Energy Lecture Part 1 Fossil Fuels

Energy Lecture Part 1 Fossil Fuels


Get away from me
no No get back! Oh, Oh, Hi Students! Hi, this is Dr. Angley and you might be
wondering why I am in this field full of vicious hungry dinosaurs? and that’s because I’m here to talk to you
about fossil fuels oh! but wait I have to come back… one
second Hi, okay I’m actually back now in the
primordial swamp where actually millions have years before
the dinosaurs roamed the earth
and this, in this area is where we actually start to form fossil fuels
fossil fuels are formed from decaying
plant material and animals mostly phytoplankton
and they were buried under thousands of feet of soil which turned into
rock and were compressed over time and we
form things like coal and oil and natural gas. So our lecture today is
going to be about the environmental consequences of extracting these fossil fuels
and using them to power our modern society if you will.
So take care. I hope you enjoy the lecture and I’ll see you in class in a few days Hi Students,
This is Dr. Joe Angley. We are now getting ready to start our study of Energy. Because there is a lot of material in this
chapter, I have broken it up into three lecture videos. This first lecture covers fossil fuels. The
second lecture will cover nuclear power and hydro power. The third lecture video will
cover what are termed renewable energy sources. This slide presents the learning objectives
for this lecture. You should review these objectives on your own. Also note that as
you proceed through the lecture, you will be asked to answer various questions. It may
take additional research and independent thinking to answer these questions, so please be on
the lookout for them. In addition, there are questions to be answered at the end of the
lecture. Please bring your answers to all the questions to class, and be prepared to
discuss and present some of your results. The former Saudi oil minister, Sheik Yamani
noted that the stone age did not end because we ran out of stones. In the same way, the
fossil fuel age, will not end because we run out of fossil fuels. In fact, as we will learn
in this lecture, we have thousands of years of fossil fuels left to exploit. With so many
years of fossil fuels available, why do you think we shouldn’t use them?
Stop the video now, and write down some ideas on why this might happen. Oil, coal, and natural gas, are the fossil
fuels that we typically think of when we consider energy sources. But fossil fuels also include
less conventional sources such as tar sands and oil shales.
Fossil fuels are formed from fossilized plant material preserved by burial in sediments
and compacted and condensed by geological forces into carbon-rich fuel. Most fossil fuels were laid down during the
Carboniferous period some 286 to 360 million years ago.
Because these fossil fuels took so long to form, we consider them to be nonrenewable
resources. The fossil fuels— coal, oil, and natural
gas—that have powered the industrial age have brought us many benefits, but have also
caused huge social, political, and environmental problems. As we learned in our discussions
of climate change, perhaps the most threatening of these problems is that the burning of fossil
fuels emits carbon dioxide (CO2), which is changing our global climate. We now get nearly
90 percent of all commercial energy from fossil fuels. How we’ll end our dependence on—some
would say addiction to—fossil fuels is one of the most important problems that face us
today. In this chapter we’ll look at the costs and consequences of various energy sources
as well as our options for the future. In this lecture we’ll start with the fossil
fuels. In later lectures we will cover nuclear and hydro power and then turn to renewable
sources that could supply all the energy we will need in the not-too-distant future. To understand the magnitude of energy use,
it is helpful to know the units used to measure it. Work is the application of force over
distance, and we measure work in joules. Energy is the capacity to do work. Power is the rate
of energy flow or the rate of work done: for example, one watt (W) equals one joule per
second. If you use a 100-watt light bulb for 10 hours, you have used 1,000 watt-hours,
or one kilowatt-hour (kWh). Most American households use about 11,000 kWh per year. This table shows the energy consumption of
some common household items. Based on this table, what appliance uses the greatest amount
of energy in your home? Stop the presentation, and go find out how
much power your cell phone uses in one year? How much money do you think it costs to charge
your cell phone for a whole year? Like most industrialized nations, the United
States gets a vast majority of its energy from fossil fuels. According to the U.S. Energy
Information Agency, oil currently provides 37 percent of this supply, followed by natural
gas (25 percent) and coal (21 percent). Renewables (hydro, wind, solar, biomass) provide 11 percent
and nuclear power supplies 9 percent. In the twentieth century, the rich countries of the
world, although they made up less than 5 percent of the total population, consumed more than
half the commercial energy. That situation is now changing, however. Rising incomes in
China are leading to more energy consumption. China now consumes as much primary energy
as all of Europe, and 85 percent as much as the United States, and because so much of
China’s energy comes from coal, it has now passed the United States in total carbon dioxide
production. The so called renewable energy resources make
up approximately 11% of our generating capacity. This is expected to change over the next century.
Why do you think this may happen? This slide shows the distribution of the worlds
mineral fuels. Reviewing this map, what parts of the world have the greatest abundance of
coal? What parts seem to have a great abundance of Oil? What continent has the fewest mineral
fuel resources? The largest share of the energy used in the
United States is consumed by industry. Mining, milling, smelting, and forging of primary
metals consume about one-quarter of that industrial energy share. The chemical industry is the
second largest industrial user of fossil fuels, but only half of that use is for energy generation.
The remainder is raw material for plastics, fertilizers, solvents, lubricants, and hundreds
of thousands of organic chemicals in commercial use. Residential and commercial customers
use roughly 41 percent of the primary energy consumed in the United States, mostly for
space heating, air conditioning, lighting, and water heating. Transportation requires
about 28 percent of all energy used in the United States each year, almost all of that
comes from petroleum. About three-quarters of all transport energy is used by motor vehicles. World coal deposits are enormous, ten times
greater than conventional oil and gas resources combined.
Coal seams can be 100 m thick and can extend across tens of thousands of square kilometers
that were vast, swampy forests in prehistoric times. The total resource is estimated to
be 10 trillion metric tons. If all this coal could be extracted, and we could find environmentally
benign ways to use it, this would amount to several thousand years’ supply. But do we
really want to use all that coal? Almost all the world’s coal is in North
America, Europe, and Asia, and just three countries, the United States, Russia, and
China, account for two-thirds of all proven reserves.
Coal is mined in two ways – underground mines and surface mines.  Surface mining
is used for deposits that lie within 100 to 200 feet of the earth’s surface. ================
Coal mining is a dirty, dangerous activity. Underground mines are notorious for cave-ins,
explosions, and lung diseases, such as black lung suffered by miners. Underground mining involves more human labor
than surface mining. Historically, coal was dug by hand by the coal miners.  Today, underground
mines are highly mechanized, with machines doing the digging, loading and hauling in
nearly all the mines.  Even so, underground mines need more laborers than surface mines. Between 1870 and 1950, more than 30,000 American
coal miners died of accidents and injuries in Pennsylvania alone.
Thousands have died of respiratory diseases. Black Lung Disease, an inflammation and fibrosis
caused by accumulation of coal dust in the lungs or airways is a common disease found
in miners worldwide. China currently has the most dangerous mines,
with 91,172 killed in mining accidents in 2008. Surface mines (called strip mines, where large
machines scrape off overlying sediment to expose coal seams) are cheaper and generally
safer for workers than tunneling, but leave huge holes where coal has been removed and
vast piles of discarded rock and soil. Strip mining is cheaper and safer than underground
mining. However, it makes land unfit for other uses.
A common environmental issue associated with coal mining is acid mine drainage. Acid drainage damages streams.
Mountaintop removal, practiced in Appalachia, causes streams, farms and even whole towns
to be buried under hundreds of meters of toxic rubble. An especially damaging technique employed
in Appalachia is called mountaintop removal. Typically, the whole top of a mountain ridge
is scraped off to access buried coal. Mountaintop removal, practiced in Appalachia,
causes streams, farms and even whole towns to be buried under hundreds of meters of toxic
rubble. In 2010 the EPA announced it would ban “valley
fill,” in which waste rock is pushed into nearby valleys, but existing operations are
“grandfathered in”. Mine reclamation is now mandated in the United States, but efforts
often are only partially successful. Coal burning releases huge amounts of air
pollution. Every year the roughly 1 billion tons of coal burned in the United States (83
percent for electric power generation) releases close to a trillion metric tons of Carbon
dioxide. This is about half of the industrial carbon dioxide released by the United States
each year. Coal also contains toxic impurities, such
as mercury, arsenic, chromium, lead, and uranium, which are released into the air during combustion.
The coal burned every year in the United States releases 18 million metric tons of sulfur
dioxide (SO2), 5 million metric tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx), 4 million metric tons of airborne
particulates, 600,000 metric tons of hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide, and 40 tons of mercury.
This is about three-quarters of the sulfur dioxide and one-third of the nitrogen oxides
released by the United States each year. Sulfur and nitrogen oxides combine with water in
the air to form sulfuric and nitric acids, making coal burning the largest single source
of acid rain in many areas. Most people aren’t aware of it, but coal-burning
plants emit radioactivity from uranium and thorium. You’d get more radioactivity living
70 years next to a coal power plant than next to a nuclear plant—assuming no accidents
at the nuclear plant. It’s possible to make either gas or liquid fuels out of coal, but
these processes are even dirtier and more expensive than burning the coal directly.
Both coal-to-liquid and coal-to-gas are environmentally disastrous. In 2010 the U.S. Energy Information Agency
predicted that coal would drop to 44 percent of America’s electrical generation by 2035.
Actually, we reached that level in 2011. Currently the government is projecting that coal will
provide only 39 percent of our electricity by 2035, but that estimate appears to be still
far too high. In reality, coal is fading quickly from our energy picture. Only half a dozen
new coal-fired power plants are now under construction or in the planning stage. When
the last of those plants is finished about five years from now, no other new projects
are proposed for the foreseeable future. Federal regulations are part of this decline.
The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards announced by the Environmental Protection Agency in
2012 will slash the allowable mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. This was required
by the 1970 Clean Air Act, but it was delayed for decades by owners of old power plants,
who argued that their facilities are about to be closed anyway and so they shouldn’t
have to install expensive pollution control equipment. Forty years later, many of those
plants are still in operation and still emitting dangerous pollutants. The EPA estimates the
new rules will cost utilities about $9 billion, but will save $90 billion in health care costs
by 2016 by reducing our exposure to mercury, arsenic, chromium, and fine particulates that
cause mental retardation, cardiovascular diseases, asthma, and other disorders. In 2012 the EPA also proposed limiting carbon
emissions from power plants. If this rule goes into effect, new facilities will be allowed
to emit no more than 1,000 lbs (454 kg) of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour of electricity
produced. Natural gas plants can easily meet that standard, but it’s about half the amount
released by the average coal-fired power plant. The only way to meet this limit with coal
is to install expensive carbon capture and storage equipment. As of Spring 2015, the
United States. Supreme Court is still hearing cases that may invalidate or modify the EPA
carbon emissions regulations. Another problem related to coal is the problem
of ash disposal. When coal is burned it produces ash. In the U.S. this amounts to approximately
140 million tons of waste. Coal ash contains a number of highly toxic chemicals including
lead, mercury, arsenic, selenium, and chromium. Most of the material is stored in aging ponds
that are largely unregulated by the government. In 2013, a retired Duke Energy coal plant
in Eden, North Carolina leaked 82,000 tons of toxic coal ash into the nearby Dan River.
The contaminated fluid traveled through a broken pipe underneath an unlined storage
pit, sending 27 million gallons of water from a 27-acre storage pond into the river. Petroleum is formed in a similar way to coal.
This organic material was buried in sediment and subjected to high pressure and temperature.
An “Oil pool” is usually composed of individual droplets or a thin film permeating spaces
in porous sandstone (like water in a sponge) We recover about 30-40% of oil in a formation
before it becomes uneconomical to continue. In the 1940s Dr. M. King Hubbert, a Shell
Oil geophysicist, predicted that oil production in the United States would peak in the 1970s,
based on estimates of U.S. reserves at the time. Hubbert’s predicted peak was correct,
and subsequent calculations have estimated a similar peak in global oil production in
about 2005–2010. Global production has not yet slowed significantly, but many oil experts
expect that we will pass this peak in the next few years. About half of the world’s
original 4 trillion bbl (600 billion metric tons) of liquid oil are thought to be ultimately
recoverable. (The rest is too diffuse, too tightly bound in rock formations, or too deep
to be extracted.) Of the 2 trillion recoverable barrels, roughly 1.26 trillion bbl are in
proven reserves (commercially extractable using currently available technology). We
have already used more than 0.5 trillion bbl—almost half of proven reserves—and the remainder
is expected to last 41 years at current consumption rates of 30.7 billion bbl per year. Middle
Eastern countries have more than half of the proven world supplies. Concern about environmental damage from drilling,
and oil spills like that of the Exxon Valdez in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, and the
Gulf Oil Spill of 2010 make many observers worry about exploitation in such sensitive
areas. Proven oil reserves. Twelve countries (7 of
them in the Middle East) account for 89 percent of all known, economically recoverable oil.
Numbers add to more than 100 percent due to rounding. This chart, from the U.S. Department of Energy,
provides an outlook for total U.S. oil production. Notwithstanding the idea that we may have
reached peak oil, in recent years, we continue to discover and utilize new oil sources. Since the 1970s, U.S. consumers have feared
that there won’t be enough energy to meet consumer demand. That has changed. We now
know we can recover significant amounts of oil to meet the needs of current and future
generations. The U.S. now ranks as the world’s top natural gas producer and the second-largest
oil producer – and may soon pass Saudi Arabia as the top producer. The U.S. Energy Information Administration
estimates that U.S. total crude oil production averaged 8.9 million barrels per day in September
2014, driven largely by growth in tight oil production. To put that in perspective, U.S.
total crude oil production averaged 7.5 million barrels per day in 2013 and 6.55 million barrels
per day in 2012. Recent increases in U.S. oil production due to tight oil are the largest
since Colonel Edwin Drake drilled the first oil well in Pennsylvania in 1859. We’ve known for years that shale rock contains
oil and natural gas that was too “tight” (or impermeable) to allow commercial production.
Ongoing research and development optimized two key innovations. The first was hydraulic
fracturing also known as “fracking” – injecting water under high pressure to create narrow
micro-fissures in the rock. Since the late 1940s it has been used in more than a million
wells. Separate research during the 1980s made it possible to drill wells that curve
out laterally, thus gaining exposure to more potentially productive rock than was possible
with conventional vertical wells. Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal wells were first
combined in shale wells in the late 1990s, enabling commercial production of unconventional
reservoirs. Most of us hadn’t thought much about the
dangers of deep ocean oil wells in remote places until the 2010 explosion and sinking
of the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico. At least 5 million barrels of oil were spilled
during the four months it took to plug the leak. The well was being drilled in about
1 mi deep water, but that isn’t very deep by current standards. For the Gulf of Mexico,
the current record is held by the Perdido Spar rig, which is drilling in more than 3,000
meters of water and then to a depth of more than 6 km below the seafloor. Brazil is drilling
at a similar depth about 186 mi offshore. This ultradeep deposit, which Brazil estimates
could hold 50 to 100 billion barrels, could make that country fifth or sixth in the world
in oil resources. By some estimates, Venezuela could have more
than 300 billion barrels of oil (more than even Saudi Arabia) accessible with current
technology, but much of Canada’s and Venezuela’s new oil resources are from tar sands.
Canadian deposits in northern Alberta are estimated to be equivalent to 1.7 trillion
bbl of oil, and Venezuela has nearly as much. Together these deposits are three times as
large as all conventional liquid oil reserves. Tar sands are composed of sand and shale particles
coated with bitumen, a viscous mixture of long-chain hydrocarbons. Shallow tar sands
are excavated and mixed with hot water and steam to extract the bitumen. For deeper deposits,
superheated steam can be injected to melt the bitumen, which is then pumped to the surface
like liquid crude. Once the oil has been retrieved, it still must be cleaned and refined to be
useful. The United States also has large supplies
of unconventional oil. Oil shales are fine-grained sedimentary rock rich in solid organic material
called kerogen. Like tar sands, the kerogen can be heated, liquefied, and pumped out like
liquid crude oil. Oil shale beds up to 600 m thick underlie much of Colorado, Utah, and
Wyoming. If these deposits could be extracted at a reasonable price and with acceptable
environmental impacts, they might yield the equivalent of several trillion barrels of
oil. Mining and extraction of oil shale and tar
sands uses vast amounts of water (a scarce resource in the arid western United States),
releases much more carbon dioxide than burning an equivalent amount of coal, and creates
enormous quantities of waste and wastewater, contaminates rivers and streams and destroys
the boreal forest; however, with rapidly rising crude oil prices in recent years, interest
in this resource has rekindled. This is a photo of a Canadian tar sands extraction
site. This activity takes place on a huge scale, that can be seen from space. Copy and
view the link for more information on the environmental issues related extraction of
tar sands. More than half of all the world’s proven
natural gas reserves are in the Middle East and the former Soviet Union. Both eastern
and western Europe are highly dependent on imported gas. The total ultimately recoverable
natural gas resources are thought to be 10,000 trillion cubic feet, corresponding to about
80 percent as much energy as the estimated recoverable reserves of crude oil. The proven
world reserves of natural gas are 6,200 trillion cubic feet. Because gas consumption rates
are only about half of those for oil, current gas proven reserves represent roughly a 60-year
supply at present usage rates. Given the awareness among consumers of the
impact of greenhouse gases, Natural gas companies are emphasizing the advantages of this clearer
burning fuel. This table shows the amount of carbon dioxide produced per kilowatt hour
of energy used. As you can see from these data, combustion of natural gas produces about
37% less carbon dioxide than combustion of coal. This graphic presents the proven natural gas
reserves by region, 2011. Note that while the middle east has extensive natural gas
resources, their use is limited by problems related to the transportation of the gas to
market. To ship natural gas by ship requires it to be cooled and condensed into Liquified
Natural Gas or LNG. However, the amount of energy stored in a tanker filled with LNG
is equivalent to a medium size nuclear bomb, so most major coastal cities do not allow
LNG tankers to enter. Specialized ports were constructed for the import of LNG to the United
States. Recently, because of the boom in production of natural gas from shale deposits, these
LNG ports have been converted to export LNG. Here we see natural gas wells dotting the
landscape of the Upper Green River Basin. Drilling for natural gas in tight formations
has resulted in an economic boom in many rural cities and towns across the U.S. The United States has 3% of world reserves,
or about a 10 year supply but it is estimated that there is twice as much that could ultimately
be tapped. These are locations of major natural gas resources in the United States. The Marcellus and Devonian Shales, which underlie
much of the Appalachian Mountain chain, contain a “supergiant” gas field.
Current estimates of the volume of gas in the Marcellus shale range from 168 to 516
trillion cubic feet. Of this total, about 10% is considered recoverable given the current
economic climate and available technology. Rising natural gas prices during the turn
of the current century coupled with technological advances spurred interest in the Marcellus
shale in northeastern Pennsylvania. Although the thickness of the Marcellus shale
is greater in eastern Pennsylvania, the depth to the shale is also greater. Most of the
exploratory and development gas wells in eastern Pennsylvania are drilled to depths ranging
between 5,000 to 8,000 ft. Shale deposits are generally “tight” formations
through which gas doesn’t flow easily. To boost well output, mining companies rely
on hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”. Wells are drilled vertically to depth, and
then turned to be drilled horizontally. Once the well is constructed, explosive charges
are set to create perforations, a process called perking. Wells are drilled vertically to depth, and
then turned to be drilled horizontally. Once the well is constructed, explosive charges
are set to create perforations (a process called perking). A mixture of water, sand, and various chemicals
is pumped into the well, and into the ground and rock formations, through the perforations,
at extremely high pressure. The pressurized fluid cracks sediments and releases the gas.
Fracturing rock formations often disrupts aquifers, however, and contaminates water
wells. Drilling companies generally refuse to reveal the chemical composition of the
fluids used in fracking. They claim it’s proprietary secret, but it’s well known
that a number of petroleum distillates, such as diesel fuel, benzene, toluene, xylene,
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, glycol ethers, as well as hydrochloric acid or sodium hydroxide,
might be used. Many of these chemicals are known to be toxic to humans and wildlife.
The U.S. EPA recently forced mining companies to reveal the contents, but not specific fractional
composition, of their fracking fluids used on public land. These are various videos that can provide
some pros and cons about fracking. Fracking has created a “Natural Gas” revolution,
and has allowed the U.S. to become the worlds top natural gas producer. However, there is
an environmental and social cost. Fracking is associated with air pollution,
water pollution, earthquakes, releases of greenhouse gases, contamination of drinking
water, damage to livestock and crops, and accidents relating to transportation of toxic
fracking fluids. New York state has banned fracking. In this lecture we have learned about energy,
and how we measure it. We have also learned about fossil fuels, and
the environmental impact of their use. Fossil fuels remain our dominant energy source, but
coal use is declining rapidly, owing to problems with the extraction, use and disposal of ash
residues. Oil is an important resource, but easily available
oil is not sufficient to provide out needs, and thus exploration and development continues,
but in environmentally sensitive areas, and by development of shale oil deposits and tar
sands, at greater cost. A new natural gas renaissance is underway,
but with significant affects on residents and the environment near fracking wells. Again,
fracking of tight formations provides access to previously unavailable gas and petroleum
resources. In this graph we can see the amount of anthropogenic
Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels, cement and flaring over the last 160 years.
Because the combustion of fossil fuels leads to the release of greenhouse gases, like carbon
dioxide, as well as heavy metals and radioactivity, the age of fossil fuels is likely to end,
sooner than later. Copy and paste the link to view a short movie
about fossil fuels and the post-carbon era. Answer these questions and bring them to class
for discussion.

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