Fossil fuels are often referred to as a type of negative, polluting, environmentally damaging energy.
Currently, fossil fuels are the most widely used energy source in the world. It is used to generate electrical energy but above all it is also used to generate mechanical energy (cars, heat engines, etc.).
The theory that fossil fuels formed from the fossilized remains of dead plants by exposure to heat and pressure in the Earth's crust over millions of years was first introduced by Andreas Libavius "in his 1597 Alchemia" and later by Mikhail Lomonosov "as early as 1757 and certainly…
Fossil energy is the energy that comes from the combustion of fossil fuels.
It is a source of non-renewable energy because it is not an inexhaustible energy source nor regenerates at the same rate at which it is consumed.
Fossil fuels are formed from organic substances that have accumulated in the ground. These substances can be the remains of plants, animals and other living things. Over the years, millions of years, they undergo certain physical and chemical transformations until they reach the point where they become components of which it is easy to convert them into energy:…
Non renewable energies are the methods of obtaining energy through a source of exhaustible energy. The concept of non-renewable energy is taken into account at the scale of human life, since certain processes, such as the accumulation of carbon, have taken up to five hundred million years.
In general, non renewable energy is what consumes some type of fuel (oil, coal, uranium ...). While renewable energy uses other types of energy resources (solar radiation, the kinetic energy of the wind, the force of water, the movement of the tides, etc.). Although properly speaking some fuels, in…
Fossil fuels are non-renewable energy resources because they require millions of years for their formation in a natural way. Due to their high calorific power they are useful energy sources to generate thermal energy and their use has allowed the great economic and demographic growth linked to the industrial revolution of the 19th century. Although now they are fundamental for our economy. In 2007, the combustion of coal, oil and natural gas accounted for 86.4% of the world's primary energy. However, its combustion is one of the main sources of atmospheric pollution and global warming, which…
Coal is a fossil fuel that is used to obtain fossil energy through its combustion. The thermodynamic properties of coal allow obtaining a large amount of heat energy during its combustion process.
Coal is a sedimentary rock of organic origin, black or dark brown. It is used mainly as a fossil fuel because of its high calorific value because it has a majority carbon content. Coals can be classified by the percentage of carbon they contain, which is related to the percentage of moisture and impurities. According to this criterion, peat, lignite, coal and anthracite can be distinguished.…
Natural gas is a source of fossil energy, like coal or oil, it is constituted by a mixture of hydrocarbons, molecules formed by carbon and hydrogen atoms. Its calorific value varies greatly according to its composition, but the highest are between 8,500 and 10,200 kilocalories per cubic meter of natural gas.
Natural gas is a primary energy, or that can be obtained directly without transformation. The other primary energies are solar energy, coal and oil. It is the cleanest fossil energy in terms of waste and atmospheric emissions, and the most efficient fuel for obtaining electricity…
Thermal energy is the energy released in the form of heat. It can also be called heat energy. In a more technical way we can define thermal energy as part of the internal energy of a thermodynamic system in equilibrium that is proportional to its absolute temperature and is increased or decreased by energy transfer.
The thermal energy can be transformed using a thermal engine (a thermoelectric power plant uses thermal energy to generate electricity); or in mechanical work (for example, a car, airplane or ship engine).
The obtaining of thermal energy can imply an environmental…
Petroleum is a complex non-homogeneous mixture of hydrocarbons, composed / formed by hydrogen and carbon. The kinds of petroleums are very different from each other, can be from yellow and liquid to black and viscous. These differences are due to the relationships between the types of hydrocarbons. It is a non-renewable natural resource, raw material for numerous materials and products and, as a fossil fuel, the main primary energy source in the world.
The chemical components of petroleum are separated and obtained by distillation through a refinery process. From it different products…
Within the history of solar energy, in one form or another, solar energy has always been present in the life of the planet being this imprescidible for the development of life. However, the way in which human civilization has exploited it invented new strategies and tools has undergone a long evolution.
The Sun is indispensable for the existence of life on the planet: it is responsible for the water cycle, photosynthesis, etc. Already the first civilizations realized this and, as civilizations have evolved, they have also evolved techniques to harness their energy. At the beginning they…
For the conversion of fossil energy into electrical energy, the technology of a thermal power plant is often used. At the moment in which a thermal power station is fossil fuels fossilized from a source of non-renewable energy generation.
A thermal power plant (or thermoelectric plant) is a plant that generates electricity by transforming heat. Historically heat energy is converted into electricity by transferring heat to a working fluid and then transforming the energy of this fluid into mechanical energy. Finally, mechanical energy is transformed into electricity. The…
The geothermal heat pump is an air conditioning system for buildings that exploits the heat exchange with the superficial subsoil, by means of a heat pump. Since the heat in the subsoil comes largely from the interior of the Earth, geothermal energy of low enthalpy is classified as a source of renewable energy, although the heat pump itself consumes electricity, generally produced from other sources of energy (for example, fossil fuels).
The heat pump allows the exchange of heat between a "source" at a lower temperature than the "well", or the point where the heat is introduced. In a…
Fracking, or hydraulic fracture, is an Anglo-Saxon term that is used to refer to a technique to increase the extraction of fossil fuels natural gas and oil from soil.
Hydraulic fracturing or geotechnical fracking is the exploitation of the pressure of a fluid, typically water, to create and then propagate a fracture in a layer of rock in the subsoil. Fracking is carried out after a drilling in a rock formation containing hydrocarbons (oil or natural gas). The objective is to increase the permeability. Improving permeability improves the production of oil or gas contained in the subsoil…
The Sun is a star around which the Earth turns.
It has an approximate diameter of 1,400,000 km and a mass of 1.99 × 1033 g.
The Sun revolves around itself. However, since it is constituted by a large mass of gases, the different regions do not rotate in solidarity, but they do so at different speeds, which depend on latitude.
The Sun, and with it the entire solar system, moves towards a point in the firmament located in the constellation of Hercules at a speed of about 19 km / s. This is because the Sun has a movement of translation around the galactic center, like…
The solar thermal energy consists of the use of energy from the Sun to transfer it to a medium that carries heat, usually water or air.
Among the different applications of solar thermal energy there is the possibility of generating electric power. The current technology allows to heat water with solar radiation to produce steam and subsequently obtain electrical energy.
Although the principle of operation is very similar there are two main applications of solar thermal energy:
- Thermal single energy for use in homes and small installations
- Large thermal solar…
The characteristics of solar energy imply certain advantages with respect to other sources of energy.
Although the characteristics are different in photovoltaic solar installations and solar thermal installations, we will treat the disadvantages globally.
Certain disadvantages of solar energy may imply that a solar installation may be unfeasible. The aspects to consider are the following:
- Energy efficiency is poor compared to other energy sources.
- The economic cost compared to other options.
- Performance is a function of the weather.
Solar energy allows to take advantage of the energy that comes from solar radiation. One way to take advantage of sunlight is to convert the radiation into electrical energy (photovoltaic solar energy) or thermal energy (solar thermal energy). Photovoltaic solar energy requires a chemical process to obtain a continuous current, while solar thermal energy only requires a thermodynamic process.
The characteristics of solar energy imply certain advantages with respect to other sources of energy. Mainly if the other sources of energy are non-renewable energies that come from fossil fuels.…
A hydroelectric power plant is a set of hydraulic engineering working located in a certain succession, together with a series of suitable machines. The objective of a hydroelectric power plant is to obtain electricity from the potential energy of moving bodies of water. This is what is called hydropower.
The energy produced by hydroelectric plants must be classified in all aspects as renewable energy because, at least in theory, water can be reused endlessly for the same purpose without undergoing a purification process. The concept of renewability is subordinated to the constancy of…