Written by Stuti Kathuria, a grade 9 student and Brand Ambassador at
I Kid You Not
The term “fossil fuel” is heard quite often in our everyday lives, but what does it actually mean? Let us find out.
Fossil fuels are naturally occurring compounds formed by the remains of deceased plants and animals. They are also known as mineral fuels. They are formed via intense heat and pressure applied underground over millions of years! Interesting, isn’t it?
The surge in consumption of coal and petroleum is one of the major reasons for an increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere which has further added to the rising temperature. The greenhouse gasses also terminate the ozone layer of the earth’s troposphere. This phenomenon is known as global warming.
There are 3 main types of fossil fuels in total and they are coal, oil and natural gas. Mineral fuels have quite a lot of disadvantages as well.
- Burning of fossil fuels by mankind is one of the principal contributors to carbon dioxide emanations, which is one of the greenhouse gasses that leads to global warming.
- They are also non-sustainable and non-renewable.
- Coal and oil release sulphur dioxide gas when they are burnt, which causes several breathing problems for many creature and is a chief contributor to acid rain.
Coal is a solid fossil fuel formed over millions of thousands of years by the decay of lad vegetation. Coal is more plentiful in relation to the other two fuels. The current supply of coal on earth can last about 200 years, say scientists.
Oil is the most extensively used mineral fuel. Crude oil consists of many diverse biological compounds which are transmuted to products in a filtering process. It is applied in cars, jets, roads and roofs and many other. Oil cannot be found everywhere on earth and consequentially, there have been wars on oil supplies. Saudi Arabia is said to possess 221 years’ worth of oil in their reserves. This is the reason oil is so widely utilised.
Natural Gas is a gaseous fossil fuel and cleaner than the other two fossil fuels. It is formed by the remains of marine microorganisms. Natural gas is used more than coal in developed countries. It is a relatively newer energy source. Natural gas mainly contains methane, another greenhouse gas.
Efforts are being made to find bio-degradable and non-harmful alternatives to fossil fuels which have a better impact on the environment. These fuels are termed as Alternative fuels or non-conventional fuels. Some examples of these fuels are bio-diesel, bio-alcohol, chemically stored electricity, vegetable and propane.