Visualizing Environmental Science Which appliances use the most electricity per year?
Visualizing Environmental Science Energy What is the difference between renewable and nonrenewable energy sources? What percent of the world’s energy comes from nonrenewable energy sources? Renewable energy sources?
Visualizing Environmental Science Nonrenewable Energy Nonrenewable energy resources - fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) and nuclear fuels Worldwide energy consumption
Visualizing Environmental Science Energy Consumption: Worldwide vs. United States
Visualizing Environmental Science Energy Consumption in the U.S.
Where is most coal produced in the United States?
Coal in the World Where in the world is coal found?
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Outlook 2013, July 2013, Tables 6, 9, and 12.
World Coal Consumption by Region ?id=4390 ?id=4390
Coal Formed primarily from the remains of trees, ferns, and other plant materials that were preserved million years ago There are 3 categories of coal: –Lignite – least desirable because of its high moisture content –Bituminous – most widely used because it is most abundant and easiest to mine –Anthracite – has the highest energy content and is cleanest burning, but is hard to obtain
Cole (not coal)
Coal Reserves in the U.S. anthracitebituminous lignite About 90% of U.S. coal mines extract bituminous coal
Coal Characteristics Ash consists of inorganic matter from the Earth’s crust: limestone, iron, aluminum, clay, silica, and trace elements
Results of the Clean Air Act In 1990 alone, pollution reductions under the Clean Air Act prevented 205,000 early deaths Reductions in fine particle pollution between in U.S. cities led to improvements in average life expectancy at birth of approximately 7 months Reducing air pollution also improves crop and timber yields, a benefit worth an estimated $5.5 billion to those industries in 2010
Percent Change in U.S. Air Quality Pollutant1980 vs Carbon Monoxide-84% Ozone-33% Lead-92% Nitrogen Dioxide-58% PM % Sulfur Dioxide-81%
Catalytic Converter SV0tY SV0tY
Fluidized Bed Combustion Chamber
Advantages and Disadvantages of Coal AdvantagesDisadvantages Energy-denseContains impurities PlentifulRelease impurities into air when burned Easy to exploit by surface miningTrace metals like mercury, lead, and arsenic are found in coal Technological demands are smallCombustion leads to increased levels of sulfur dioxide and other air pollutants into the atmosphere. Economic costs are lowAsh is left behind Easy to handle and transportCarbon is released into the atmosphere which contributes to climate change Needs little refining
Advantages and Disadvantages of Natural Gas AdvantagesDisadvantages Contains fewer impurities and therefore emits almost no sulfur dioxide or particulates When unburned, methane escapes into the atmosphere Emits only 60% as much carbon dioxide as coal Exploration of natural gas has the potential of contaminating groundwater
Advantages and Disadvantages of Petroleum AdvantagesDisadvantages Convenient to transport and useReleases carbon dioxide into atmosphere Relatively energy-densePossibility of leaks when extracted and transported Cleaner-burning than coalReleases sulfur, mercury, lead, and arsenic into the atmosphere when burned
Nuclear Energy in the World Nuclear power plants generate about 20% of the United States’ electricity In comparison: – 30% in Japan – 30% in Germany – 39% in South Korea – 43% in Ukraine – 46% in Sweden – 75% in France
Which state is the most dependent on nuclear energy?
Source: Ventyx Velocity Suite / Energy Information Administration
Advantages and Disadvantages of Nuclear Energy AdvantagesDisadvantages No air pollution is produced Possibility of accidents Countries can limit their need for imported oil Disposal of the radioactive waste
What do you think? Should we build more nuclear power plants in the United States?