30 terms

AP Enviro Sci - Energy

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active collection
the use of devices, such as solar panels, to collect, focus, transport, or store solar energy.
anthracite
the cleanest-burning coal; almost pure carbon.
barrels
the unit used to describe the volume of fossil fuels.
bituminous
the second-purest form of coal.
crude oil
the form petroleum takes when in the ground
energy
the capacity to work
fission
a nuclear reaction in which an atomic nucleus, especially a heavy nucleus such as an isotope of uranium, splits into fragments, usually two fragments of com¬parable mass, releasing from 100 million to several hundred million electron volts of energy.
fossil fuel
a hydrocarbon deposit, such as petroleum, coal, or natural gas, derived from living matter of a previous geologic time and used for fuel.
First Law of Thermodynamics
says that energy can neither be created nor de¬stroyed; it can only be transferred and transformed.
fly ash
a waste product produced by the burning of coal.
half life
the amount of time it takes for half of a radioactive sample to disappear.
Hubbert peak (peak oil)
an influential theory that concerns the long-term rate of conventional oil (and other fossil fuel) extraction and depletion. It predicts that future world oil production will soon reach a peak and then rapidly decline.
hydroelectric power
power generated using water.
kinetic energy
the energy of motion.
lignite
the least pure coal.
nuclear fussion
the process of fusing two nuclei.
overburden
the rocks and Earth that is removed when mining for a commercially valuable mineral resource.
passive solar energy collection
the use of building materials, building placement, and design to passively collect solar energy that can be used to keep a building warm or cool.
petroleum
a hydrocarbon that forms as sediments are buried and pressurized.
photovoltaic cell (PV cell)
a semiconductor device that converts the energy of sunlight into electric energy.
potential energy
energy at rest, or stored energy.
proven reserve
an estimate of the amount of fossil fuel that can be obtained from reserve.
radiant energy
energy that travels in waves (includes solar energy, light energy)
scrubbers
devices containing alkaline substances that precipitate out much of the sulfur dioxide from industrial plants.
Second Law of Thermodynamics
says that the entropy of the universe is increasing. One corollary of this is the concept that, in most energy transformations, a significant fraction of energy is lost to the universe as heat.
entropy
amount of disorder in a system
strip mining
involves the removal of the Earth's surface all the way down to the level of the mineral seam.
sub-bituminous
the third purest form of coal.
underground mining
involves the sinking of shafts to reach underground deposoits. In this type of mining, networks of tunnels are dug or blasted and humans enter these tunnels in order to manually retrieve the coal.
wind farm
An array of wind turbines for utilizing wind energy by capturing it and converting electricity.