Fossil Fuels

The highest consumption rate in today’s world is of fossil fuel. They are a man’s— best friend. Fossil fuels are created by the decomposition of dead plant and animal life that existed in the Earth millions of years ago. From the day it has been extracted and discovered, they have served the mankind and are still one of the most useful tools for human existence. The fossil fuels include petroleum, coal and natural gas. In fact, the whole world is dependent on fossil fuels to fulfill their daily energy needs. Though adoption of renewable energy sources has increased sharply in last decade, still it will take some more years to reduce our dependance on fossil fuels drastically.

The consumption of these fossil fuels is going at an high rate which means once we have used up all of them, we need to rely on alternative sources of energy such as solar, wind and hydro power to meet our daily needs. This sounds quite scary, but yes, this is the truth. Though fossil fuels have their own advantages but the damage that they cause to the environment can affect entire ecosystem. This world has no choice but to use the existing fossil fuels until scientists come out with a technology that can produce energy at same rate without affecting the environment.


Advantages of Fossil Fuels

1. Easily Available: Since these fossil fuels have been of such a great source of energy, more and more extractions are going on every day. The geologists all around the world are trying to find out mines of coals. The pressure is even more as the population is increasing day by day. With the advancement in science and technology, the refineries and the extraction procedures have also improved a lot. This makes the availability even smoother.

2. Produce Large Amount of Energy: Fossil fuels are easily combustible. Most combustion engines need to be powered with little amount of fuel to and they can produce large amount of energy. Fossil fuels have been serving us for centuries. It is considered as a portable form of energy. Industrial revolution has popularized the usage of fossil fuel in the entire planet. All machines, devices, vehicles depend on the fossil fuels, may it be coal, petroleum or natural gas. Sustainable fuel sources like solar, wind or geothermal have complex process to harness energy from them.

3. High Calorific Value: All energy produced has some calorific value. The more the value, the more effective it is. Fossil fuels are the highest producers of calorific value in terms of energy. This is also one of the reasons why they are still preferred over the renewable sources of energy or the alternative sources of energy.

4. Stability: The fossil fuels are composed of the molecules of carbon, and hydrogen. This makes them very stable. The nuclear energy, for instance is produced from radioactive elements and the energy is produced due to their instability. Fossil fuels, due to their constancy in the constitution of the molecules are easy to store as well. They do not form any other compound if stored in the cans for a long time. For the same reason, carrying fossil fuels is also easy than any other form of fuels.

5. Transportation: The industries need regular supply of fossil fuel like oil, gas and coal. The biggest advantage of using fossil fuels is that they can be easily stored and transported from one place to another. Large reserves of coal are therefore taken from the coal mines to the industries which are acres away from the mines. The petroleum is also taken to too far off power stations to produce energy. These transportation are possible as these fuels are portable. Even natural gas is nowadays being transferred to different areas via pieplines.

6. Abundantly Available: Though every effort is made to make the usage of alternative fuels popular, still fossil fuels are the most common ones in use. This is because, these are very easily available. They have a vast presence over the globe. Though it is known to everyone that fossil fuels are going to expire one day but it is estimated they would last for another 40 -50 years at current rate of consumption.

7. Low Cost: Fossil fuels are available all over the world and the methods to extract energy from them are also not that expensive. To obtain the fossil fuels in their refined form, they need to be properly treated. This does not need a wide set up and is economical. Unlike other alternative sources like solar power or wind turbines whose initial investment cost are too high, fossil fuels have pretty low cost as compared to them. The high cost prevents many people from installing wind turbines or solar panels at their home.

8. Easy Set Up: Since they are widely available, the construction of fossil fuel power plant can take anywhere in the world as long as they get large quantities of fossil fuels to feed them. They are easier to extract and process and are capable to produce large amount of energy at a single location.

Petroleum extraction is done in blast furnace. There are certain steps that need to be followed in the refining of this fossil fuel. Every step performed in blast furnace produces one or many by products. These products are derivatives of petroleum. Naphthalene, wax, benzoyl, asphalt and many more examples are there which the widely used products are

The cosmetics that are used in today’s market are also majorly manufactured from the by-products of petroleum. Vaseline is one of the most famous companies. All these products form an industry of their own. They do not have any link directly with the fossil fuels. But they are obtained from them. They have their own utility and there are industries based on them. These industries, even considered as small scale industries, definitely contribute to the country’s soci0-economic development.

Image credit
Evgeni Zotov


Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.