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Fuels What are fossil fuels? Coal, oil and natural gas are all types of fossil fuels. They are called fossil fuels

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Nicole Martin 10YNT


What are fossil fuels?

Coal, oil and natural gas are all types of fossil fuels. They are called fossil fuels because there are only limited supplies of these materials. Also they were the remains of living things which died millions of years ago.

Coal is the remains of dead plants.  Millions of years ago the Earth was mainly vegetation. When the trees and other plants died they sank to the bottom of swamps. Years passed, years turned into decades and decades turned into millenniums, the layers of trees became deeper. Later on many swamps were replaced with rivers which carried sediment rock. The sediment was deposited on top of the layers of tree. However there was so little oxygen under all the sediment bacteria, which meant that the tree could not decay away. Instead they were crushed and compressed and turned into coal. Coal is a sedimentary rock.

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When something is burnt it joins oxygen and becomes an oxide. Water vapor is formed due to the high heat temperature.

Oil and natural gas are hydrocarbons, so carbon dioxide and water are formed instead. Too much carbon dioxide is released into the air which will cause the Earth or get warmer; scientists predict that this extra heat will cause sea levels to rise causing flooding.

Nuclear Fuels

Nuclear power stations use uranium and plutonium as fuels. Nuclear reactions release energy from those fuels. Supplies of theses metals are limited. This basically means that when these metals have been used up they can not be replaced.

Renewable Sources

Renewable sources means that a certain type of fuel can be replaced, there are six types of renewable fuels these are; hydro electric power, tidal power, wind power, geothermal power, wave power and solar power.

You get hydro electric power

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Solar power occurs when the sun shines brightly onto solar pads, which absorb the sunlight and turn it into electricity. Weaknesses of solar power are; the solar pads are expensive and you need lots of solar pads to make a large amount of energy.

Why don’t we always use non-renewable sources?

We do not always use non-renewable sources because: they pollute the atmosphere by burning them, and releasing carbon dioxide which causes global warming due to the greenhouse effect and acid rain. Acid rain destroys our trees, plants and precious stones, such as limestone. Also if we run out of these fuels we will not be able to get anymore, unless we find another mine, which involves more digging and hard work. Finally because factories do not have straight access to coal and need it, so we must cut down on how much we use.

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