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ES 11_16_09 Fossil Fuels Climate Chang

ES 11_16_09 Fossil Fuels Climate Chang - E n e rg y O n c e...

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Energy Once humans developed beyond survival / reproduction only, we found a need to harness energy to do other things Almost all of our energy can be traced back to the sun, including commercial energy that we harness Consumption Per capita energy consumption = energy consumed per person Affluent minority consumes the majority of global energy U.S. has 5% of world pop, consumes 25% of energy
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Total energy consumption for the United States, 1860-2000 Formation & Location of Coal
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Coal Combustion of carbon C + O 2 > add energy => gives off more useful energy > CO 2 Energy yield depends on how much carbon is contained in the coal. Two types dominant US Reserves: Oldest coal (Anthracite) is 95% Carbon 300 million years old Younger coals (Lignite) 25% Carbon 150 million years old Advantages of Coal Provides significant amount of concentrated energy Large resource base Relatively safe to transport by rail (no spills)
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Disadvantages of Coal Low C/H ratio results in more CO 2 production per energy unit than other fossil fuels Transportation usage ended when diesel replaced the steam locomotive (syngas?) Mercury emission from power plants are significant SOx & NOx emissions from power plants a primary source of acid rain Amount of SOx & NOx vary with the type of coal (more contaminants in lignite) Disadvantages of Coal Coal extraction costly to environment and human health Health concerns
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  • Fall '09
  • CaseyKing
  • total energy consumption, capita energy consumption, Positive Feedback Cycles, Negative Feedback Cycles, th e ty

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