What are the Types, advantages and disadvantages of fossil fuels?

Fossil fuels are minerals found within the Earth’s crust which contain carbon. These include coal, petroleum, oils, and natural gas which are used as a form of energy for heating, electricity, and more. Fossil fuels have several uses to it which comes with several advantages but with equally many disadvantages as well. We will look into its pros and cons in this chapter. 

Types of Fossil Fuels 

• Coal 

Coal is a combustible hard, black rock containing carbon, hydrogen, sulphur, oxygen, and nitrogen. Coal is burnt for energy to acquire coal tar, coke, and coal gas. Coal is formed by the process of coalification. The three types of coal are anthracite, lignite, and bituminous coal. Coal is used for several purposes such as cooking and as a fuelin industries. 

• Petroleum 

Petroleum is in liquid form which is oily and is also termed “Black Gold” cause of the many uses it provides. It is a mixture of petroleum gas, petrol, diesel, paraffin wax, etc. Petroleum is used for road pavements, fuels for vehicles, manufacturing detergents and fibres, etc. 

• Natural Gas 

Natural gas are colourless, odourless, flammable, non renewable, and non-toxic carbon. It can be in both liquid and gas form. Natural gas is used as fuels in automobiles, for cooking, for generating power, etc. It can be stored as Compressed Natural Gas (NCG) under high pressure. 

Advantages of Fossil Fuels 

There are many advantages of fossil fuels which are: 

• Fossil fuels are able to generate huge amount of electricity at a single location. 

• Fossil fuels are easily available and it is cheap as well. 

• Fossil fuels are more reliable than renewable resources. 

• Fossil fuels can be stored for an indefinite period of time and transported without much difficulty. 

• Oil and gas can be transported easily through pipelines. 

• Even though these are non renewable resources, they can be could easily in large amounts. 

• Fossil fuels help to boost up the economy of a nation. 

• The power stations required for extracting energy from these fossil fuels can be built almost anywhere. 

Disadvantages of Fossil Fuels 

The disadvantages of fossil fuels are plenty to the environment, such as:

• Fossil fuels are non-renewable sources which means that once consumed it cannot be recovered. Hence, it should be used very thoughtfully. 

• Fossil fuels are a huge harm to the environment. As fossils contain carbon elements, its burning releases greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane which severely pollutes the air and leads to issues of global warming and climate change. 

• Fossil fuels can be dangerous if it is used irresponsibly as they can cause serious accidents. 

• Fossil fuels are hazardous in nature and unsustainable. Hence, fossil fuels should be used sustainably so that it is available for future generations. 

• The residue that remain after combustion of fossil fuels pollute the environment. Hence, these fossil fuels must be used considerately. 

• Workers working with fossil fuels are more vulnerable to diseases as they are often exposed to chemicals which is dangerous for human health.