Management of Natural Resources

Fossil Fuel and Its Management

The source of energy primarily is dependent on the natural resources that are acquired from the Earth. Your car runs on fuel, what is it? What is coal categorized as? These are tagged under natural resources which are all hydrocarbon based; hence the name fossil fuels. We will try to learn about the importance of these non-renewable resources and conclude vital pointers associated with fossil fuel and its management.

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Formation of Fossil Fuels

Be it coal, oil or natural gas; they form the most common foundations of energy. These are fossil fuels which are organic geological deposits which are combustible. How is fossil fuel formed? These natural resources are formed due to the decaying of plants and animals under the active influence of pressure and heat. Hence, this leads to the conversion into coal, natural gas and oil.

Looking back at millions of years ago, the landmass on earth was dominated by oceans and swamps. It was in these swamps, huge trees and different leafy plants started to grow. Furthermore, the surface of oceans was layered with algae that were small plants. After the death of these plants and algae, they dashed to the lower layers of the oceans and swamps.

As time passed, this layer of organic matter got covered with clay, sand and other minerals. Later, the weight of this layer of clay and sand increased, the moisture or water was squeezed out from the organic matter and finally fossil fuels were formed. This phase was termed as the Carboniferous period and is projected to have happened around 300 million years back.

Coal & Oil Characteristics

Fossil fuels are non-renewable in nature, hence their conservation is very important. Coal is black in color and has a rock-like texture. It is made out of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen and sulphur. It must be known that there are three primary types of coal, namely, anthracite, lignite and bituminous.

Among the three versions of coal, anthracite grabs the highest amount of carbon and is also the hardest type. Coal is actively mined from cavernous vertical shafts which are dug deep in the earth. Such mines are termed as closed mines. Whereas, open mines are those where coal is acquired by shedding away the topmost sand and clay layer. The primary purpose of coal in this modern age is to help in the generation of electricity.

On the other hand, oil is a sticky, thick liquid that has numerous applications in our life. The use of oil for industries, transportation, as well as a raw material (fertilizers). Oil is extracted from the depths of the earth’s crust, between two different layers of rocks. Once extracted, the oil is refined into several components such as petrol, natural gas, diesel and fuel oil. Fossil fuel and its management is very much necessary for maintaining a constant availability of these supreme resources.

Conservation of Fossil Fuel

Since the population is rising and industrialization hitting its prime, the stress on fossil fuels is quite significant. It has been analyzed that, several oil rigs and coal mines have been depleted, whereas new ones are rare to find. There is a strong need to preserve fossil fuels so as to preach sustainable development. Some of the effective ways to sensibly manage fossil fuels are:

Energy Efficiency

We can call ‘Energy Efficiency’ as the key to minimize carbon dioxide, but also a smart way to reduce costs for any normal household. The availability of energy-efficient appliances requires less energy for performing the same task. One must be aware of choosing the best energy efficient equipment at home which helps in contribution to energy conservation.

Renewable Energy

Fossil Fuel and Its Management

It has been observed that a number of homeowners are working to invest in energy sources through the installation of solar panels for heating purposes. You can call it a smart way to reduce energy costs as well as conserve fossil fuels together with lesser carbon dioxide emissions.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Products

The creation of new products requires the use of fossil fuels. Hence, it is vital to reuse and recycle goods to decrease the need for making new ones. This measure is important for products that are derived from materials developing using fossil fuels, for example, plastic parts. Try to inculcate this habit among family members, friends and office colleagues.

Question For You

Q. Natural gas is a prime fossil fuel, so why it is better to burn as compared to other fossil fuels such as coal and oil?

Ans: The burning of natural gas causes nitrogen oxides together with carbon dioxide. However, the quantity is much lower as compared to the burning of coal or oil.  It is possible since natural gas is chemically less complex than coil and oil.

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