Energy & Green Tech

Researchers embrace uncertainty to make microgrids better

Renewable energy is seen as an answer to climate change, yet its uptake is limited by the variability and intermittent nature of most renewable energy sources. A promising solution to this problem is microgrids.

Energy & Green Tech

Investigating whether biodiesel is truly a viable alternative

Is biodiesel truly a viable and sustainable alternative to diesel fuels derived from fossil fuels? Writing in the International Journal of Design Engineering, a team from India investigates and comes to the conclusion that ...

Energy & Green Tech

Is the future of carbon-capture technology electrochemistry?

Humans send millions of tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the air each year—by generating electricity, manufacturing products, driving, flying and doing other routine activities. And while plants can absorb some of that ...

Energy & Green Tech

A natural gas bridge to net zero?

Destenie Nock, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and engineering and public policy in Carnegie Mellon University's College of Engineering, has co-authored a study that helps illuminate the future ...

Energy & Green Tech

Weaning Southeast Asia off of fossil fuels

Is Southeast Asia ready to make the clean energy transition? This was one of the central questions asked during ASEAN Clean Energy Week, in Manila, as COP27 pushed into its second week.

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Fossil fuel

Fossil fuels or mineral fuels are fuels formed by natural resources such as anaerobic decomposition of buried dead organisms. The age of the organisms and their resulting fossil fuels is typically millions of years, and sometimes exceeds 650 million years. These fuels contain high percentage of carbon and hydrocarbons.

Fossil fuels range from volatile materials with low carbon:hydrogen ratios like methane, to liquid petroleum to nonvolatile materials composed of almost pure carbon, like anthracite coal. Methane can be found in hydrocarbon fields, alone, associated with oil, or in the form of methane clathrates. It is generally accepted that they formed from the fossilized remains of dead plants and animals by exposure to heat and pressure in the Earth's crust over hundreds of millions of years. This biogenic theory was first introduced by Georg Agricola in 1556 and later by Mikhail Lomonosov in the 18th century.

It was estimated by the Energy Information Administration that in 2006 primary sources of energy consisted of petroleum 36.8%, coal 26.6%, natural gas 22.9%, amounting to an 86% share for fossil fuels in primary energy production in the world. Non-fossil sources included hydroelectric 6.3%, nuclear 6.0%, and (geothermal, solar, tide, wind, wood, waste) amounting 0.9 percent. World energy consumption was growing about 2.3% per year.

Fossil fuels are non-renewable resources because they take millions of years to form, and reserves are being depleted much faster than new ones are being formed. The production and use of fossil fuels raise environmental concerns. A global movement toward the generation of renewable energy is therefore under way to help meet increased energy needs.[citation needed]

The burning of fossil fuels produces around 21.3 billion tonnes (21.3 gigatonnes) of carbon dioxide per year, but it is estimated that natural processes can only absorb about half of that amount, so there is a net increase of 10.65 billion tonnes of atmospheric carbon dioxide per year (one tonne of atmospheric carbon is equivalent to 44/12 or 3.7 tonnes of carbon). Carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gases that enhances radiative forcing and contributes to global warming, causing the average surface temperature of the Earth to rise in response, which climate scientists agree will cause major adverse effects.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA