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Envi Sci Summary

Envi Sci Summary

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Published by: emor3j on Jan 29, 2010
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Catalan, Camille Joyce E.HO8102ENERGY UTILIZATION AND THE ENVIRONMENTEnergy is fundamental to the quality of our lives. Nowadays, we are totallydependent on an abundant and uninterrupted supply of energy for living andworking. It is a key ingredient in all sectors of modern economies. Energy providesus with heat and electricity daily. It powers our industry, transport and modern wayof life. In future direction, energy supply must be sustainable and diverse. Andenergy should be used more efficiently. This is reason enough to promotealternative environmentally friendly energy sources. The consequences of energydependence are likely to be an unpredictable energy supply and probably higherenergy prices.As human population has increased, the use of fossil fuels and its potentialpopulation has also increased. Energy becomes an indispensable factor in thesurvival of people and nations and the progress of a country. The major uses of energy includes: food production, and agriculture, transportation, residential andcommercial lighting, cooling and heating systems, mining, smelting and industrialprocesses and in the generation of electricity. Increased efficiency in the use of energy, conservation and the expanded use of alternative source are essential toattain the goal of sustainable development.
Agriculture Energy is used extensively in agriculture in the recent times w/c can beinferred from increased in farm machineries, increased use of electricity and theincreased use of energy to produce herbicides, insecticides & fertilizers. Theimpacts of energy dependence now on energy can also be felt on the prices of commodities. Shortage of energy supplies runs the risk of food shortages in manycountries of the world. This would make us anticipate using less chemical fertilizersand pesticides that consume a lot of energy to produce; to rely more on natural ororganic fertilizers; to practice more scientific forms of crop rotation. Transportation is about 25% of the energy such as gasoline & diesel in the world isused for transportation. For this reason, the demand for petroleum has increasedeven faster.Home appliances. The increasing use of energy in the home is largely due to theincreasing use of labor-saving appliances like washing machines, electric polishers,vacuum cleaners, rice cookers and the like. The more appliances you have and the
more frequent you use them, the more energy you consume. Much worse is thecareless and unwise use of these appliances such as not switching them off whennot in use.Industry. The production of all metals, synthetic chemicals and other materials andthe fabrication of finished products are some of the industrial processes thatconsume large amounts of energy.Generation of electricity. Energy is also being used to produce electricity w/c isactually a secondary energy source. It needs a primary energy source to turn thegenerator. Coal and oil are usually the major fuel used in generating electricity. Theuse of fuels or other energy sources to produce electricity has some distinctenvironmental impacts. These include alternation or destruction of land resultingfrom mining of fuels or the building of dams for hydroelectric power. Pollution andaccumulation of hazardous waste products resulting from the utilization of fuel andthermal pollution from waste heat.
Energy Sources
§About 90% of the worlds energy consumed in industrialized countriesis produced by oil, natural gas and coal.§ These materials were buried in sediments and after millions of years wereconverted into fossil fuels.§They are essentially nonrenewable and the resource itself is finite.ENERGY SOURCESFossil fuels are stored solar energy collected by the plants through photosynthesis.It was created from incomplete biological decomposition of dead organic matterwhen they were buried and escaped oxidation. They produce hydrocarbons andeventually fossils as sedimentary rocks.Fossil Fuels:Coal is a solid fossil fuel formed in several stages as buried remains of plants thatlived 300-400 million years ago were subjected to intense heat and pressure overmany millions of years. Coal contains small amounts of sulfur, released into theatmosphere as SO2 when coal is burned.Natural gas is a gas consisting primarily of methane. It is found associated withother fossil fuels, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is createdby methanogenic organisms in marshes, bogs, and landfills. It is an important fuelsource, a major feedstock for fertilizers, and a potent greenhouse gas.
Petroleum or Crude oil (oil as it comes out of the ground) is a thick liquid consistingof hundreds of combustible hydrocarbons along with small amounts of sulfur,oxygen, and nitrogen impurities/ This fossil fuel was produced by the decompositionof dead organic matter from plants (primarily plankton) and animals that wereburied under lake and ocean sediments 2-140 million years ago.ALTERNATIVE SOURCE OF ENERGYGeothermal energy is power extracted from heat stored in the earth. This energyoriginates from the original formation of the planet, from radioactive decay of minerals, and from solar energy absorbed at the surface. It has been used forbathing since Paleolithic times and for space heating since ancient Roman times,but is now better known for generating electricity. Worldwide, geothermal plantshave the capacity to generate about 10 giga watts of electricity as of 2007, and inpractice supply 0.3% of global electricity demand. An additional 28 giga watts of direct heating capacity is installed for district heating, space heating, spas,industrial processes, desalination and agricultural applications.Geothermal power is cost effective, reliable, sustainable, and environmentallyfriendly, but has historically been limited to areas near tectonic plate boundaries.Recent technological advances have dramatically expanded the range and size of viable resources, especially for applications such as home heating, opening apotential for widespread exploitation. Geothermal wells release greenhouse gasestrapped deep within the earth, but these emissions are much lower per energy unitthan those of fossil fuels. As a result, geothermal power has the potential to helpmitigate global warming if widely deployed in place of fossil fuels.Solar energy is a radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed byhumans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies.Solar radiation, along with secondary solar-powered resources suchas wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass, account for most of theavailable renewable energy on earth. Only a minuscule fraction of the availablesolar energy is used. Tidal power, sometimes also called tidal energy, is a form of hydropower thatconverts the energy of tides into electricity or other useful forms of power. Tidalenergy works from the power of changing tides. Tidal changes in sea level can beused to generate electricity, by building a dam across a coastal bay or estuary withlarge differences between low and high tides. Tide is the daily rise and fall of oceanlevels relative to coastlines, as a result of the gravitational force of the moon andsun as well as the revolution of the earth.

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