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Ch 5: Earth’s Energy and Mineral Resources

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Presentation on theme: "Ch 5: Earth’s Energy and Mineral Resources"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ch 5: Earth’s Energy and Mineral Resources
Section 1 – Nonrenewable Energy Resources Study Guide

2 Fossil Fuels Nonrenewable resources are energy resources that are being used faster than natural Earth processes can replace them. Most of the energy resources used to generate electricity are nonrenewable.

3 Fossil Fuels Nonrenewable resources include fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are resources such as coal, oil, and natural gas that form from the remains of plants and other organisms that were buried and altered over millions of years.

4 Coal Coal is the most abundant fossil fuel in the world.
Coal is a rock that contains at least 50% plant remains.

5 Coal Coal begins to form when plants die in swampy areas. The dead plants are covered by more plants, water, and sediments. The plants decay slowly and carbon is left behind.

6 Coal The first step in coal formation results in peat, which is a layer of organic sediment. As peat get buried under sediments, it changes into lignite, a soft, brown, coal.

7 Coal As the layers get buried deeper, bituminous coal, or soft coal, forms. If enough heat and pressure are applied to the buried layers, anthracite coal forms. Anthracite coals contain the highest amount of carbon and burns the cleanest.

8 Oil and Natural Gas Oil is a thick, black liquid formed from the buried remains of microscopic marine organisms. Natural gas forms under the same conditions as oil, but it forms in a gaseous state.

9 Oil and Natural Gas Oil and natural gas form when dead plankton fall to the seafloor. Sediments bury the remains, and heat and pressure cause the dead plankton to change to oil and natural gas.

10 Removing Fossil Fuels from the Ground
Coal is removed from the ground using different methods of excavation. During strip mining, layers of soil and rock are removed and piled to one side. The exposed coal is then removed.

11 Removing Fossil Fuels from the Ground
After the coal has been mined, companies sometimes return the soil and rock, cover the area with topsoil, and plant grass and trees. This process is called land reclaimation. Strip mining is used when coal deposits are close to the surface.

12 Removing Fossil Fuels from the Ground
Oil and natural gas can be pumped from underground deposits through wells. The amount of fossil fuel that can be extracted at a profit using current technology is known as a reserve.

13 Energy from Atoms Nuclear energy is an alternate source of energy produced from atomic reactions. When the nucleus of a heavy element is split, lighter elements form and energy is released.

14 Energy from Atoms The splitting of heavy elements to produce energy is called nuclear fission. Nuclear waste from power plants consist of highly radioactive elements formed by the fission process. This waste will remain radioactive for thousands of years.

15 Energy from Atoms Environmental problems related to nuclear power could be eliminated if energy could be obtained from fusion. Fusion is the process that powers stars. During fusion, low mass molecules such as hydrogen, are fused together to form a substance of a higher mass, like helium.

16 Energy from Atoms This reaction produces large amounts of energy and the byproducts are not radioactive.

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