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25 terms

The Nature of Energy

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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.
Biomass
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
Hydroelectricity
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.
Conservation
the careful management of the environment and of natural resources
Recycling
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
Methane
a colorless odorless gas used as a fuel
Methanol
A wood alcohol that is used as fuel
Ethanol
a fuel made from corn and wheat that is used like gasoline but is a renewable resource
Propane
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
Biodiesel
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