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Nonrenewable Energy

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Yong Ra

on 27 November 2012

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Transcript of Nonrenewable Energy

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli An Environmental Science Overview Nonrenewable Energy Sources Conventional Oil Conventional oil is a powerful source of fuel that provides a lot of energy, but burning it releases carbon dioxide, other greenhouse gasses, and other air pollutants. These can go on to trigger global warming and climate change by causing the greenhouse effect to slowly go out of control. Heavy Oils from
Oil Shale and Oil Sands These oils are thicker and tar-like oils that can be pulled from oil shale or oil sands. The extra supply will definitely help the dwindling supplies of conventional oil, but retrieving it can cause environmental impacts.

The burning of heavy oils produces similar, if not more, air pollutants and greenhouse gases like the burning of conventional oils. Natural Gas Natural gas is usually found in the form of Methane. Stores of natural gas are usually found above reservoirs of crude oil. These gases occur naturally in the environment, and until recently, have been burned off as a by product of oil drilling.

Now, we are looking to capture this natural gas and put it to use as a supplement to the widely used oil. Coal Coal is an abundant energy supply that can be easily mined and harvested. By burning coal, we can produce electricity. The coal is pulverized, set on fire to heat a tank of water, which is then sent through a turbine that generates electricity.

Burning of coals has a great impact upon the environment however, not only does it release greenhouse gases and pollutants, it also releases mercury, sulfur dioxide, and radioactive materials. Conventional Nuclear Fuel Uranium and Plutonium isotopes undergo nucleur fission, generating incredible amounts of heat. This heat can be used to boil water, creating steam that is used to turn turbines and generate electricity.

While nuclear power is generally clean, the dangers associated with the radioactive nature of the materials used, and the possibility of a meltdown occurring, nuclear power has become a very controversial form of energy. Synthetic Fuels Synthetic fuels fall into the category of man-made energy sources. Coal can be converted into a synthetic gas, or turned into a liquid gas. It is more expensive because more coal needs to be mined to produce the same amount of energy.

The biggest benefit of this is turning coal into a useable fuel for vehicles and machinery, because coal cannot be used on its own outside of coal factories and minor heating operations. Ample supply for ~75 years
Very cheap (subsidies)
High net energy yield
Efficient distribution system
Technology is well developed
Running out quickly
Artifically low prices
encourages waste
Air pollution Moderate costs
Easily transported
Potentially large supply
Technology is well developed Low net energy yield
Lots of water for
Severe land disruption
Severe water pollution
Air pollution
Ample supply
Low costs (subsidies)
High net energy yield
Less air pollution compared to
other fossil fuels
Air pollution
Methane can leak
Difficult to ship to another country
Requires pipelines
Sometimes it's just burned off and
wasted at oil wells Ample supplies (~500 years)
High net energy yield
Low cost (subsidies)
Well developed technology
Severe land disturbance
High land use
Severe threat to human
High CO2 emissions when burned Large fuel supply
Low environmental impact (without accidents)
Moderate land use
Low risk of accidents with current technology
Cannot compete without subsidies
Low net energy yield
Catastrophic events can happen
No acceptable method of dealing with waste
Terrorism Large potential supply
Vehicle fuel Low net energy yield
Higher cost than coal
High environmental impact
Increases surface mining of coal
High water use
Higher CO2 emissions than coal Thanks for watching!
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