In the world today there are five different forms of energy available to us to use: mechanical, chemical, radiant, electrical and nuclear. (Tillery, 2009 p. 62) Each of these forms of energy can be converted from one type of energy to another. An example of this would be electrical energy turning into mechanical energy every time you use your blender. The electrical energy flows through the mechanical device providing it the power it needs to make the blade move in a circular motion and blend the items in the container. Another example of converting energy is when we use chemical energy in the form of propane, which turns into radiant energy when ignited, to cook food or provide heat when using a gas grill.
Currently, one of the major sources of energy today is fossil fuels. Fossil fuels contain the stored radiant energy of organisms that lived million of years ago. (Tillery, 2009 p67) Petroleum, natural gas and coal are all considered fossil fuels as they are all by-products of organisms that lived millions of years ago. Both petroleum and natural gas form from organic sediment, materials that have settled out of bodies of water. (Tillery, 2009 p 66) Coal, on the other had, formed from an accumulation of plant materials that collected under special conditions millions of years ago. (Tillery, 2009 p 67) Fossil fuels are an attractive source of energy as they can currently be mined and converted to different energy sources at a lower cost to the consumers than some of the alternative energy sources. In addition, they are easier to store and transport to different places of need across the world. Once mined and broken down into different forms, either liquid or powder, they can be used in many different ways and to power many different things. For example, when petroleum is sent to the refineries it can be turned into a liquid gas, like propane which is what can be used to cook food, or heat homes or it can be turned in to gasoline or diesel to...
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