Energy & Green Tech

Farewell, oil: It's time to turn our backs on an old friend

They heat our homes, power the coffee maker and keep the factories that make our clothes running. They serve as raw material for our yogurt cups, transport us to work and bring food to the shops. Fossil fuels—oil, coal ...

Engineering

Engineers develop a new way to remove carbon dioxide from air

A new way of removing carbon dioxide from a stream of air could provide a significant tool in the battle against climate change. The new system can work on the gas at virtually any concentration level, even down to the roughly ...

Energy & Green Tech

Toyota eyes Olympic platform to boost hydrogen tech

Toyota showcases its next-generation hydrogen-powered Mirai model at Wednesday's Tokyo Motor Show, but with the technology still lagging behind electric, the Japanese firm is hoping for an Olympic boost.

Engineering

'Artificial leaf' successfully produces clean gas

A widely-used gas that is currently produced from fossil fuels can instead be made by an 'artificial leaf' that uses only sunlight, carbon dioxide and water, and which could eventually be used to develop a sustainable liquid ...

Business

Big Tech's eco-pledges aren't slowing its pursuit of Big Oil

Employee activism and outside pressure have pushed big tech companies like Amazon, Microsoft and Google into promising to slash their carbon emissions. But there's another thing these tech giants aren't cutting: Their growing ...

Energy & Green Tech

Model helps choose wind farm locations, predicts output

The wind is always blowing somewhere, but deciding where to locate a wind farm is a bit more complicated than holding up a wet finger. Now a team of Penn State researchers have a model that can locate the best place for the ...

Energy & Green Tech

The long road to clean energy

The vital transition to a zero-carbon economy is likely to be a long and rocky road. So-called green energy is booming, but not fast enough to curb climate change, which is accelerating at an alarming pace as oil, gas and ...

Energy & Green Tech

Interest rates are a decisive factor for competitive renewables

Renewable energy has become competitive—and one often-overlooked reason is the reduced cost of financing. Researchers from ETH Zurich and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) have modeled different scenarios ...

Energy & Green Tech

A globalized solar-powered future is economically unrealistic

Over the past two centuries, millions of dedicated people—revolutionaries, activists, politicians, and theorists—have been unable to curb the disastrous and increasingly globalized trajectory of economic polarization ...

Energy & Green Tech

Solar energy becomes biofuel without solar cells

Soon we will be able to replace fossil fuels with a carbon-neutral product created from solar energy, carbon dioxide and water. Researchers at Uppsala University have successfully produced microorganisms that can efficiently ...

Energy & Green Tech

Using geothermal to cool your home

Geothermal energy can be used to sustainably keep a house cool in notoriously hot parts of the world, thanks to the design of a new cooling system by researchers in Italy and Turkey. Writing in the International Journal of ...

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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