Modern society is largely built on energy provided by fossil fuels. These fuels come from the depths of our planet and provide us with “nonrenewable” energy. This term means that fossil fuels are a finite resource. After we consume all of the fossil fuels currently available to us, they are gone forever. These fuels make at least 80 percent of the energy we use on a daily basis. Below are ten facts about the fossil fuels and how they are used every day.
The origin of fossil fuel
Fossil fuel comes from organic matter that has been decomposed and compressed by the heat and pressure within the Earth’s crust. This organic matter comes from animals and plants from the past. Natural gas and oil are formed over time and then extracted for use.
Products made from fossil fuels are versatile
Fossil fuels can be made into many types of energy. Coal can be used to create electricity. Oil is used to create combusting products like gasoline for transportation and heating. Natural gas is often used for heating and combustion energy as well. Because of its versatility, most of us use fossil fuel in some capacity every day.
Fossils fuels are used in plastics
Although we typically use fuel to create energy, it can also be used to make a variety of products. Any time you use something with plastic components, you may be handling the result of fossil fuel. For example, a water bottle may have been made with oil or coal that was extracted from the earth’s crust and modified to become a plastic.
Fossil fuels are extremely old
Fossil fuels take a lot of time to develop. Researchers believe it takes millions of years for the remains of organic matter to compress enough to transform into fossil fuel. The oil and coal we use today may have began forming during the Carboniferous Period of the earth. If this is true, the fuels we are using began forming before there were even dinosaurs roaming the planet.
Fossil fuels may run out fast
With the current rate of usage of coal, this resource could last another 1,000 years. We have enough oil to last about another 100 years. If our consumption goes up by 5 percent, our current resources could run out sooner than expected. The human population is expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, so there is a good chance this issue could happen.
Efficient fuel use is possible with fossil fuels
Americans have been concerned about the quick consumption of fossil fuels for some time. Our past processes of harnessing energy from fossil fuels was incredibly inefficient. Now, we are able to harness about 60 percent of the heat produced from natural gas and convert it into electricity. Modern technologies allow us to utilize 21 gallons of gasoline from a 42 gallon barrel of crude oil. At one time, we could only utilize about 11 gallons. Increasing the efficiency of oil and gas production could help reduce how much fossil fuel is needed at one time.
Oil shale is changing the game
Oil shale is one of the most untapped resources for fossil fuel. This shale can be found around the world and has been estimated to be a thousand times greater than current crude oil as a global resource. Oil shale has never been buried or heated enough to produce fossil fuel. This resource could potentially expand how much oil we use and prolong our deadline for transitioning to renewable energy.
Different fuels have different qualities
Coal has different carbon levels based on how it was formed. The carbon is what gives us the energy we need, so a high carbon content is better. A longer amount of compression creates a higher amount of carbon. One type of coal, anthracite is believed to be about 300 million years old. This coal is about 95 percent carbon. To compare, consider lignite, which is a coal that is half the age of anthracite and contains only 25 percent carbon.
Fossil fuels are more cost efficient
Most of our energy sources come from fossil fuels because they are cheap. The processes of mining and refining oil have a century of development behind them. The fuel industry is able to produce a mass amount of power for a small price. In contrast, renewable energy sources are quite new and much more expensive. The ironic part about renewable energy sources is that it takes fossil fuels to make the equipment needed to generate renewable energy.
We still have much to learn
There is still much to learn about the consumption of fossil fuels and how they affect the environment. When you study fossil fuels and the finite resources we have, you will begin to see the benefits of efficient industrial processes. Future generations will largely be shaped thanks to what we do with the resources we have now.
Kendrick Oil provides top-quality wholesale fuel
If you would like to learn more about gasoline and other fuel products, contact the experienced staff at Kendrick Oil Company today. We provide bulk fuel products and services. You can call us at (800) 299-3991 or Contact Us by email for more information about how we can help you. We proudly operate in the states of Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Colorado, and Kansas.