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How our society uses crude oil.

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Introduction

Crude oil is formed by the decay of living organisms in the sea which died millions of years ago and sediment by upon them. There shells and skeletons formed limestone. The soft tissue was gradually changed by high temperatures and pressure into crude oil is a finite, non-renewable resource. Once all the existing supplies have been used they can't be replaced, not for millions of years at least. Organisms contain many different compounds and these turn into thousands of different hydro-carbons you get in crude oil. Crude oil contains a mixture of hydro-carbons, they're organic molecules. Crude oil is usually found porous rocks (reservoirs) rather than in caves or caverns. Oil floats on water because is lighter (less dense). The newly formed oil migrates through pores and cracks in surrounding rocks upward toward the surface. The oil will float on the groundwater within porous layers of rock. The crude oil continues to migrate until it reaches the surface at an "oil seep" (a famous example is La Brea Tar Pits in California). Many times, though, the oil is trapped underground by impermeable layers), in which the pores are too fine to allow the crude oil to flow through. It is this trapped oil that explorers seek. ...read more.

Middle

Oil spills can kill plants and animals and soil beaches. Spills may happen closer to home: people often dump used oil from vehicle engines onto the ground or into open drains instead of taking it to a recycling center. This causes pollution. How can we use petroleum products more sensibly in our own lives? This is the question we ask you and we want you will respond with your answer, to the address at the bottom of the page. Until recently, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were used widely in industry and elsewhere as refrigerants, insulating foams, and solvents. Strong winds carry CFCs into the stratosphere in a process that can take as long as 2 to 5 years. When CFCs break down in the stratosphere, they release chlorine, which attacks ozone. Each chlorine atom acts as a catalyst, repeatedly combining with and breaking apart as many as 100,000 ozone molecules during its stratospheric life. Other ozone-depleting substances include pesticides such as methyl bromide, halons used in fire extinguishers, and methyl chloroform used in industrial processes. Plastic objects and containers are thrown away, but the plastic does not decay quickly. It stays around and may sometimes injure or kill wildlife: plastic rings from "six packs" can choke birds and animals; an action as simple as cutting each of the rings with scissors before throwing it away can save animal lives! ...read more.

Conclusion

The carbon dioxide given off crude oil, when burned, dissolves and makes the rain acidic. In conclusion to this, we need to look at what is being done to prepare for the time, when fossil fuels run out. There is a large number of alternatives, to using fossil fuels, even though they are the best. The supply of coal will last hundreds of years to maintain our electricity needs. There could be electrical vehicles, even though this wouldn't be very cost efficient. Solar power could help; solar paneling collects the sun's energy to run heat engines, heat homes, and generate electricity. Geothermal would also be very useful. However, geothermal power is limited slightly though, because a power plant will eventually cool the rock below it and the amount of power produced will eventually run out, but not for many hundreds of years. The consumption of another hundred billion barrels of petroleum would still cause harm to the environment in the form of Carbon Dioxide emissions into the environment. The best answer to solving supply problems as well as the harm to the environment is to look toward energy conservation, such as more efficient engines in cars, more aerodynamic vehicle designs, carpooling, and other strategies for saving fuel. Already, cars with hybrid engines (electric power as well as gasoline) can get as much as twice the gas mileage as existing cars with exactly the same performance. ...read more.

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