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Note on Non-Renewable Sources Of Energy

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Fossils fuel

When dead bodies of plants and animals are buried inside the earth's surface for several millions of years, due to high temperature and pressure of the earth, they decompose in theabsence of oxygen and form coal and petroleum. These products are called fossil fuel.


It is thenon-renewable source of energy. It is used as important sources of fuel in industries like iron, industries, steel industries, brick factory, cement factory etc. It is used to run trains and used in thethermal plant for production of electricity.

The coal which is available on earth are of different types on the basis of percentage of carbon present in them, coalsare classified into 4 types:

Types of coal(Percentage of carbon)

  1. Peat (11% of carbon)
  2. Lignite (38% of carbon)
  3. Bituminous (65% of carbon)
  4. Anthracite (98% of carbon

Among these, Anthracite is the best quality of coal, peat and lignite are low quality of coal.

Petroleum (mineral oil)

Petrol, diesel, kerosene, lubricating oil, petroleum gas, etc. are commonly called petroleum or mineral oil. It is obtained as a crude oil from its mine, then it is purified to petrol, diesel, kerosene, etc, and remaining 'tar' which is used to make the tarred road. It is the most important fuel, which fulfills the demand of energy of the world. It is used by different vehicles, engine, factories, industries, etc as a chief source of fuel. It is also used to generate electricity.

During the purification of crude oil, petrol gas is liquefied to LPG gas is liquefied petrol gas) which we use in your kitchen for cooking purpose.

Advantages of coal, mineral oil and gas:

  • It is a chief source of energy and more abundant in comparison to another type of energy.
  • It is easy for transportation.
  • It is used to generate electricity.
  • It is multipurpose fuel. Thus, it is used to run different vehicles even aeroplane.

Nuclear energy:

The energy formed by nuclear fusion and fission (nuclear reaction) is called nuclear energy.

When two light nuclei are combined together to form a heavy nucleus this process is known as nuclear fusion. During nuclear fusion, a large amount of energy is released.

When a heavy nucleus of uranium, plutonium is bombarded by neutrons then these nuclei break into two or more nuclei liberating a large amount of energy. This process is called nuclear fission. During nuclear fission reaction, some mass is lost to form energy. The energy thus formed is used to boil water into steam and steam engine is operated from it.

  • The sources of energy, which can not be replaced quickly or another time if it is used once is called non-renewable source of energy.
  • Fossils fuel, coal, petroleum (mineral oil), nuclear energy, gas, etc. are the example of non-renewable energy.
  • The energy formed by nuclear fusion and fission (nuclear reaction) is called nuclear energy.
  • Petrol, diesel, kerosene, lubricating oil, petroleum gas, etc. are commonly called petroleum or mineral oil.

Very Short Questions

The ingredients of petroleum product are listed below. Each ingredient has its own specific use.

Petroleum Products Use
Gas As a fuel
Petroleum ether As a solvent for cleansing purpose
Gas oil and diesel oil For ignition, diesel vehicle fuel
Kerosene As a fuel
Lubricating oil, grease, Vaseline For lubricating
Paraffin wax For making candles, matchsticks
Petroleum coke As a fuel

The sources of energy that take a long time, millions of years, to form and cannot be replenished easily and are found in limited quantity in the nature are called non-renewable sources of energy. They are exhausted if used continuously. For example natural gas, crude oil, coal etc.

The disadvantages of nuclear energy produced in nuclear power plants are:

  1. The proper disposal of nuclear waste is very hard as it contains radioactive materials and is harmful to human beings.
  2. The misuse or improper handling of nuclear plants can lead to disastrous result.

Nuclear Fission Nuclear Fusion
The heavy nuclei are broken into lighter nuclei. The lighter nuclei are fused together to form heavier nuclei.
Relatively easier to achieve conditions required for nuclear fission on earth. Very hard to achieve conditions required for nuclear fusion on earth.
Amount of energy released is less than nuclear fusion. Amount of energy released is larger than nuclear fission.
It is more polluting than nuclear fusion. It is less polluting than nuclear fission.

It is the energy derived using fossil fuels. Most of the energy is received by burning it. The main sources of fossil fuel are coal, natural gas and petroleum.

There are various reasons for the use of fossil fuel:

  1. They are easier to extract and use.
  2. They are easy to transport from one place to another.
  3. Most of the modern machineries are designed to operate on fossil fuels.

Coal is formed due to compression of dead plants or animals by the layers of rock over millions of years. Since it is derived from deceased living things coal is called fossil fuel.

  • Which types of coal has highest percentage of carbon?

  • Which types of coal has lowest percentage of carbon?

  • What is nuclear fission?

    Splitting atoms
    Combining atoms
    Splitting cells
    Combining cells
  • What is nuclear fusion?

    Combining cells
    Combining atoms
    Splitting cells
    Splitting atoms
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Coal cannot be used renewable why

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nuclear reaction

how is tritium formed

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