fossil fuel life cycle

What are the three major Fossil Fuels?

What is Fossil Fuel?

Fossil fuel is a source of energy which is produced by natural process. It is a byproduct of the decomposition of dead animals and plants from millions of years ago.

The global fossil fuel consumption as per the year 2018, petroleum is at 34%, coal at 27%, and natural gas is at 24%, leading to an 85% share of fossil fuel.

Fossil fuels carry carbon in high concentration. The three major fossil fuels include petroleum, coal, and natural gas.

Petroleum: Petroleum is composed of hydrocarbons. It is available in underground reservoirs, sedimentary rocks’ porous system, or in the tar sand near the earth’s surface.

The oil after extraction is processed to produce gasoline, LPG. Also, other non-fuel products like pesticides, fertilizers, and plastics.

  • As per the records of 2017, the US is at 19.88 million barrels per day of petroleum consumption.
  • Additionally, in the US, petroleum is responsible for 45% of greenhouse gas emissions.

Coal: Coal is carbon rock, solid in nature. There are four types of coal. These are lignite, sub-bituminous, bituminous and anthracite.

Underground mining and strip mining are the two methods used to extract coal. In the US about two-third of the coals are extracted via strip mining. Also, the coals burned in the US are of sub-bituminous and bituminous nature.

  • 30% of the electricity supply in the US is from coal, according to the data of 2017. In the year 2007, it was at 50%.
  • Moreover, 32% of greenhouse gas emission in the US is due to the usage of coal.

Natural Gas: Natural gas is composed of methane. There are two types of natural gas, conventional and unconventional depending on the location of the source.

  • Conventional natural gas is found in the porous system of permeable rocks or in oil reservoirs.
  • Unconventional natural gas is any type of gas that is not possible to extract with regular drilling.
  • According to the report of 2015, the US consumes about 21.6% and generates around 17.6% of natural gas.
  • Natural gas is responsible for greenhouse gas emissions in the US at the rate of 29%.

Using fossil fuel has created an imbalance in the environment as well as harmed the human race. It is essential to move towards clean and eco-friendly energy.