Fossil Fuels

Coal, gas and oil are known as fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are produced by millions of years cementing rotting plants & animals under heat & pressure.

Coal comes in several different forms from hard brown rocks to soft brown dirt. Some forms burn hotter and cleaner than others. Coal is used to create more than half of all the electricity made in the US. In the states, many of the coal beds are near the grounds surface. We get to the coal by mining for it. Most coal is transported by trains to power plants where it's burned to make steam. The steam turns turbines, which turns to electricity.

Oil used for making gasoline to drive if you don't have an electric car.

Crude oil is smelly, yellow-to-black liquid and is usually found in underground areas called reservoirs. Scientist and engineers explore underground studying samples of rocks. Measurements are taken to see if the site is promising. Above the hole a structure called a derrick to drill a hole to get the oil.

Our eyes are not fitted to see when natural gas is released.

  • Natural gas contains mostly methane, it is used as a fuel to generate electricity and is common in the home where it can be used for heating, cooking and other purposes.
  • Natural gas is a fossil fuel formed when layers of buried plants and animals are exposed to intense heat and pressure over thousands of years. The energy that the plants and animals originally obtained from the sun is stored in the form of carbon in natural gas. Natural gas is combusted to generate electricity, enabling this stored energy to be transformed into usable power. Natural gas is a nonrenewable resource because it cannot be replenished on a human time frame.
  • Intentionally wells are drilled to release the natural gas. After the natural gas is extracted, it is treated at a gas plant to remove impurities such as hydrogen sulfide, helium, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, and moisture. Pipelines then transport the natural gas from the gas plants to power plants.
    Power plants use several methods to convert gas to electricity. One method is to burn the gas in a boiler to produce steam, which is then used by a steam turbine to generate electricity. A more common approach is to burn the gas in a combustion turbine to generate electricity.

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