1) first discuss how energy can be converted from one form to another, giving specific examples.
Energy in a system may be transformed so that it resides in a different state. Energy in many states may be used to do many varieties of physical work. Energy may be used in natural processes or machines, or else to provide some service to society (such as heat, light, or motion). For example, an internal combustion engine converts the potential chemical energy in gasoline and oxygen into heat, which is then transformed into the propulsive energy (kinetic energy that moves a vehicle). A solar cell converts solar radiation into electrical energy that can then be used to light a bulb or power a computer. (Tillery, Enger, & Ross, 2008)
2) Define what we mean by fossil fuels and explain why they are an attractive source of energy
Fossil fuels are fuels formed by natural processes of tiny organism that have formed over millions of years. It was estimated by the Energy Information Administration that in 2007 primary sources of energy consisted of petroleum 36.0%, coal 27.4%, and natural gas 23.0%, amounting to an 86.4% share for fossil fuels in primary energy consumption in the world. (“U.S. EIA International Energy Statistics")
Fossil fuels are of great importance because they can be burned (oxidized to carbon dioxide and water), producing significant amounts of energy per unit weight. The use of coal as a fuel predates recorded history. Coal was used to run furnaces for the melting of metal ore. Semi-solid hydrocarbons from seeps were also burned in ancient times, but these materials were mostly used for waterproofing and embalming. [Bilkadi, Zayn (1994). "BULLS FROM THE SEA: Ancient Oil Industries". Aramco World. Archived from the original on 2007-11-13.] Prior to the latter half of the 18th century, windmills and watermills provided the energy needed for industry...
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