Energy 101

II: Fossil Fuels

Chapter 10: Unconventional Fossil Fuels

In addition to the conventional forms of fossil fuels, there are also unconventional forms. As conventional fossil fuels become more expensive to produce, unconventional fuels become more common. Unconventional coal includes coal-to-liquids. Unconventional natural gas includes coalbed methane, gas-to-liquids, and shale gas. Unconventional petroleum includes tar sands, also known as oil sands, heavy oil, oil […]

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Chapter 9: Petroleum

Starting in the twentieth century, petroleum has been the most important of the three fossil fuels and remains the most popular fuel worldwide. Since the popularization of the internal combustion engine in the early 1900s, petroleum consumption has grown primarily for use in the transportation sector, as consumers worldwide have acquired cars and driven trillions

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Chapter 8: Natural Gas

Natural gas takes several retail forms, has several end uses, and is the cleanest of the fossil fuels. Natural gas is used for cooking, heating, electricity production, and as a feedstock for different materials such as plastics, fertilizer, and other chemicals. Natural gas is sold at standard pressure, as compressed natural gas (CNG), and as

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Chapter 7: Coal

Coal has historically been one of the most important fossil fuels. Because of its abundance, ease of use, and energy density, it kick-started the Second Industrial Revolution. Today, coal is mostly used for generating electric power and making steel and cement. Even though coal has many advantages related to its cost and performance, producing and

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