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Renewable Resource

any resource, such as wood, wind, water or solar energy, that can or will be replenished in a short period of time.

Nonrenewable Resource

a natural resource that cannot be replaced or that replenishes over thousands or millions of years

Fossil Fuels

coal, oil, natural gas, and other fuels that are ancient remains of plants and animals.


plant material, manure, or any other organic matter that is used as an energy source

Biomass Conversion

A method for changing plant and animal materials into high-quality fuels.

Nuclear Energy

the energy released by a nuclear reaction

Nuclear Fission

process in which an atom's nucleus is split into two nuclei releasing large amounts of energy

Nuclear Fusion

the process in which two atomic nuclei combine to form a larger nucleus, releasing huge amounts of energy

Chain Reaction

a reaction in which the material that starts the reaction is also one of the products and can start another reaction


electricity produced from the energy of moving water

Geothermal Energy

Energy derived from the heat in the interior of the earth

Chemical Energy

The energy stored in chemical bonds and is released during a chemical reaction.


the careful management of the environment and of natural resources


conservation method in which old materials are processed to make new ones

Solar Energy

energy from the Sun that is clean, inexhaustible, and can be transformed into electricity by solar cells

Wind Energy

The energy captured by transforming the motion of air into electrical energy using a turbine


a colorless odorless gas used as a fuel


A wood alcohol that is used as fuel


a fuel made from corn and wheat that is used like gasoline but is a renewable resource


A colorless, flammable gas, occurring in petroleum and natural gas: used chiefly as a fuel.

Natural Gas

A resource that is used in heating systems, in stoves, ovens, and some vehicles. It is the cleanest burning fossil fuel.

Fuel Cells

an electrochemical cell that uses replenishable substances such as hydrogen or oxygen or water to produce electricity

Solar Cells

cells made of several layers of light-sensitive materials which convert sunlight directly into electrical energy


processed fuel made from vegetable oil or animal fats which can be used in unmodified diesel engines

Law of Conservation of Energy

the law that states that energy cannot be created or destroyed but can be changed from one form to another

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