Coal is crushed to a fine dust and burnt. Oil and gas can be burnt directly. The main bit to remember:
Written and designed by Roy Shepherd.
Special thanks to my wonderful wife Lucinda Shepherd, friend Robert Randell and various experts for their support. What are Fossil Fuels? An oil rig - pumps oil from deep underground. A coal mine - large quarry diggers carve out the resource. What is a fossil fuel?
Fossil fuels are hydrocarbons such as coal, oil and natural gas, sourced from the organic remains of prehistoric organisms. When these fuels are burnt, the energy released can be harnessed to produce electricity, power vehicles, heat homes, cook food and much more.
They are also used in the production of important materials such as plastics. In order to answer this question, we must first distinguish oil and gas from coal. Generally speaking, oil and gas are formed from the organic remains of marine organisms which become entrained within sea-floor sediments.
Coal, by contrast, Fossel fuel typically formed in non-marine settings from the remains of land vegetation. Oil and gas formation begins with the accumulation of organics on the sea-floor; these are the dead remains of organisms living in the water column, such as microscopic plankton, which rain down on the sea floor below.
This will only occur in rather unusual settings, where the sea floor is stagnant such that there is no oxygen present to break the organic remains down and no sea-floor dwelling organisms present that might feed on the organics. A high sediment accumulation rate of may also help to bury the organics before the action of decay can break them down.
As the sediment pile becomes deeper the organics within it are subjected to heat and pressure which leads to formation of oil and then gas.
For oil and gas extraction, it is important that the source rock is not 'over-cooked' or the hydrocarbons will be destroyed. There must be suitable reservoir-rock, such as a porous sandstone, into which the hydrocarbons can migrate and accumulate.
This must be overlain by an impervious cap-rock, such as a clay, which prevents the hydrocarbons from escaping to the surface. Finally, the geometry of the reservoir and cap-rock bodies must be such that the hydrocarbons become trapped; usually folding will suffice. Diagram explaining the generation and entrapment of oil and gas.
Fossil ferns within a sheet of coal. Coal typically forms on land from vegetation in lowland, swampy, mire environments. Stagnant waterlogged soil prevents the accumulated plant debris from breaking down. The recognisable remains of plants are often visible within coals and associated shales, confirming their plant-origin.
The picture above shows a piece of coal containing a network of fossilised fern leaves - clear evidence that it was formed from vegetable remains. More recent peat deposits. The accumulated plant debris initially forms a material known as peat. The geological processes of burial beneath later sediment and alteration by heat and pressure convert the peat to coal; a process known as coalification.
For the peat to become coal, it must be buried by sediment.
Burial compacts the peat and, consequently, much water is squeezed out during the first stages of burial. Continued burial and the addition of heat and time cause the complex hydrocarbon compounds in the peat to break down and alter in a variety of ways.
The gaseous alteration products methane is one are typically expelled from the deposit, and the deposit becomes more and more carbon-rich as the other elements disperse. The stages of this trend proceed from plant debris through peat, lignite, sub-bituminous coal, bituminous coal, anthracite coal to graphite a pure carbon mineral.
Oil is refined to produce petrol and diesel, power stations burn fuel to produce energy, gas is used for everyday cooking.Burning coal emits harmful waste such as carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulphuric acids, arsenic and ash. It also emits twice as much carbon dioxide when compared with natural gas to produce the same level of heat, which increased the levels of harmful greenhouse gases emitted into the earth’s atmosphere.
Basic concepts. In a fossil fuel power plant the chemical energy stored in fossil fuels such as coal, fuel oil, natural gas or oil shale and oxygen of the air is converted successively into thermal energy, mechanical energy and, finally, electrical initiativeblog.com fossil fuel power plant is a complex, custom-designed system.
These assumptions play a key role in determining the costs associated with energy and climate change policies and feed into the projections of carbon prices, generation costs, emissions and price.
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