By Tahlia, Gemma, Nick and Patrick
What are the advantages of oil as an energy source ?
High Energy Density – Oil has one of the highest energy densities which means that a small amount of oil can produce a large amount of energy. This makes it very useful as its high energy density has made it the best choice for use as fuel in automobiles.
Easy Availability, Infrastructure for Transport and Use – Oil is widely distributed in almost all parts of the world. Also there exists a massive infrastructure to transport oil to other places through ships, pipelines and tankers. This means that oil is available throughout the world.
Easy to Produce and Refine – Oil is not very difficult to produce though most of the low cost locations have already been depleted. Oil Refinery Technology works very well but is also quite old and which also means it is very reliable upon to work.
Constant Power Source and Reliability – Unlike solar and wind energy, oil can produce power all the time and is highly reliable.
What are the disadvantages of oil as an energy source ?
Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) – One of the biggest Disadvantages of Oil is that it releases Carbon Dioxide which has been sequestered for millions of years in the dead bodies of plants and animals. This transfers the Carbon from the Earth to the Environment leading to the Global Warming Effect.
Pollution of Water and Earth – Oil Spills have caused massive pollution of water bodies as massive oil supertankers lead oil. This leads to the death of thousands of animals and marine species every year.
Growth in Terrorism and Violence – Oil is drilled in some of the worst dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and African countries. This Oil Money goes directly into their hands of these people who have taken trillions of dollars
Emission of Harmful Substances – Oil Plants emit harmful substances such as Sulfur Dioxide which cause health hazards among the surrounding population and Acid Rain. While modern equipment has reduced the emission of these harmful substances, it is still very harmful to humans.
What are the by-products of oil ?
The Earth’s petroleum (oil) deposits were created by millions of tiny water organisms which died and then sank to the bottom of lakes and oceans, just like other fossil. Not long after, the dead bugs were discovered by other bugs and live bacteria, who started to eat them, causing chemical changes. A few millions years or so later with the right temperatures, high pressure and more work by the bacteria, petroleum began to form. As luck would have it, new rock layers trapped the petroleum underground.