Fossil Fuels

The energy source for today, the energy source forever.


How is coal used?

  • Coal is shipped to a factory
  • It is then crushed
  • Coal is sent to furnace and burned
  • The heat from the burning coal heats up tubes filled with water which turns to steam
  • Steam rises and is pressurized
  • Pressurized stem then goes into generator and spins turbine
  • Turbine creates electricity
  • Electricity is then transferred to districts and capital

Why is coal good?

Environmental laws (Canada)

  • Permit and license conditions restrict mining coal in Canada
  • Environmental policies create safer mine sites (each site is handled on a case by case basis)
  • The Fisheries Act and the Environmental Protection Act has regulation on water quality (which involve water contamination due to coal mining)
  • These acts have drastically reduced the amount of toxicity present in discharged water samples (%92 had suspended solids in water below the regulatory limit, %95 had below limit toxicity for fish)
  • CO2 filtration systems and scrubbing systems can be equipped to plants for coal to burn more efficiently


  • Cheaper than nuclear energy (%58 more cost effective)
  • Abundant supply (all coal mines estimated to be on the Earth's surface will last us, at the rate we are using it, 3050 years)
  • Creates 500 000 jobs on average; from extraction, transportation, refinement and disposal etc.
  • Energy consumption costs are low
  • Produces enormous amounts of electric energy; within 24 hrs. coal plants alone can produce 23 terra watt hours of energy (more energy than gas, wind, hydro combined)
  • Coal plants can produce the amount of power equivalent to 1340 nuclear power plants

  • Coal comprises of %60 of China's industrial sector


  • Newly developed coal plants emit 40% less CO2
  • Mines are being monitored for release of pollutants and prevention measures are taken to ensure no ecological disaster occurs
  • Companies have developed “carbon capture sequencing systems” this captures %90 of the carbon emitted from coal plants and pumps it down below the earth’s surface to depleted natural gas lines/ reservoirs

Natural gas

How is natural gas used?

  • A well is dug thousands of feet below the surface of the Earth
  • Well is dug until it is reaches a shale deposit
  • Concrete filling is inserted into the drilled hole to create a solid well
  • Hydraulic fracturing process is undertaken, it enables for cracks within shale to form
  • Shale fractures release gases
  • Water is pumped into the well so it can absorb the gases
  • fluid is extracted and refined

Why is Natural Gas good?

  • Contributes 21% of the worlds energy production today
  • LOW levels of pollutants ( SOx, NOx) or soot when burned
  • No waste or residue to deal with
  • Used to make plastics, chemicals, fertilizers and hydrogen
  • Minimal land is used for natural gas, infrastructure is located below Earth's surface
  • Multiple wells can be built at one site
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Fueling the Future with Natural Gas: Bringing it Home


Benefits of Oil

  • It is relatively easy to store and transport as it is in liquid form
  • Can be pumped through pipelines or stored in containers to be transported
  • Easy to store as they are very stable and do not form other compounds if they are stored for longer periods of time
  • Can produce power 24/7 unlike solar and wind
  • Oil engines are highly reliable to work with
  • Initial investment cost is low compared to alternative sources of energy
  • No new technology needs to be developed in order to use oil because current infrastructure is already in place
  • Cars already run on petrol/ gasoline which is derived from crude oil
  • Billions of barrels of oil are burned to power cars, ships, trains, etc…
  • Oil can be transported all around the world with the given infrastructure, so less investment is required
  • Oil has a high energy density- a small amount of oil can produce a large amount of energy

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