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What are the pros and cons of fossil fuels?


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Answered 2011-01-26 18:31:36
Pros:

i. Petroleum will be 75 cents by 2010

ii. Combustion of fossil fuels generates a large amount of usable energy and are considered as high efficiency fuels

iii. In spite of being such a highly combustible material, fossil fuels are quite stable in nature when compared to many other fuels

iv. More easily available as compared to any other fuels

v. Can be found easily

vi. Extraction process and refining are not very time consuming

vii. Can be easily converted for practical purposes

viii. Almost fifty percent of the power generation plants of the United States utilize coal as the source of fuel

ix. Coal is cheap and is a highly reliable source of energy. It is easy to transport from one place to another, it is not necessary to build these power stations close to the location of the source of the fuel

x. Provide 85% of the energy consumed in the US

xi. Oil or natural gas has one big advantage that they can be carried from one place to another, very easily by the means of pipelines

xii. The task of processing the fossil fuels generates employment for millions of people all across the globe

xiii. Benefit in the industry's ability to moderately control pollution caused by using fossil fuels by using clean-burning coal technology

xiv. Most economically available source of power for both personal and commercial uses

xv. Relatively easy to drill or mine for

xvi. Coal is the most plentiful resource and is found over much of the world

xvii. Provide over 67% of the world's energy (more than half)

xviii. Cheap cost

xix. Increased income for a country's economy

xx. Easy to transport fossil fuels in liquid, gas or solid form

Cons:

i. Non-renewable resource

ii. Extracting of fossil fuels destroys habitats of plants and animals and leads to deforestation

iii. irreparable damage to habitats and marine environments caused during drilling or coal extraction

iv. emit hazardous gases that can cause any number of breathing ailments in living beings

v. Consumption generates greenhouse gases, causes acid rain and, in some occasion, results in direct pollution through oil spills

vi. Cost of obtaining and using fossil fuels may become an issue in the future as governments require stricter air quality controls and demand that the fuel industry develop ways to better use fossil fuels

vii. Excavating and oil drilling are expensive endeavors requiring long-term planning and research

viii. Are only housed deep within the earth's surface, making acquisition a difficult task

ix. Can't be recycled

x. Only one-third of coal's fuel energy potential is currently used when coal is burned for power, according to the Department of Energy. This waste cannot be regained

xi. Pollution

1. Water

2. Air

3. Shrinking ozone

xii. On combustion of fossil fuels, large amount of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere.

xiii. Carbon dioxide is considered as one of the greenhouse gases. In the atmosphere, it absorbs heat and contributes towards the green house effect.

xiv. When the percentage of carbon in the atmosphere increases, it leads to elevation in the average temperature of the earth's surface.

xv. Global warming (it has several adverse effects on our environment)

xvi. It gives out sulfur dioxide into the air, which after reacting with the moisture in air, produces sulfuric acid and leads to acid rain. Acid rain causes severe damage to the living as well as nonliving matter on the earth.

xvii. Due to mining of the coalfields, landscapes spread over large areas are being destroyed and cannot be used for any other purpose.

xviii. Coal mines are full of various harmful gases and they pose a threat to the lives of thousands of miners working in them.

xix. Some of the byproducts obtained during processing of the fossil fuels are highly toxic too.

xx. Oil is often transported from one place to another by the means of sea route. During this, oil spills occur on the ocean surface and that causes severe harm to the marine life

xxi. Search for newer location for oil reserves is a highly expensive process with a very low success rate. As a result, large amount of money gets wasted in the process.

xxii. They're being used up very fast. As a result, there will be more demand and less supply of fossil fuels in future. This is likely to increase the price of fossil fuels manifold.

xxiii. Depletion of these non-renewable sources of energy is taking place at a rapid pace because of the increasing demands of energy, with the modernization of our society. However, the time required for production of fossil fuels is millions of years. So, there is not enough scope to renew the sources of fossil fuels and therefore, it is high time that we start looking out for some renewable sources of energy that can be used as alternatives to fossil fuels.

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