Fossil fuels are made from decomposing plants and animals. These fuels are found in the earth’s crust and contain carbon and hydrogen, which can be burned for energy.
Coal, oil and natural gas are examples of fossil fuels. This is a nonrenewable energy source whose extraction often damages the environment.
More than 50 percent of a piece of coal’s weight must be from fossilized plants. Oil is originally found as a solid material between layers of sedimentary rock, like shale.
This material is heated in order to produce the thick oil that can be used to make gasoline. Natural gas is usually found in pockets above oil deposits.
It can also be found in sedimentary rock layers that don’t contain oil. Natural gas is primarily made up of methane.
According to the National Academies of Sciences, 81 percent of the total energy used in the United States comes from coal, oil, and natural gas.
This is the energy that is used to heat and provide electricity to homes and businesses and to run cars and factories.
Unfortunately, fossil fuels are a nonrenewable resource and waiting millions of years for new coal, oil, and natural gas deposits to form is not a realistic solution.
Fossil fuels are also responsible for almost three-fourths of the emissions from human activities in the last 20 years.
Now, scientist and engineers have been looking for ways to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and to make burning these fuels cleaner and healthier for the environment.
Fossil fuels are compound mixtures made of fossilized plant and animal remnants from millions of years ago.
The creation of fossil fuels—either oil, natural gas, or coal—from these fossils is determined by the type of fossil, the amount of heat, and the amount of pressure.
FOSSIL FUELS FORM :
After millions of years underground, the compounds that make up plankton and plants turn into fossil fuel. Plankton decomposes into natural gas and oil, while plants become coal.
Today, humans extract these resources through coal mining and the drilling of oil and gas wells on land and offshore.