Fossil Fuels – Definition and its Types

Fossil Fuels

We know very well that fossil fuels are very important natural resources. They serve mankind greatly and we need them for as a source of energy. However, there are also negative impacts of fossil fuels. Moreover, they are non-renewable resources. Fossil fuels are found in various forms.

What are Fossil fuels?

Fossil fuels formed from the organic remains of prehistoric animals as well as plants. Earth converted these million years old remains through the crust’s heat and pressure into carbon-containing fuels.

After the Industrial Revolution took place, the need for energy only enhanced. Similarly, these fuels have the capacity to produce a massive amount of energy to fulfil this need.

fossil fuels

Types of Fossil Fuels

Fossil fuels come in various forms. For instance, petroleum, coal, and natural gas. The latest entry to the list is Orimulsion.


This is by far the most used form of fossil fuel. We also refer to it as crude oil. It has a great value in the market, thus, people also call it the black gold. The origin of this term lies in the Latin language. “Petro” means rock and “leum” means oil.

We use petroleum extensively for fuelling jets and our automobiles. Moreover, it is also consumed to produce electricity. Similarly, the derivatives of petroleum are of great use in the medical field and plastic industry.

The world’s ever-increasing demand for oil is causing this resource to deplete at a faster rate. Moreover, the extensive use of petroleum also results in different types of pollution like air pollution and land pollution.


Coal is a form of fossil fuel that we can easily find in abundance. The total amount of energy that the whole world utilizes, coal contributes to one-quarter of it. Moreover, forty percent of the electricity which we generate all over the world, coal is the one which powers it.

Furthermore, the steel industry also depends greatly on coal. However, coal is also declining at a faster rate. We need to use it carefully plus it also contributes to the greenhouse effect, so we have all the more reason to conserve it.

Natural Gas

When we talk about natural gas, we refer mainly to Methane. However, ethane, propane, and butane also come in the category of natural gas. Natural gas is very convenient and quite an efficient source of energy.

Natural gas is mainly consumed by the residential, industrial and commercial sectors. We also use it to generate electricity. However, natural gas is way cleaner in comparison to the other types of fossil fuels. It also contributes lesser to pollution. But, sadly, the depletion rate of natural gas is also quite high now.


The latest entry to the list of fossil fuels, Orimulsion was founded in the 1980s. It is a derivative of bitumen. Bitumen occurs naturally in huge reserves in the Orinoco oil belt of Venezuela.

This fossil fuel is gaining recognition rapidly. It is also quite economical as well as a viable fuel for generating power. Various countries including Canada, China, Italy and more use it as a commercial boiler fuel in their power plants. Most importantly, in comparison to the other fuels for producing electricity, it is very reasonable in terms of money.

Worrying Future of Fossil Fuels

We all know by now that fossil fuels are non-renewable. However, no one is paying much heed to this fact. We depend excessively on it and thus, they are depleting faster. We need to find out alternative options soon to conserve them. In addition, we need to take ecological friendly steps to save our environment.

Solved Question for You

Question- When was Orimulsion discovered?

A. 1800s
B. 1980s
C. 2000s
D. 1950s

Answer– The correct answer is option B.

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