortunately, fossil fuels are harmful to human health.
- The coal-mining danger is also present with fossil fuels.
- Fossil fuels also affect marine life in the form of oil-spills.
- Pollution is directly or indirectly related to the use of fossil fuel, whether its air pollution or water pollution.
Uses of Fossil Fuels
Generating electricity from fossil fuel is one of the significant contributions to humankind. For many thermal power plants, coal is the primary source of fuel, whereas some other power plants also use natural gas & crude oil. In these power plants, fossil fuels are burnt to produce heat, and then this heat is used to convert water into steam, and then various electronic machines use steam to operate.
Transportation is an essential use of fossil fuels. By using fossil fuels, we also operate major means of transportation such as land transport, water transport, railways etc.The fossil fuels provide power to the engine of the vehicle, which helps to move it forward.
For example – Gasoline acquired from crude oil is used as fuel in cars, diesel obtained from crude petroleum is used in heavy vehicles like trucks, trains etc. petroleum is also used in ships etc.Other items that require the help of fossil fuel to get into production are – Fan Belts, Tires, Vehicle oil, Gasoline, etc.
- At Home
The cooking gas or LPG used in our kitchen, obtained from propane is the lighter part of petroleum gas. Kerosene is a byproduct of crude petroleum which we use in many ways in our daily activities.
The cooling system such as refrigerators also depends on fossil fuel in some ways. Other items that need fossil fuels to produce are – Dishwashers, Telephones, Refrigerators, Toilet Seats, Detergent, etc.
- Additional Uses
Well, fossil fuel is not restricted to the usage of generating energy & power but also used in many other ways-
Use of fossil fuel also includes lubricants (such as petroleum jelly, vehicle oil, etc.) derived from the heavier fractions of it.
The petrochemicals derived from fossil fuels are used in making plastic products such as bottles, bags, containers etc. Polyester which we use for clothing also comes or obtain from fossil fuels.
Manufacturing companies use benzene chemical as an ingredient in for the production of rubber, solvents, pesticides etc. Other items that need help from fossil fuels are – Deodorant, Clothing, Makeup accessories etc.
Is there any harmful effects of fossil fuels?
Fossil fuels are no doubt beneficial for humankind, but simultaneously there are harmful effects too. The extraction process of fossil fuel causes air pollution, marine pollution and sometimes cause harm to local communities. The transportation of fossil fuel from mines also causes pollution.
Fossil fuels emit toxin while burning, which causes global warming. The waste products releases from fossil fuels are too hazardous for us and our environment.
We have limited resources, and our demand is rising every day. Earth reminder suggests optimum utilization of resources to save the earth so that our future generations will not suffer. Please share it with your kids and family members.