4241LNOT13_S11_PP - Environmental Geochemistry, GLY...

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Environmental Geochemistry, GLY 4241/5243, © David Warburton, 2011 1 LECTURE 13 - Fossil Fuel Overview Note: Slide numbers refer to the PowerPoint presentation which accompanies the lecture. Fossil Fuel, slide 1 here Before looking at environmental problems associated with petroleum, coal, and natural gas, we need to take a brief look at these substances and how they form. Fossil Fuel, slide 2 here Coal, petroleum and natural gas are often called “fossil” fuels. What is a fossil, and what does fossil fuel mean? As a noun, fossil refers to a relic, remnant, or representation of an organism that existed in a past geological age, or of the activity of such an organism, occurring in the form of mineralized bones, shells, etc., as casts, impressions, and molds, or as frozen preserved organisms As an adjective, it means having the characteristics or nature of a fossil Fossil Fuel, slide 3 here Fossil fuels are fuels formed from once living matter. They include fuels derived from oil shale and tar shale. Fossil Fuel, slide 4 here For this reason, all fossil fuels are carbon based. Combustion of fossil fuels will produce carbon dioxide, and important greenhouse gas (GHG). Natural gas, petroleum, and fuels derived from shales are hydrocarbons. These are
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Environmental Geochemistry, GLY 4241/5243, © David Warburton, 2011 2 combinations of hydrogen and carbon, often with some other elements. Combustion of these fuels produces carbon dioxide, and water vapor, as well as other substances. Water vapor is a GHG, but since water often condenses and leaves the atmosphere, production of water is not regarded as being nearly as important as the production of carbon dioxide. Fossil Fuel, slide 5 here
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4241LNOT13_S11_PP - Environmental Geochemistry, GLY...

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