Q:

What happens when fossil fuels are burned?

A:

When burned, fossil fuels produce heat energy as well as a number of waste products and gas emissions. Fossil fuels are burned to produce the heat used in the generation of electrical power. Oil and natural gas are often refined to produce fuels used in heating and transportation.

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Fossil fuels were formed from the remains of plants and animals that lived millions of years ago. These remains were eventually covered by layers of rock. Different types of fossil fuels are formed from organic matter depending on the temperature and pressure they were subject to as well as a number of other factors. Coal, oil and natural gas are considered a non-renewable resource, meaning that there is a limited supply of these fuels.

The combustion of fossil fuels produces a wide range of waste products such as ash, slag and other particulates. Burning fossil fuels also produces carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Coal and oil also produce sulfur dioxide when burned, a gas that causes breathing problems for many living creatures and contributes to acid rain. Fossil fuels are a widely-used fuel source that have been responsible for three-quarters of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions over the past two decades.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why are fossil fuels non-renewable?

    A:

    Fossil fuels are non-renewable because they take millions of years to form. Fossil fuels make up most sources of non-renewable energy, and they were created millions of years ago as a result of marine creatures decaying under immense pressure and heat.

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  • Q:

    Are fossil fuels renewable?

    A:

    Fossil fuels are not renewable resources because there is a finite amount of them on Earth. Renewable resources only include resources that do not run out, and examples include wind and solar energy, or even wood since trees can be replanted. Fossil fuels cannot be readily replenished.

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    How long will fossil fuels last?

    A:

    Estimates of the amount of time that fossil fuels, oil, coal and gas, may last differs based upon estimates of remaining reserves and the predicted rate of usage. The estimates change over time as new reserves are discovered and green technologies lower fossil fuel usage.

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    What happens when an ecosystem is destroyed?

    A:

    Destruction of the ecosystem leads to increased flooding due to erosion as a result of lack of trees. It also disrupts the food chain. Other effects of ecosystem destruction include water shortage, loss of biodiversity, food scarcity and pollution.

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