29 terms

Chapter 12 - AP Environmental Science (Friedland)

Fossil fuel
A fuel derived from biological material that became fossilized millions of years ago.
Nonrenewable energy resource
An energy source with a finite supply, primarily the fossil fuels and nuclear fuels.
Nuclear fuel
Fuel derived from radioactive materials that give off energy.
Commercial energy source
An energy source that is bought and sold.
Subsistence energy source
An energy source gathered by individuals for their own immediate needs.
Energy carrier
Something that can move and deliver energy in a convenient, usable form to end users.
A device with blades that can be turned by water, wind, steam, or exhaust gas from combustion that turns a generator in an electricity-producing plant.
Electric grid
A network of interconnected transmission lines that joins power plants together and links them with end users of electricity.
Combined cycle
A power plant that uses both exhaust gasses and steam turbines to generate electricity.
In reference to an electricity generating plant, the maximum electricity output.
Capacity factor
The fraction of time a power plant operates in a year.
The use of a fuel to generate electricity and produce heat. Also known as Combined heat and power.
Combined heat and power
The use of a fuel to generate electricity and produce heat. Also known as Cogeneration.
A solid fuel formed primarily from the remains of trees, ferns, and other plant materials preserved 280 million to 300 million years ago.
A fossil fuel that occurs in underground deposits, composed of a liquid mixture of hydrocarbons, water, and sulfur.
Crude oil
Liquid petroleum removed from the ground.
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.
CTL (coal to liquid)
The process of converting solid coal into liquid fuel.
Energy intensity
The energy use per unit of gross domestic product.
Hubbert curve
A bell-shaped curve representing oil use and projecting both when world oil production will reach a maximum and when the world will run out of oil.
Peak oil
The point at which half the total known oil supply is used up.
A nuclear reaction in which a neutron strikes a relatively large atomic nucleus, which then splits into two or more parts, releasing additional neutrons and energy in the form of heat.
Fuel rod
A cylindrical tube that encloses nuclear fuel within a nuclear reactor.
Control rod
A cylindrical device inserted between the fuel rods in a nuclear reactor to absorb excess neutrons and slow or stop the fission reaction.
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.
A unit of measure for radiation; 1 curie = 37 billion decays per second.
Nuclear fusion
A reaction that occurs when lighter nuclei are forced together to produce heavier nuclei.