The competitive benefits of a modern energy system

As the EPA retreats from the Clean Power Plan's goal of reducing greenhouse gases and promotes President Trump's 19th-century coal-fired energy policy, states like New York and California are aggressively modernizing their ...

Thousands of big energy reps at UN climate talks: monitor

Lobby groups representing some of the world's biggest polluters have sent thousands of delegates to negotiations aimed at limiting global warming since UN climate talks began, according to data obtained by AFP.

Growing a better seaweed to fuel the future

"Thirteen point two." One scientist calls out the measurement; another jots it down in her data sheet. It's hot and stuffy in the lab, and the pungent smell of seaweed is inescapable as the team sits for hours at a black ...

Efficiently producing fatty acids and biofuels from glucose

Researchers have presented a new strategy for efficiently producing fatty acids and biofuels that can transform glucose and oleaginous microorganisms into microbial diesel fuel, with one-step direct fermentative production.

Only eight EU countries to phase out coal by 2030

The EU said Tuesday that eight of its 28 member countries aim to phase out coal-powered electricity by 2030, triggering charges it is missing the mark under the Paris climate deal.

Slashing plane emissions a lofty goal, but progress elusive

The aircraft industry is facing growing criticism over greenhouse gas emissions that are set to soar as more people take to the skies, but experts say game-changing technology for cleaner planes is still decades away.

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Fossil fuel

Fossil fuels or mineral fuels are fuels formed by natural resources such as anaerobic decomposition of buried dead organisms. The age of the organisms and their resulting fossil fuels is typically millions of years, and sometimes exceeds 650 million years. These fuels contain high percentage of carbon and hydrocarbons.

Fossil fuels range from volatile materials with low carbon:hydrogen ratios like methane, to liquid petroleum to nonvolatile materials composed of almost pure carbon, like anthracite coal. Methane can be found in hydrocarbon fields, alone, associated with oil, or in the form of methane clathrates. It is generally accepted that they formed from the fossilized remains of dead plants and animals by exposure to heat and pressure in the Earth's crust over hundreds of millions of years. This biogenic theory was first introduced by Georg Agricola in 1556 and later by Mikhail Lomonosov in the 18th century.

It was estimated by the Energy Information Administration that in 2006 primary sources of energy consisted of petroleum 36.8%, coal 26.6%, natural gas 22.9%, amounting to an 86% share for fossil fuels in primary energy production in the world. Non-fossil sources included hydroelectric 6.3%, nuclear 6.0%, and (geothermal, solar, tide, wind, wood, waste) amounting 0.9 percent. World energy consumption was growing about 2.3% per year.

Fossil fuels are non-renewable resources because they take millions of years to form, and reserves are being depleted much faster than new ones are being formed. The production and use of fossil fuels raise environmental concerns. A global movement toward the generation of renewable energy is therefore under way to help meet increased energy needs.[citation needed]

The burning of fossil fuels produces around 21.3 billion tonnes (21.3 gigatonnes) of carbon dioxide per year, but it is estimated that natural processes can only absorb about half of that amount, so there is a net increase of 10.65 billion tonnes of atmospheric carbon dioxide per year (one tonne of atmospheric carbon is equivalent to 44/12 or 3.7 tonnes of carbon). Carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gases that enhances radiative forcing and contributes to global warming, causing the average surface temperature of the Earth to rise in response, which climate scientists agree will cause major adverse effects.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA