AP Environmental Science - Chapter 11: Fossil Fuels
Terms in this set (28)
The amount of energy contained within a given volume of an energy source. Gasoline has a higher energy density than does dry wood, which in turn has a higher energy density than wet wood.
A measure of the fraction of energy used relative to the total energy available in a given source.
(GJ) 1 billion joules
A form of government support (such as public financing or tax breaks) given to a business or institution to promote that group's activity.
Combustible deposits in Earth's crust, composed of the remnants (fossils) of prehistoric organisms that existed millions of years ago. Coal, oil (petroleum), and natural gas are the three types of fossil fuel.
A black, combustible solid composed mainly of carbon, water, and trace elements found in Earth's crust; formed from the remains of ancient plants that lived millions of years ago.
A thick, yellow to black, flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixture found in Earth's crust; formed from the remains of ancient microscopic aquatic organisms.
A mixture of energy-rich gaseous hydrocarbons (primarily methane) that occurs, often with oil deposits, in Earth's crust.
The extraction of mineral and energy resources near Earth's surface by first removing the soil, subsoil, and overlying rock strata. (i.e., the overburden)
The overlying vegetation, soil, and rock are stripped away, and then the coal is extracted out of the ground.
The extraction of mineral and energy resources from deep underground deposits.
Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1997
An act that abandoned surface coal mines were usually left as large open pits or trenches.
Acid Mine Drainage
Pollution caused when sulfuric acid and dangerous dissolved materials such as lead, arsenic, and cadmium wash from coal and metal mines into nearby lakes and streams.
One of the most land-destructive types of surface mining.
A type of air pollution in which acid falls from the atmosphere to the surface as precipitation (acid precipitation) or as dry acid particles.
The process of removing any material-sulfur or metals, for example-from polluted emissions or solid waste and selling it as a marketable product.
A clean-coal technology in which crushed coal is mixed with limestone to neutralize the acidic sulfur compounds produced during combustion.
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)
The removal of carbon from fossil-fuel combustion and storage of the carbon, usually underground.
Underground geologic structures that tend to trap any oil or natural gas if it is present.
Also known as "Hubberts Peak," after the U.S. geologist who first developed the concept; it is the point at which global oil production has reached a maximum rate; by some estimates, Peak Oil is already past.
The practice of using high-pressure water to open or widen gaps that allow natural gas or oil to flow, can result in substantial water pollution.
Oil Pollution Act of 1990
An act that establishes liability for damages to natural resources resulting from a catastrophic oil spill, including a trust fund that pays to clean up spills when the responsible party cannot; a tax on oil provides money for the trust fund.
A liquid or gaseous fuel that is synthesized from coal and other naturally occurring resources and used in place of oil or natural gas.
A thick, asphalt-like oil.
Oil shales are sedimentary rocks containing a mixture of hydrocarbons.
Reserves of ice-encrusted natural gas located deep underground in porous rock.
A liquid fuel similar to oil, produced from coal by the process of coal liquefaction.
A gaseous product of coal.