Non-renewable energy is energy sources that will eventually run out when put to work. These energies are natural resources that are found beneath the earth. They don’t replenish when consumed, however, they are easily accessible and they can generate lots of energy with a small amount of fuel. Examples of these energies are; fossil fuels which include natural gas, crude oil petroleum, coal, etc. Today you’ll get to know the definition, applications, examples, types, advantages, and disadvantages of non-renewable energy.
Read more: Understanding renewable energy
What is non-renewable energy?
Non-renewable energy is resources that do not replenish within a short time to keep up with their consumption. They are also said to be sources that will eventually run out when put to work. These resources are formed from organic material from plant and animal remains that existed millions of years ago. This is why they also require millions of years to replenish because they took millions of years to form.
Non-renewable resources are in form of gas, liquid, or solids, but they can be converted into convenient forms for easy consumption. Most sources of non-renewable energy are fossil fuels such as petroleum, coal, gas, and oil.
Read more: Understanding energy sources
Applications of Non-renewable energy
In some countries, applications of non-renewable energy resources are so vast, while some advanced countries see the benefits of renewable energy. However, non-renewable resources such as coal and oil, are the primary source of power in the world today. They are used to power vehicles, factories, and homes. These energy sources are affordable but can be harmful to the environment which is one of the biggest dilemmas.
Non-renewable energy sources can be used for all kinds of things. In fact, over 70% of the energy used in industrial processes comes from non-renewable energy. Fossil fuels which are the most common type are used for many household purposes. Finally, the applications of non-renewable energy are for electricity generation, heating, manufacturing, and transportation.
Types of non-renewable resources
The various types of non-renewable resources are fossil fuel and nuclear energy. although there are some other renewable resources that also serve as non-renewable.
Just as earlier mentioned, these resources are natural materials gotten from the ground. They are formed due to the continuous heating and compressing of organic matter beneath the earth’s surface. These matters mainly comprise plant and animal remains that have decomposed, heated, and compressed over millions of years. It ends up forming fossil deposits.
These deposits are extracted through drilling or mining in liquid-solid or gas form. Because of their combustibility are a highly rich source of energy. Examples of fossil fuels include crude oil, natural gas, and coal.
Crude oil is also known as petroleum oil and is the only non-renewable energy resource extracted in liquid form. It is found between the layers of the earth’s crust, or between rocks. Crude oil is retrieved by drilling a vertical well into the ground and ocean floor, which makes the crude pumped out to the surface. It then undergoes refining so that different products can be produced.
The applications of crude oil today are in the automotive sector as gasoline and diesel products can power motor vehicles. Plastics manufacturing, heating oil, propane, jet fuel, and artificial food flavors are available in form of crude oil.
Read more: Forms of energy: kinetic and potential energy
Natural gas is gaseous non-renewable resources that are also found below the earth’s crust beside crude oil deposits in the subsurface. The energy source primarily consists of methane, but may also contain other forms of natural gas such as propane, ethane, butane. Methane is odorless which is why it is mixed with another special additive to give it an odor. This allows it to be noticeable in case of gas leakage. Natural gas is processed in gas plants to remove propane and butane, which are used as liquefied petroleum gas. These gasses are used for heating homes cooking in gas ovens, stoves, and grills. Lastly,
Coal is produced by compressing organic matter that contains carbon and hydrocarbon matter. It is formed from plant-filled swamps that have been covered by sediments for millions of years. Coals are extracted by digging the ground and taking out the coal solids for processing in order to be used for energy production.
The main types of coal include anthracite, lignite, bituminous, and sub-bituminous coal. Bituminous coal contains 45 to 85% of carbon. It has a high heat content and it is used for generating energy and in iron and steel making. Anthracite contains 86 to 97% carbon, and it has the highest heating value. Among all coal, it is the hardest to find.
Nuclear energy (Uranium)
Another type of non-renewable resource is nuclear fuels. It is obtained through mining and refining uranium ore, a naturally occurring radioactive element below the earth’s surface. Uranium is found in small quantities, which are often gathered for refining and purification. The mineral generates power through the nuclear fusion process, which creates enough pressure to run turbines and generate nuclear power.
Biomass energy is a renewable energy source, but can also be a non-renewable energy source. It uses the energy found in plants and relies on biomass feedstocks. Biomass feedstocks are plants that are processed and burned to create electricity. It can include crops such as corn and soy, as well as wood. The energy becomes a non-renewable energy source when people avoid replanting biomass feedstocks as fast as they use them.
Advantages and disadvantages of non-renewable energy resource
Below are the benefits of non-renewable energy resources in their various applications.
- Fossil fuels are relatively inexpensive to extract.
- They can be stored, piped, for a long period of time
- Fossil fuels can be shipped anywhere around the world
- Fossil fuels are available all over the world.
- They are a reliable source of energy as they can be used any time, day and night, summer and winter, sunshine or rain.
- They provide fuel and electricity.
- Fossil fuels can generate lots of energy, even from a small amount of fuel.
- A fossil fuel plant can be set up at any location, as long as there is a large quantity of fuel to generate power.
Despite the good advantages of non-renewable energy resources, some limitations still occur. Below are the disadvantages of non-renewable energy resources in their various applications.
- Burning fossil fuels cause environmental pollution, that is, carbon dioxide is released. Fossil fuels are very damaging to the health of our planet.
- Getting the resources is a tedious process since it includes mining.
- Air, water, and land are polluted
- A huge reservation of fuel must be done to keep a power station working.
- The fuels are not renewable, they run out when put to work.
- Few countries hold a large number of fossil fuels, prices rise without warning.
- Oil spills into the sea and nearby coast when huge tankers transporting crash.
Non-renewable resources are said to be in form of gas, liquid, or solids, but they can be converted into convenient forms for easy consumption. Most sources of non-renewable energy are fossil fuels such as petroleum, coal, gas, and oil. on-renewable energy is energy sources that will eventually run out when put to work. That is all for the post, where the definition, applications, examples, types, advantages, and disadvantages of non-renewable energy.
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