• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


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.

...read more.


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

...read more.


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.

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE The Earth and Beyond section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE The Earth and Beyond essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Global Warming - Is it man Made?

    Sunspots have been known throughout history to have an effect on the Earth's temperature. From 1645 to 1715 there were very few sunspots recorded. This also was a period referred to as the little ice age. Over the last 60 years, our sun has been very active with a record number of sun spots recorded.

  2. Would Using alternative sources or energy dramatically reduce the need to burn fossil fuels ...

    Deforestation both releases huge amounts CO2 into our atmosphere and destroys our means of absorbing and storing this substance. The destruction of the earths forests not only contribute to global warming, but also undermine the long-term ability of the Earth's atmosphere to neutralize green house gases.

  1. How construction and the built environment can both benefit and harm the natural environment

    by traffic and industry has become the soundtrack to our busy lives. Agriculture and forest clearances have changed the very appearance of the country in which we live and mining and quarrying has left craters and tunnels in the ground from Scotland to Wales to Cornwall.

  2. Greenhouse Effect.

    Since the industrial revolution amounts have increased by 30%. Other greenhouse gases include Methane, Nitrous oxide, CFC's (manmade) and Ozone. One major problem is that these gases can remain in the atmosphere for decades. The combustion of fossil fuel (oil, natural gas and coal)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work