27 terms

Nonrenewable Energy (Conventional Energy)

fossil fuel
Coal, oil, natural gas, and other fuels that are ancient remains of plants and animals.
Force x Distance
unit of energy. one joule is the energy expended in 1 second by a current of 1 amp flowing through a resistance of 1 ohm
Capacity to do work
rate of energy flow or the rate of work done
force exerted by 1 joule, or equivalent of a current of 1 amp per second flowing through a resistance of 1 ohm
nonrenewable energy source
a source of energy that is used much faster than it can be replaced; examples: fossil fuels (oil, coal, natural gas) and uranium (nuclear energy)
Mercury and Air Toxics Standards
Regulate allowable levels of mercury and other toxins from coal-fired power plants. These levels were drastically reduced in 2012.
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)
Carbon dioxide (generally from fuel combustion) is captured and stored in geological formations
peak oil
The point at which half the total known oil supply is used up
a solid fuel formed formed primarily from the remains of trees, ferns, and other plant materials perserved 280 million to 360 million years ago.
a fossil fuel that occurs in underground deposits, composed of a liquid mixture of hydrocarbons, water and sulfur.
crude oil
petroleum as it comes out of the ground and before it has been refined or processed into useful products
oil sands
Slow-flowing, viscous deposits of bitumen mixed with sand, water, and clay
a degraded petroleum that forms when petroleum migrates to the surface of Earth and is modified by bacteria
Fracking (Hydraulic fracturing)
mixture of water, sand, and toxic chemicals is pumped into rock formations at extremely high pressure to fracture sediments and release oil or gas.
oil shale
an organic-rich fine-grained sedimentary rock, contains significant amounts of kerogen (a solid mixture of organic chemical compounds) from which liquid hydrocarbons called shale oil can be produced. Shale oil is a substitute for conventional crude oil; however, extracting shale oil from oil shale is more costly than the production of conventional crude oil both financially and in terms of its environmental impact
Solid, waxy mixture of hydrocarbons found in oil shale rock. Heating the rock to high temperatures causes the kerogen to vaporize. The vapor is condensed, purified, and then sent to a refinery to produce gasoline, heating oil, and other products. See also oil shale, shale oil.
a nuclear reaction in which an atomic nucleus, especially a heavy nucleus such as an isotope of uranium, splits into fragments, usually two fragments of comparable mass, releasing from 100 million to several hundred million electron volts of energy.
fuel rod
A cylindrical tube that encloses nuclear fuel within a nuclear reactor.
control rods
neutron-absorbing rods that help control the reaction by limiting the number of free neutrons/
Neutron-absorbing material inserted into spaces between fuel assemblies in nuclear reactors to regulate fission reaction.
chain reaction
a reaction in which the material that starts the reaction is also one of the products and can start another reaction
breeder reactor
A nuclear reactor that produces fuel by bombarding isotopes of uranium and thorium with high-energy neutrons that convert inert atoms to fissionable.
radioactive waste
Nuclear fuel that can no longer produce enough heat to be useful in a power plant but continues to emit radioactivity
becquerel (Bq)
unit that measures the rate at which a sample of radioactive material decays; 1 Bq =decay of 1 atom or nucleus per second
nuclear fusion
A nuclear reaction in which atomic nuclei of low atomic number fuse to form a heavier nucleus with the release of energy
unit of radioactivity; 1 curie = 37 billion decays per second