|Energy in Society|
|Alternative Fuel Vehicles|
Fossil fuels or mineral fuels are natural fuels that are hydrocarbons which can be burned to either turn a turbine to create electricity or burned to heat water and create steam to turn a turbine and create electricity. Currently oil is the most sought after fossil fuel. It is also the most polluting and the least energy efficient fossil fuel.
Oil is most often used to make gasoline, the liquid that powers vehicles and other internal combustion devices. Oil is also the most needed fossil fuel on the earth. One of the biggest problems and a reoccurring subject on this site is the war and its location. The most oil in the world comes from one of the most politically and economically unstable places in the world. The Middle East is where; not only America but the world gets most of its oil.
Due to the wide spread usage of oil and the demand for it we are using oil at a record pace. This is only a problem because there is only so much oil. Once we run out of it we will be forced to seek an alternative source that can be relied upon as much as we rely on oil. Many analysts say that once oil prices become too high the world will shift to an alternative source of energy. They say that these sources are not being aggressively perused because everyone has the, “If we don’t need it then I don’t want it” attitude.
Another fossil fuel is the mineral coal. It is mined out of the ground and used to create electricity and for burning. Coal is a very important fuel, it was one of the first discovered to make electricity and remains to be the single source that is responsible for the most energy production worldwide.
Coal is a combination of carbon and trace amounts of other elements such as sulfur. Coal is created from plants that over millions of years have been compacted into the earth. Not only are they compacted they are put under extreme heat and pressure, making the hard black matter that we call coal.
The most common place to find coal deposits is where a peat bog existed millions of years ago. Pete bogs were the places where the plant to coal conversion took place most easily. This is because when a plant dies it goes to the bottom of the water where the oxygen levels are very low. This is the waiting room for the plant until the bog is drained and then compacted into the ground. As the earth moves more it gets deeper and hotter. Once the plants become coal it is more difficult for them to move thus making a coal deposit in the location of where the bog used to be.