Fossil Fuels

Topics: Fossil fuel, Natural gas, Peak oil Pages: 3 (939 words) Published: September 18, 2010

By Zoe Noonan


As the world is becoming more advanced in technology, more energy is being used to keep up with the changing requirements. At the current rate at which energy is being used, the world will shortly come to an end of fossil fuels- the world's primary energy resource.


This research paper outlines the problems being faced by the shortage of fossil fuels, the effects they are having on the environment and the possible substitutes to make sure they do not run out.

Fossil Fuels

There are three main types of fossil fuels, coal, oil and natural gas. After food, fossil fuel is humanity's most important source of energy. Coal is used mainly to produce electricity. It provides light, motive power from electric motors and many electronic devices. Oil provides mobility for cars, planes, trains, trucks and boats. Natural gas is used primarily to produce heat for buildings, hot water, and industrial processes. All three were formed many hundreds of millions of years ago. They are called "fossil fuels" because they have been formed from the fossilised remains of prehistoric plants and animals.


Fossil fuels provide around 66% of the world's electrical power, and 95% of the world's total energy demands (including heating, transport, electricity generation and other uses). Coal provides around 28% of energy, oil provides 40% and natural gases provide about 20%. A concern is that the fossil fuels are being used up at an increasing rate, and that they will soon run out. If these fossil fuels were to run out now there would not be a suitable replacement for them that is equally as efficient at producing the same amount of energy.

Shortage of fossil fuels

As the world is coming to a shortage of these three types of fossil fuels, other fossil fuels are being investigated, including bituminous sands and oil shale. The difficulty with using these fossil fuels is that they need...
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