Chapter 8 Renewable Energy Part 1

Topics: Nuclear power, Coal, Nuclear fission Pages: 22 (657 words) Published: March 28, 2015
Chapter 8
Renewable Energy
Part 1

Where do we get energy
from ?

PLANETARY ENERGY
RESOURCES

Non-Renewable Sources
• Fossil-fuel sources of energy:
• Coal
• Gas
• Oil
• During earlier periods of the Earth’s history,
fossilization of biological material created the
deposits of coal, oil and gas, of which at least 1023
Joule is presently believed to be recoverable in a
form suitable for fuel uses (Sorensen, 2011).
• Nuclear energy may be released in large quantities
from nuclear reactions (Sorensen, 2011).

Non-Renewable Sources

Source: US Energy Information Administration

Non-Renewable Sources

Source: US Energy Information Administration

• Estimates of reserves, fossil or nuclear, are
extremely uncertain and are sure to be greatly
underestimated
because
of
incomplete
prospecting.
Known reserves of coal, oil and gas
Coal

39,000 EJ (2002)

Oil

18,900 EJ (2002)

Gas

15,700 EJ (2002)

Liquefied gas
EJ= 1018 Joule
Source: da Rosa, 2009.

2,300 EJ (2002)

• An even more uncertain estimate of reserves of
fissile materials are given in the Table below. This
estimate of nuclear fuels do not include the
reserves of the former Soviet Union and China.
Known reserves of fissionable materials
235U

2,600 EJ

238U

320,000 EJ

232Th

Source: da Rosa, 2009.

11,000 EJ

COAL


In general, the older the coal the higher the
carbon content and the more valuable the
resource is.



The quality and usefulness of any coal
depends not only on the organic remains
from which it solidified, but also on the
inorganic
fraction
(sulphur,
arsenic,
cadmium, mercury and radioactive material).



Coal is most usefully ranked according to its
percentage carbon content (the higher the
better); Anthracite, Bituminous, Lignite....

COAL


The combustion of coal; Almost all coal used today
in the developed world is burnt within boilers, with
the purpose of heating water.



Coal boilers vary in size and design-from a few
kilowatts in the home to over 600 MW in a power
station, but all include;

a combustion chamber
- a feed system to place the coal into the chamber
- a system to supply air
- a chimney
- a collection mechanism for the ash
-



World coal resources; There is enough coal to last
around 118 years at current rates of production
(www.worldcoal.org).

Source: World Energy Outlook 2007

NON-RENEWABLE SOURCES
OIL


The oil recovered from a well is called ‘crude oil’ and
has very little use until it is separated into its
constituent fractions and impurities removed by
refining.



A barrel of oil is 159 litres.



One barrel weighs 0.136 tonnes and contains 5.694
GJ of energy.



Crude oil extraction is a difficult and costly
business.



Unlike coal, oil is used to power a wide variety of
combustion systems: from simple domestic boilers
to aircraft turbines.

NON-RENEWABLE SOURCES
NATURAL GAS


Natural gas is a highly valued fuel. The advantages
are;

Burns cleanly
- Easy transport by pipeline
- Use as a replacement for oil in many systems for
electricity generation and domestic heating
-

-

Natural gas is often found above oil deposits, from
which it derives, but it is also found remote from any
oil, in which case its origin is usually lower-lying
coal deposits.

NUCLEAR ENERGY

NUCLEAR ENERGY


Nuclear energy is energy in the nucleus (core) of
an atom.

• Nuclear energy can be used to make electricity,
but first the energy must be released.
• In nuclear fission, atoms are split apart to form
smaller atoms, releasing energy. Nuclear power
plants use this energy to produce electricity.
• The fuel most widely used by nuclear plants for
nuclear fission is uranium.

NUCLEAR ENERGY

Source: US Energy Information Administration.

Leading Nations-Nuclear Energy Use
(Source: Botkin, 2010)
Country

%Total Electricity...
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