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
fuel derived from radioactive materials that give off energy
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
a network of interconnected transmission lines that joins power plants together and links them with end users of electricity
Combined Cycle Gas Plant
a power plant that uses both exhaust gases and steam turbines to generate electricity. Natural gas is combusted, and the combustion products turn a gas turbine. In addition, the waste heat from this process boils water, which turns a conventional steam turbine.
the max. electrical output (in reference to an electricity-generating plant)
the fraction of time a power plant operates in a year most plants at 0.9
the use of fuel to generat electricity and produce heat. (also known as "combined heat and power")
a solid fuel formed primarily from the remains of trees, ferns, and other plant materials preserved 280-360 million years ago
partially decayed plant matter found in bogs
the cleanest-burning coal; almost pure carbon, compressed bituminous
a fossil fuel that occurs in underground deposits, composed of liquid mix of hydrocarbons, water, and sulfur, formed by phytoplankton millions of years ago
Liquid petroleum removed from the ground. Oil pumped up fresh from a reserve (heat it to make diff. substances ex: gassoline, asphalt, butane)
A gas 80-95% methane (CH_4) and 5-20% ethane, propane, and butane. (cleanest of fossil fuels; used primarily for electricity generation, and industrial processes; compressed can be used for vehicles but pipeline transport.)
Liquified Petroleum Gas
similar to natural gas, but in liquid form (can be used as fuel &transported in trucks)
slow-flowing, viscous deposits of bitumen mixed w/ 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, emits high levels of greenhouse gas
the energy used per unit of gross domestic product
A bell-shaped curve representing oil use and projecting both when world oil production will reach a max. and when the world will run out of oil
the point at which half of the total oil supply is used
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
a cylindrical tube that encloses nuclear fuel with a nuclear reactor
a cylindrical device inserted b/t the fuel rods in a nuclear reactor to absorb excess neutrons and slow or stop the fission reaction
nuclear fuel that can no longer produce enough heat to be useful in a power plant but continues to emit radioactivity
unit that measures the rate at which a sample of radioactive material decays; 1Bq= decay of 1 atom or nucleus per second
unit of measure for radiation; 1Curie= 37billion decays per second
The percentage of energy put into a system that does useful work
The ease with which an energy source can be used for work
Primary Source of Energy
coal, oil, natural gas
Secondary Source of Energy
conversion of primary source of energy
Something that can move and deliver energy in a convenient, usable form to end users
Largest Coal Reserves
USA, Russia, China, India
burning off the natural gas under controlled conditions to prevent an explosion while extracting petrolium
petroleum is burned for different lengths of time to create different compounds, tar and asphalt, gasoline, diesel, and kerosene
Top Petroleum Countries
Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United States, Iran, China, Canada, and Mexico
Two Largest Natural Gas Uses
electricity generation and industrial processes
Compressed Natural Gas
Methane, compressed in tank in back of vehicle, 80% decrease in Carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emissions
liquefied petroleum gas
2 isotopes of light elements (H) forced together at high temperatures till they fuse to form a heavier nucleus. Expensive, break even point not reached yet
Issues With Nuclear Energy
Possibility of accidents and disposal of radioactive waste
High-Level Radioactive Waste
Waste from fuel rods
Low-Level Radioactive waste
Waste in the form of contaminated protective clothing, tools, rags, and other items used in plant maintenance
Uranium mine tailings
Residue left after uranium ore is mined and enriched
Commercial energy sources
those that arebought and sold, such as coal, oil and natural gas.
Subsistence energy sources
those gathered by individuals for their own use such as wood, charcoal and animal waste.
Petroleum, Natural Gas, Coal, Nuclear, Renewable
Order of energy consumption in US
lignite, sub-bituminous, bituminous, and anthracite.
Four types of coal ranked from lesser to greater age, exposure to pressure, and energy content.
Major use of coal in the US?
Energy dense, plentiful, easy to retrieve, low ecnomic cost, easy to handle, little refining
Advantages of Coal
Releases CO2 in air when burned, has mercury, lead etc in it, leaves behind ash
Disadvantages of coal
Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United States, Iran, China, Canada, and Mexico.
Countries with the most petroleum
When it contains only a small amount of sulfur
When is petroleum considered "sweet"
When it contains a lot of sulfur
When is petroleum considered "sour"
Easy to transport, energy dense, cleaner burning than coal
Advantages of petroleum (oil)
Releases CO2 in air, leaks when extracting, releases sulfure, mercury, lead when burned
Disdvantages of petroleum (oil)
exists as a component of petroleum in the ground as well as in gaseous deposits separate from petroleum (mostly methane CH4)
Above oil deposits
Where is natural gas found?
Releases few emissions, is 60% cleaner than coal
Advantages of natural gas
Methane escapes into atmosphere, fracking can ruin groundwater
Disadvantages of natural gas
involves pumping millions of gallons of liquids (a mixture of water, sand and chemicals) under high pressure into a well to fracture the rock and allow gas to escape from tiny pockets in the rock
a combination of clay, sand, water, and bitumen (tar), a heavy black viscous oil. Mined and processed to extract the tar which can be refined into oil (largest reserves in Alberta, Canada)
Large Fuel Supply, Little Air Pollution and CO2 emissions, Moderate to low water and land environmental impact, Low risk of accidents
Advantages of Nuclear Power
High cost of building and operating plants, Possibility of catastrophic accidents, No long-term solutions for waste Terrorist Attacks
Disadvantages of Nuclear Power
France and Lithuania
Which countries use the most nuclear power
Oil obtained from bituminous shale or tar sands
Shale Bed Gas
Natural gas that is found trapped within shale formations
Cage-like lattice of ice inside of which are trapped molecules of methane, the chief constituent of natural gas.
energy return on energy investment
A form of energy caused by the movement of electrons.
Power plant capacity
Maximum electrical output of a power plant (usually given in MW)
OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries)
An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the production and sale of petroleum.
Part of reactor where nuclear reactions happen: contains fuel rods, graphite blocks, and control rod
A machine that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy
nuclear cooling tower
removes heat energy, looks like a cement volcano
Three-Mile Island, Pennsylvania
The worst nuclear incident in the history of USA occurred when a cooling system failed, resulting in a partial meltdown. Construction of nuclear power plants was halted for decades.
On April 26, 1986, an unauthorized safety test led to a fire and explosion at a nuclear power plant-as a result, millions of people in Europe are exposed to unsafe levels of radiation.
A process that results in an increase in the amount of the fissionable isotope of uranium in a given mass of uranium. Used mostly for nuclear weapons, naval propulsion, and smaller quantities for research reactors.
Yucca Mountain, Nevada
controversial as proposed site for permanent storage of high-level nuclear waste, 70-miles northwest of Las Vegas, near volcano and earthquake faults.
Uranium Mine Tailings
the residue left after uranium ore is mined and enriched.
Phantom Load/Vampire Load
device that consumes energy even when it is turned off