Fossil Fuels Essay Sample
Energy is a term that can be defined as the rate of doing work or transfer of heat. We can say that heat can be transferred when natural gas is burned to heat a house. It is therefore important to note that there are two commonly known kinds of energy, these are; the kinetic energy which is usually described as the moving energy and also the potential energy which is commonly described as the stored energy. These descriptions arise from the fact that, it has been noted that any moving matter usually possess kinetic energy simply because it has mass and velocity. Examples that fall into this category are the wind, electricity and flowing water. Some of the commonly known forms of kinetic energy are heat, electromagnetic radiation. In an incandescent bulb, when electrical energy in form that is usually in form of moving electrons flow through filament wires, only one over twenty of the energy is converted into useful light as the other percentage flows as wastes. Elsewhere, solar energy can be converted into chemical energy which is found in food molecules and then into mechanical energy.
When you eat, an individual acquires potential energy that is usually stored in food. These potential energy can then be transformed into kinetic energy at the point when your body makes use of it to during movements from one place to another and also when performing different other forms of work. In scientific terms, the study of how energy is transformed is usually referred to as thermodynamics. The first law of thermodynamics states that “when energy is converted from one form to another in any physical or chemical change, there is no energy that is created nor destroyed”. In short, what this law states is that in any form of conversion, the inputted energy is usually directly proportional or equal to the outputted energy (Miller & Spoolman, 2009).
The term fossil fuel is used to describe some of the three commonly known sources of energy that are coal, oil, and natural gas. The term came about as a result of the fact that these three substances are derived from fossilized remains of living things (plants and animals). Oil is normally used to power the world’s motor machines e.g. cars and trains. For this to happen, crude oil that is mined from underground is usually refined to into gasoline for these machines. Elsewhere, over 280 million years ago when swampy forests covered the land, there were dead plants that did not decay completely; this was the beginning of the formation of coal.
Fossil fuels are more attractive sources of energy as compared to other sources in terms of energy density, cost, and reliability. It is a reliable source in the sense that it is available almost all the time. The cost of setting up an energy plant and also the production of energy are also relatively very economical. It is also important to note that fossil fuels are also very socially acceptable since it environmental degradation effects are minimal (Miller & Spoolman, 2009).
One other energy alternative to fossil fuels is the tidal energy whereby there are two kinds of technology common in extracting energy from the tides. One of the technologies is whereby tidal energy is extracted as potential energy within a basin. The other one involves direct capture of the kinetic energy of tidal streams (Miller & Spoolman, 2009). It is not any much different from fossil energy since it is also relatively simple and is consistent as long as there are flood tides to enter the basin through gated openings. Its major advantage is that it is a simple method of extracting energy and on the other hand too, its major advantage is that it is reliable on water. Without a source of flood tides it can not be possible.
Another alternative source is the wind energy which currently can be implemented in two different parallel paths i.e. the horizontal and the vertical axis. In the former, blades rotate in a vertical plane thereby leading to what we refer to assinusoidally varying gravitational stresses. The major disadvantage of this energy alternative is that it is completely dependent on weather and no body can dictate the weather changes. Its advantage is that, just like the fossil fuels it is simple to implement and economical in terms of cost.
Energy is a very vital part of our lives today. As human beings we need energy to be able to operate effectively and also to be able to work or rather perform our duties as required of us daily. The transport industry which has proved to be a major driver of the economy also requires energy in different forms to operate effectively and efficiently. Motor vehicles, aero planes and ships can not operate without gasoline that is got from mined oil.