Examples Of Fossil Fuels

The fossil fuels are those that originated the mass of organic matter (biomass) produced million years ago and buried in the inner layers of the subsoil, where pressure, temperature and other physical and chemical processes she underwent deep transformation processes the result of which is, precisely, substances with enormous energy content.

Fossil fuels are non-renewable energy sources, as they are currently consumed at a much faster rate than they took to form.

Most of the energy used in the world today comes from the combustion of these types of materials, both to generate electricity and power chemical industries, as well as to propagate vehicles, light rooms, cook or heat homes.

Such global consumption is due to how relatively easy they are to extract, the abundant world reserves that exist, and their economic cost and simple technology, compared to other more sophisticated or less profitable forms of energy.

However, the combustion of fossil fuels produces toxic gases in quantity (carbon monoxide, sulfur gases, carcinogens, etc.) and is one of the main sources of environmental damage and climate change in the early 21st century.


This mineral is the result of the sedimentation of prehistoric plant remains (it is estimated that from the Carboniferous period, about 300 million years ago) in low oxygen environments and with high pressure and temperature.

Such a mineralization process through carbon enrichment produces solids with a high energy coefficient, widely used in energy production and the materials industry (plastics, oils, dyes, etc.). 

There are four main types of coal: peat, brown coal, coal, and anthracite, ordered here from lowest to highest carbon content. This matter played a fundamental role in the Industrial Revolution and the development of steam technologies until it was displaced by oil. The largest coal reserves are found in the USA, Russia, and China.

Natural gas

It is a light mixture of gaseous hydrocarbons, extractable from independent fields (free) or from oil or coal fields (associated).

In both cases, it is generated by the anaerobic decomposition (without the presence of oxygen) of organic matter and is separable into its main and usable components, such as methane (more than 90% of its content, generally), ethane (up to 11%). %), propane (up to 3.7%), butane (less than 0.7%), along with nitrogen and carbon dioxide, among other inert gases, traces of sulfur and impurities.

The main natural gas reserves in the world are located in the Middle East (up to 43% of the world total, especially in Iran and Qatar), and being such a versatile fuel and less polluting than other fossil fuels (less and emissions of CO 2 ), is widely used as an energy source (especially Compressed Natural Gas and Liquefied Natural Gas) and calories, both in homes and industries and means of transportation.

Liquefied petroleum gas

LPG is a mixture mainly of propane and butane, present in natural gas or even dissolved in crude oil, which have and the characteristic of being easily liquefiable (converted to liquid).

They are a frequent by-product of catalytic fractional distillation (or FCC) of oil, widely used as household fuels, given their caloric potential and relative safety, and in the production of olefins ( alkenes ) for the plastics industry.


This dark and dense oily liquid is a mixture of complex hydrocarbons insoluble in water (paraffin, naphthenes, and aromatics), formed in reservoirs of variable depth (between 600 and 5,000 meters) in the subsoil layers.

Like other fossil fuels, it is the product of the accumulation of organic matter (zooplankton and algae mainly) in the anoxic bottom of lakes and seas of prehistoric antiquity, then buried under layers of sediment at high pressures and temperatures. Given their lower density and the porosity of the sedimentary rocks, these hydrocarbons rise to the surface or are trapped in oil deposits. Examples Of Fossil Fuels.

The oil has been used since human antiquity as oiling, pigment or fuel, but it was not until the nineteenth century and the Industrial Revolution when its industrial coefficient, proceeding to exploitation and use in the production of fuels (gasoline, diesel oil was discovered, kerosene) for vehicular or electrical use, and as a raw material in the chemical and materials industries. Examples Of Fossil Fuels.

It currently represents one of the most central industrial and financial sectors in world economic activity, whose fluctuations in production and marketing are capable of affecting the global balance of the human economy.

The list of petroleum derivatives is vast, from polyesters and plastics to combustible gases and liquids, solvents, pigments, and a very long etcetera. Examples Of Fossil Fuels.

However, its extraction and consumption represent a serious environmental problem given its insolubility in water, which makes it difficult to clean in cases of spillage, and given the high production of toxic substances that its combustion entails: lead, carbon dioxide, monoxide. carbon, sulfur oxides, nitrous oxides, and other substances harmful to life and to the ecological balance of the planet.



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