EOC_ch19

Essential Environment: The Science behind the Stories (3rd Edition)

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Chapter 19 Testing Your Comprehension 1 Fossil fuels, especially oil products, predominate today because they are efficient to burn, ship, and store. Natural gas is cleaner burning, and coal is most plentiful. They are all considered nonrenewable because they are being extracted and consumed much faster than they are being formed naturally. 2 Net energy is the amount of energy produced minus the amount of energy input. EROI is the ratio of the amount of energy produced to the amount of energy input. These concepts are important indicators of the efficiency of an energy source. 3 Fossil fuels form slowly from the remains of the anaerobic decomposition of organic matter, under appropriate conditions of temperature and pressure. Natural gas can form by anaerobic bacterial action relatively near the surface. It can also form by heat and pressure deeper underground, which converts organic material into kerogen, the precursor of both natural gas and crude oil. Because the ideal conditions of organic material accumulation, anaerobic conditions, pressure, and temperature are not evenly distributed, neither are the resulting deposits of fossil fuels. 4 Coal is used to generate electricity by burning the coal, using the heat of combustion to boil water and generate steam pressure, and using the steam pressure to turn turbines and a generator. 5
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This document was uploaded on 10/30/2010.

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EOC_ch19 - Chapter 19 Testing Your Comprehension 1 Fossil...

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