Nguyen 1 Fuel – An Energy Source Needed to Be Replaced As we know, fuel plays a very important role in our lives, yet

it is the most important source of energy; however, at the rate we are using fuel right now, sooner or later it will run out of exploitation, then we will have to find another source of energy. What is fuel? According to Brian Ratcliff, fuel is any material that is burned or altered to obtain energy and to heat or to move an object (Ratcliff, Brian). Fuel releases its energy either through a chemical reaction means, such as combustion, or nuclear means, such as nuclear fission or nuclear fusion. An important property of a useful fuel is that its energy can be stored to be released only when needed, and that the release is controlled in such a way that the energy can be harnessed to produce work. Examples are methane, petrol and oil. There are several types of fuel, including biofuels, fossil fuels, and nuclear fuels. Biofuel can be broadly defined as solid, liquid, or gas fuel consisting of, or derived from biomass. Biomass can also be used directly for heating or power - known as biomass fuel. Biofuel can be produced from any carbon source that can be replenished rapidly e.g. plants. Many different plants and plant-derived materials are used for biofuel manufacture. Perhaps the earliest fuel that was employed by humans is wood, although it has been superseded for many purposes by other sources. The second type of fuel is fossil fuel. Fossil fuels are hydrocarbons, primarily coal and petroleum (liquid petroleum or natural gas), formed from the fossilized remains of dead plants and animals by exposure to heat and pressure in the Earth's crust over hundreds of millions of years. In common parlance, the term fossil fuel also includes hydrocarbon-containing natural resources that are not derived entirely from biological sources, such as tar sands. These latter sources are properly known as mineral fuels. The burning of fossil fuels by humans is the largest

Fuel has many usages in our lives. run vehicles. more than $120 billion of agricultural products crossed U. etc. This will be mentioned more carefully later. but for now FCs still have much to prove in the transport sector. and food transportation. For example. growing practices. in 2005. to create perfume. the only materials that are commonly referred to as nuclear fuels though are those that will produce energy without being placed under extreme duress. The last type of fuel is nuclear fuel. etc.Nguyen 2 source of emissions of carbon dioxide. In the shorter term. shifting demand from oil to hydrogen. packing. According to Sustainable Table. fuel can be used in industrial farming. Nuclear fuel is any material that is consumed to derive nuclear energy. In our daily lives. fuel can be used to create rubber. raising concerns that solar heat will be trapped and the average surface temperature of the Earth will rise in response. a cleaner. fuel gives a huge amount of profit (“The Issus: Fossil Fuel and Energy Used”). Therefore. more efficient power source for everything from cars to utilities. fuel can used to produce heat. Technically speaking this definition includes all matter because any element will under the right conditions release nuclear energy.S. to run industrial machine. is increasing. which is one of the greenhouse gases that enhances radioactive forcing and contributes to global warming. borders as imports and exports. According to Research Direction. The atmospheric concentration of CO2. ethanol and bio-diesel are getting a lot more attention as . enabling a transition from coal to oil. ICEs transformed the energy industry in the last century. Fuel cells are ultimately expected to disrupt this century’s energy markets. Fuel cells (FCs) may become the internal combustion engines (ICEs) of the 21st century. a greenhouse gas. In other fields. processing and storing food.

an increase of 1. dropping 40 percent to the lowest level in more than 25 years. because of the plunge in sales of more than 3 billion gallons that occurred in 2006. US policies have driven tens of billions of dollars into corn ethanol production. In 2007. when distillate sales accounted for 84.9 percent of total fuel oil and kerosene sales. Hydrogen and Fuel Cells”). the second lowest share of total fuel oil and kerosene sales since EIA began collecting data. This exceeds the previous highest share of total sales set in 2006. etc) to make more than a marginal contribution to fuel supply (“Research Directions: Biofuels. but still below the record of nearly 77.5 percent above the level set in 2006. . Kerosene sales fell sharply for the second year in a row. while Brazil has solved its energy independence with the help of a robust sugar-ethanol industry. Sales of kerosene made up just 0. According to Energy Information Administration. the 2007 total remained well below the level of sales achieved in 2005. coupled with the drop in sales of kerosene.4 percent of total sales.7 percent of total sales. the used amount of fuel is large and increasing day by day. overall sales of fuel oil and kerosene totaled more than 74. Residual fuel oil sales increased by more than 430 million gallons over the level attained in 2006. sugar.4 billion gallons. The relatively small increase in sales of residual fuel oil.2 billion gallons. compared 1. distillate sales increased. soybeans. it is difficult to see how the world could possibly grow enough feedstock crops (corn. in 2007.1 percent in 2006. the highest total since 2004.7 billion gallons set in 2005. recovering from the downturn of the previous year to 63. clean fuel sources for the transport sector.Nguyen 3 alternative. resulted in distillate fuel oil sales accounting for 85. Nonetheless. The sales of residual fuel oil in 2007 accounted for 14. Distillate sales increased by slightly more than one billion gallons. But without significant developments in technologies that can tap agriculatural and other wastes. like cellulosic ethanol. Fuel definitely has a large impact on our lives. As a result.0 percent of total sales.

The increase of 1. with the world consuming 14 terawatts (14 trillion or 14 x 1012 Watts) now. sales of distillate fuels to the residential. By far the largest increases in sales were to the vessel bunkering and electric power energy use sectors. According to Green Grid Partners. Overall sales of residual fuel oil increased by nearly 433 million gallons (4. There were also small increases in sales to the commercial and military energy use sectors up 2. fell in comparison to the previous year.02 billion gallons (1.6 percent) was one of the smallest increases of the past 15 years. when despite strong sales to the vessel bunker energy use sector sales of residual fuel oil fell precipitously.7 million gallons respectively (“Sales of Fuel Oil and Kerosene in 2007”). the world will be consuming about 30 terawatts by mid-century. That means. world’s demand for energy is expected to at least double by 2050 and to more than triple by the year 2100. Finding clean energy sources for even the near future will a formidable challenge. Competition will be strong for declining energy sources. nonetheless it represents nearly 90 percent of the average increase in distillate sales since 1990.3 billion gallons). oil company and all other energy use sectors. Although.2 percent) over the level reached in 2006. sales declined in the industrial. Unlike 2006. Future total energy demand projections are . Continued strong sales to the vessel bunkering and electric power energy use sectors pushed sales of residual fuel higher. Sales to the vessel bunker energy use sector jumped by 573 million gallons boosting sales to the highest total since 2000 (6. In 2007. Already the United States has experienced brown outs and rolling blackouts.2 million gallons and 5. The next largest increase was 141 million gallons to the electric power energy use sector. electric power and transportation energy use sectors increased. sales to commercial and farm energy use sectors.Nguyen 4 countering the downturn of the previous year and returning to the long-term trend of rising sales that has occurred in 12 of the past 15 years. construction.

Maize. B. According to Patch.. but the question is: Is there enough fuel to support us forever? The answer is: No! Using fuel has several effects. the average global temperature has risen about 1 degree Fahrenheit since the turn of the century. modern technology has proved that the Earth is indeed getting warmer. W. But the subsequent fall in oil prices prompted consumers to return to bigger. M. Cooper. H.Nguyen 5 off the chart: 25-30 TW in 2050 and 40-50 TW in 2100! Even now. we are in a period of sharply rising energy demand. Kate Stalter stated that World Fuel Services (INT) has popped up on IBD screens and in feature stories recently. The most obvious one is global warming. Human suffering could be further compounded by starvation. According to Mary H. Maize. W.000 shares per day (Stalter. K. Scientists are now predicting an additional 2-7 degree rise in the 21st century if current trends continue unchecked. As tropical regions expand in size.. Rising temperatures are expected to disrupt weather patterns all over the world. diseasecarrying mosquitoes will be able to extend their range. and that World Fuel is a small cap and it trades about 771. launching an intense global debate. especially in sub-Saharan . Kate). as we approach 2010. P. M. P. China and India—the world's fastest growing economies—will be competing with the USA for available fuels (“Energy Industry Overview”).. Cooper). in 1978–79. oil shortages resulted in higher prices and prompted Americans to save energy. and oil imports climbed back up (B. The world sure needs a large amount of fuel. Patch. and Cooper. in recent years. possibly bringing drought to vital food-producing regions. Oil imports shrank. Warming also is expected to cause the spread of malaria. According to widely accepted meteorological evidence. K. less-efficient cars. H. during the last major energy crisis. dengue fever and other deadly tropical diseases.

bringing more floods or droughts to some areas.4 percent to 16. Entire species of plants and animals could become extinct. In addition. relies so heavily on imported oil. People also have to face with pollution every day. demand for oil fell by 2. the figure had jumped to 42 percent in 1989. Seas would continue to rise at the same rate thereafter. Patch. or 6 inches to 3 feet. At this rate. The number of extremely hot days would increase. Mary H. water and ground. because rising temperatures would cause some melting of glaciers and polar ice sheets. Americans' thirst for oil grew by more than 1.). It increases the amount of the greenhouse gas (CO.9 million barrels a day.S.000 barrels a day this year. Sea levels would rise on average 15-90 centimeters. U. Weather patterns would change. South Asia and tropical Latin America. more than a quarter of all the oil consumed worldwide. CO2. The industrial combustion pollutes the air. Last year. Mary H. The Energy Department predicts demand will grow by as much as 520. the ones who have to receive the negative effects from using fuel are our descendants.S. etc. Kennedy P. Rainfall would be more intense. the oil markets reacted dramatically to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait largely because the United States. the Energy Department reports.000 barrels a day next year if . According to Buel W. the world's biggest oil consumer. oil consumption as recently as 1985.3 million barrels a day. by 2100. while extremely cold days would decrease.5 million barrels to 17. Cooper. though scientists could not say if tropical cyclones and other severe storms would change in location and intensity (Cooper. While imports accounted for only a quarter of U. and water expands as it gets warmer. During the same four-year period. Using fuel can also cause pollution. Maize. global warming also causes several negative outcomes.Nguyen 6 Africa. The agency projects demand will fall an additional 200.) and makes the Earth warmer.000–400.

Hammer. That is just one of many modern wars caused by fuel disputation. Another war is the Iraq’s invasion of the United States. That the nation will someday run out of its traditional fossil fuel sources is incontrovertible—only the timing of depletion can be argued. energy supply comes from oil.3 million barrels a day and fell to 8. as America awakens to the growing reality of the energy crisis. The war between Georgia and Russia is said to be a territory dispute but Professor Michael T.9 million barrels a day in 1990. Andrew). J. According to J. How can we break the unique posture of fuel? The most possible answer is to find a new source of energy to replace it. more than making up for the decline of the past year. natural gas. it is still not the perfect energy source for us to use in the future. Regarding of the benefits and the large income which fuel brings to us. the lowest level since 1964 proven oil reserves here have fallen almost steadily from 34. the need for development of new and clean energy sources becomes increasingly clear. Klare tells NAM editor Andrew Lam there is another equally important factor: a geopolitical struggle between Russia and the West over the export of Caspian Sea oil and natural gas (Lam.3 billion barrels in 1975 to 25. has more durability and does not cause any harm to the . we can see fuel has a large influence on political manner and on the relationship between nations. Fuel is also the real causes of modern wars. According to Andrew Lam. coal and natural gas. Ninety-five per cent of the current U.). We must find a new energy source which is renewable.S. and Americans have grown used to a plentiful supply of cheap energy in all forms—especially electricity.Nguyen 7 the recession ends as anticipated. Oil production in the United States peaked in 1970 at 11. Therefore. heating oil and gasoline (Hammer. This is not an easy concept to grasp.9 billion last year.

solar power. towers and poles. was a stepped-up program of research and development of new energy sources—solar and geothermal power.Nguyen 8 environment. space heating and heavy industry. Hydrogen is a highly efficient fuel in liquid or gas form. In a liquid form. eliminating much of the need for cables. emits virtually no combustion pollutants and is abundant in coal. According to J.). which returns to the atmosphere and is recycled naturally with other water vapor. Most proposals for a so-called “hydrogen economy” emphasize its superiority to electricity for many large-scale energy applications such as transportation. The possible sources of energy that can replace fuel in the near future are hydro power. wind power. It was expected that all energy would be more expensive in the final decades of the 20th century. wind and tidal power. switching stations and other unsightly equipment. hydrogen fuel. these could carry hydrogen at about one-eighth the cost of sending an equal amount of electricity through high-voltage power lines above ground. Its most appealing feature is that when burned it produces only steam. environmentalists. J. nuclear fusion. nuclear power and geothermal. Hammer. it can be substituted for gasoline in automobile engines (Hammer. and higher costs probably would encourage efforts to use energy more efficiently and to conserve it whenever possible. . natural gas and. Hydrogen can be burned as a gas in home heating. oil. many energy analysts. The first one is hydro power. Based on current pipeline costs. most importantly. hydrogen has been proposed as the ideal fuel for the future because it burns cleanly and completely. economists and engineers agreed. and other possibilities. cooking and cooling appliances with minor burner modifications. in water. What was needed for the long run.

Professor and Mrs. . According to J. an industrial consulting firm.000 trillion watts. Little Inc. Perhaps the most ambitious scheme for harnessing solar energy is that of Peter Glaser of Arthur D. energy consumption. Some experts believe that solar heating and cooling systems could supply up to one-half of the energy now needed for residential and commercial heating and air conditioning. The energy in the sunlight falling on the surface of Lake Erie in a single day is greater than present annual U.000 megawatts of power being produced at a total cost of about $20 billion—excluding the cost of a space shuttle. which is some 30. however. electrical output using an area of less than 4. which together account for 20 per cent of energy consumption in the United States (Hammer. Glaser envisions 10.. initially cost about $1 billion to develop.S. Jerome Weingart of California Institute of Technology's Environmental Quality Laboratory has written.S. Aden Meinel of the University of Arizona have proposed a generating system using special lenses to focus sunlight onto chemically coated. nitrogen-filled pipes that would transfer the heat to a central storage unit using molten salts.000 times the world's present industrial power capacity.). Hammer.” Dr. by far the most abundant of the potential new energy sources is solar power—the thermal energy of the sun. Solar air conditioning has been demonstrated in devices using the absorptionrefrigeration process. would be about 25 square miles. The solar farm.Nguyen 9 The second one is solar power. Glaser suggests that a huge satellite in orbit could use giant mirror panels and silicon converters to change sunlight into microwave energy and beam it to earth. The total energy radiated to the earth from the sun is nearly 180. “A solar energy system with an operating efficiency of 20 per cent operating in the American Southwest could provide the equivalent of the total U. as the Meinels call it. J.000 megawatts. Harnessing this power on a large scale to generate electricity is an awesome task. and produce 1.000 square miles.

who suggests building windmills on floating towers in the ocean or on platforms on the continental shelf to generate electricity for electrolyzing distilled sea water into hydrogen and oxygen. the German engineer Herman Honnef proposed building wind towers to generate electricity. nuclear energy currently produces only a small fraction of the electricity consumed in the United States—less than 4 per cent. or compressed and stored for use during peak demand periods. Vermont. In 1941 the world's largest windmill—110 feet high with a 175-foot diameter blade—was built atop Grandpa's Knob near Rutland.3 megawatts until it was shut down in 1945. According to J.000 were operating in Europe in the 19th century. Heronemus of the University of Massachusetts. Rows of huge steel towers with enormous blades would create aesthetic blight worse than transmission lines (Hammer.Nguyen 10 The third one is wind and tidal power. Some have warned that if windmills were used in large systems on the land. A total of 29 nuclear power plants were operating at . however. and it produced 1. the World Meteorological Organization in 1961 estimated wind power available at favorable sites around the world at some 20 million megawatts.). Hammer. and research picked up in Europe and the United States. Windmills have been used as small-scale power sources for many years— more than 30. There may be disadvantages to wind power. The forth one is nuclear power. air current patterns might be affected sufficiently to change temperature and humidity. J. But the Atomic Energy Commission expects it to produce 55 per cent by the year 2000— though other official estimates are lower. Several wind-power proposals have been resurrected in recent years. One of the most enthusiastic proponents of wind power is Professor William E. Hammer. The hydrogen would be collected and sent ashore through pipelines to be burned directly or used in fuel cells. According to J. but most scientists agree that only a small percentage can ever be harnessed. Before World War II.

Japan. New Zealand. who has written: “At the present rate of development it is likely that by the end of this decade the production of electric power from steam fields will be quadrupled. Hammer. Use of deeper hot rocks is more difficult. hot water and hot rocks. nuclear power was being hailed as the panacea for the world's future energy supply problems.capacity range from 1.000 to 4. 90 miles north of San Francisco. such as isobutane.Nguyen 11 the beginning of 1973. director of the United Nations resource and transport division. Dry steam is the most useful but least common. A decade ago. Another major power option is geothermal energy—heat from the interior of the earth. Iceland and Russia also have active geothermal power plants and total world production is well over 1. wet steam must be separated into steam and water components before being filtered and run through turbines. where steam generates electricity in a power plant. some 200 homes in Boise. But its problems and costs. Mexico. in Larderello. In operation since 1960. Geothermal energy has been used for many years on a small scale. Idaho. have risen steadily and today there is a growing schism in the scientific community over the wisdom of continued largescale development of all forms of nuclear power.000 megawatts. the plant now produces about 300 megawatts. Italy. According to J. fifty five were under construction and 76 others were being planned. Hot water wells can be used to heat other fluids with lower boiling points.000 megawatts. The most significant largescale development is The Geysers. have been heated by underground steam since 1890. A leading proponent of geothermal energy is Joseph Barnea. both economic and environmental. In the United States. was completed in 1904.” Geothermal resources are of three basic types—steam. estimates of its ultimate. The world's largest installation. but the Atomic Energy Commission scientific laboratories at . the total energy potential of the earth's core is enormous but it is accessible only where the heat comes close enough to the surface to be tapped.

WVC. finding a new energy source is the right choice.cqpress.” CQ Researcher 6 (30 June 2009): 964-984. Therefore. “Global Warming. this method would open up hot rock resources at least 10 times greater than the steam and hot water potential (Hammer. Mary H.. I hope with the improvement in humankind technology. Works Cited Cooper. but also is a very clean energy.). we can find the best solution to this problem. etc.Nguyen 12 Los Alamos. N. J. besides. it is necessary to find a new energy>. Bauer Media Center <http://library. the most possible energy source which could become the replacement for fuel in the near future is hydrogen energy. for a better world and for our descendants.M. If successful. It not only has a nearly infinite storage. have suggested using hydrofracturing techniques to create underground cracks in rock beds and then circulate pressurized water through them. In conclusion. Fuel storage is not going to support us forever. global warming. . In my opinion. it has too many side effects such as pollution.

emergingenergy.Nguyen 13 “Energy Industry Overview. “Oil Imports.” Sustainable Table 01 July 2009 <>.” 01 July 2009 <http://www. Cooper..” Chemistry 1 2000 Cambridge University Press. Hydrogen and Fuel Cells. WVC. M.>. 1 (23 August 1991): 585-608. Brian et al. J.” CQ>.greengridpartners.” 22 April 2009 <http://www. “The Issues: Fossil Fuel and Energy Use. Kate “World Fuel Services. <>. cqpress.eia.wikipedia.>. Ratcliff. “New Energy Sources.investors.doe. P. WVC.” New America Media 12 Aug 2008 <http://news. Stalter. Andrew. “Oil and Natural Gas Fuel Caspian War. Maize.>.” Green Grid Partners 01 July 2009 <http://www. Bauer Media Center 01 July 2009 <http://library. Hammer.” Energy Information Administration 01 July 2009 <http://www. Bauer Media Center <>. “Research Directions: Biofuels. Lam.” CQ Researcher 14 March>. “Sales of Fuel Oil and Kerosene in 2007. “>..cqresearch. W. B. .

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