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Natural Gas What is Natural Gas?

-> Mixture of gases -> Mostly methane (CH4) -> Found above conventional crude oil deposits -> Propane and butane can be removed and pressurized to make Liquefied Petroleum Gas or LPG -> Natural Gas can be pressurized and cooled to create Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to be transported Natural Gas Burn off -> When oil deposits are too remote for a pipeline to collect natural gas, then the gas is simply burned off on site as a waste product of oil production Synthetic Natural Gas -> SNG is created from coal by a process called coal gasification -> Creating synthetic fuels has a low net energy as it requires the use of approximately 50% more coal than simply burning the coal Reserves -> Russia possesses over 25% of world reserves -> The Middle East contains a large amount -> The United States has less than 4% of the worlds reserves, but uses almost of the worlds natural gas production Advantages of Natural Gas -> Large reserves remain -> Less air pollutants are emitted than when burning other fossil fuels -> High net energy compared to other fossil fuels Disadvantages of Natural Gas -> Low net energy when converted to LNG

-> Releases carbon dioxide when burned -> Difficult and costly to transport -> Pipeline infrastructure is underdeveloped

Coal Coal -> Solid fossil fuel -> Formed from the buried remains of plants that died during the carboniferous period -> Composed mainly of carbon with varying amounts of moisture, sulfur, and other trace elements -> The older the coal, the higher the carbon content -> The higher the carbon content, the greater the potential energy stored in the coal Types of Coal -> Peat: precursor to coal made of partially decomposed organic material. Low energy, high moisture -> Lignite: brown coal. Low energy, high moisture. Least expensive. -> Bituminous: Low energy, high moisture. Better than lignite -> Anthracite: High energy, low moisture. Most expensive Coal Reserves -> Almost 50% of world coal reserves are in three countries -> USA ->Russia -> China -> India Coal Consumption -> Over 65% is consumed by four countries

-> China -> US -> India ->Russia Advantages of Using Coal -> Relatively abundant -> Relatively inexpensive -> Infrastructure is already developed -> Easy to transport -> Easy to extract from surface mines Environmental Consequences of Using Coal -> Burning coal generates greenhouse gasses such as CO2 -> Burning generates SO2 which contributes to acid deposition -> Waste ash deposits from power plants is often kept in holding ponds. This ash can accidentally wash out and run into existing bodies of water. Types of Coal Mining -> Strip mining -> Mountaintop removal -> Room and pillar mining -> Longwall coal mining Impacts of Coal Mining -> Land disruption and therefore loss of habitat -> Subsidence -> Acid mine drainage -> Hazardous work for miners

Oil Shale and Tar Sands What is Shale Oil? -> Deposits of rock that contain kerogen -> Kerogen is a solid mixture of hydrocarbons -> Shale oil is extracted from the rock by crushing the rock and heated to separate the shale oil from the rock Shale Oil Reserves -> Over 70% of the worlds shale oil is in the United States Advantages of Shale Oil -> Large domestic reserves -> Existing oil infrastructure can be used -> Easy to transport as a solid or as shale oil Disadvantages of Shale Oil -> Low net energy because of energy and water required to separate oil from rock -> Very high disturbance of land similar to coal mining -> CO2, NOx, and Sox emitted when shale oil is burned What are Tar Sands? -> A viscous mixture of sand, clay, water, and Bitumen -> Tar sand is obtained by strip mining -> Tar sand is mixed with water and heated to separate bitumen -> Bitumen can then be converted into a synthetic crude oil Reserves -> Canada has over 75% of the worlds tar sand reserves -> US, Russia, Venezuela, Columbia, and Nigeria possess smaller reserves Advantages of Tar Sands

-> Very large potential reserves -> Current oil infrastructure can be utilized -> Tar sand and its synthetic oil is easy to transport Disadvantages of Tar Sand -> Very low net energy due to energy required to extract bitumen -> Large volumes of water are used in the process of extracting bitumen from tar sand -> High land disruption and therefore habitat loss from surface mining of tar sand -> CO2, NO2, and SO2 are emitted when oil is burned

Oil What is Oil? -> A fossil fuel produced when heat and pressure act on decayed organic matter (usually microscopic sea life) over millions of years -> Oil consist predominantly of hydrocarbons with small amounts of sulfur, oxygen, and nitrogen -> Specific geologic conditions are required for oil to be formed and accumulated

Advantages of Using Oil

-> High net energy -> Although supply is declining, there is still and ample supply for the immediate future -> Oil infrastructure already in place -> Domestically available -> Little land disruption in mining process Disadvantages of Using Oil -> Release of CO2, Sox, and NOx when burned -> US is dependent on oil imports -> Potential for oil spills -> Net energy is decreasing as more energy must be invested in oil production Oil Reserves -> Oil reserves are predicted to be 80% depleted sometime between 2050 and 2100

OPEC -> Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries -> Controls 60% of crude oil reserves -> Saudi Arabia alone controls 20%

Charcoal What is Charcoal? -> A biomass fuel that is created by partially burning wood to remove moisture and increase the energy content per unit of mass when compared to the wood alone -> Widely used for cooking and heating in developing countries throughout the world Advantages of Using Charcoal -> Relatively inexpensive -> Higher energy content/Unit of mass than wood or dung -> Easy to transport -> Widely available -> Less smoke than wood or dung -> Renewable if managed appropriately Disadvantages of Using Charcoal -> Deforestation -> Charcoal production is hazardous to workers -> Using charcoal produces smoke that is unhealthy to breathe