FOSSIL FUELS

Portfolio Activity! This counts toward your final grade!


What are my objectives while studying this topic?


You’ll follow the pathway of energy from the sun as it is stored in plants and plankton, through the process of fossilisation and conversion to coal, oil and gas, to the modern-day exploration, extraction and distribution of fossil fuels.


Photosynthesis and Respiration

How coal was formed

Why is this important?


You’ll be looking at the numbers involved with all aspects of the fossil-fuel industry, such as current world production, known and projected reserves and the problems associated with passing ‘Peak Oil’.


Can I get an introduction to this topic?


Yes, why not check out the following clip:



The North Sea is one of the most hostile places on Earth, and particularly when it comes to extracting oil and gas! The oil and gas fields of the North Sea were formed about 150 million years ago. They were ‘discovered’ in the early 1960’s.

 

Currently, 1.2 million barrels (about 190 million litres) of crude oil is pumped from the North Sea every day. At its peak in 1999, or ‘Peak Oil’, 2.7 million barrels were being pumped per day. This represents a decrease of about 10 per cent per year. This decrease has to be made up from other sources, eg, the Middle East. Our lives are inexorably linked to oil and gas, not only as fuels but also as a raw material for so many products such as plastics among other things.

 


Let’s get to it: what do I need to do?


Activity


You need to RESEARCH the following points and write a report for inclusion in your Portfolio for this unit (Report b):


  • Balanced chemical equations for the combustion of carbon-based (fossil) fuels, respiration and photosynthesis

  • A description of the process of fossil fuel formation and the importance of photosynthesis and respiration in this process

  • A description of the principles of fossil fuel exploration and extraction and their impact on the environment

  • A description of the current world and national proportions of electricity generation by fossil fuels and renewable fuels


Energy Sources

  • An analysis of the problems associated with the current levels of fossil fuel usage, and a description of the known reserves of fossil fuels and future world energy needs


Global Oil Reserves

  • know, use and apply the concepts of specific heat capacity and specific latent heat of vaporisation in the context of the use of carbon-based (fossil) fuels to generate heat and electricity


The following Help sheet will aid you on where to start and how to write this up:



Also, you may find the following links useful:


Activity


Part of your assessment requires you to use other people’s work such as adapting standard procedures or finding out and using information on the Internet. When you use information like this you need to reference it properly in your reports.

 


Portfolio Follow-up


Portfolio work will be marked in accordance to the appropriate assessment criteria:



What other things contribute to my portfolio in this topic?


It is expected that you will be required to complete sections of work on this piece of coursework. Examples might be:


  • Photosynthesis & Respiration

  • Fossil fuel formation

  • Exploration & Extraction

  • Fossil Fuel usage v Renewable usage

  • Fossil fuel usage v reserves

  • Completion of report section


What are the key words to learn and use?


  • Photosynthesis

  • Respiration

  • Fossilisation

  • Exploration

  • Extraction

  • Reserve

  • Consumption


What will I be expected to be able to do after studying this topic?


  • Write balanced chemical equations for the combustion of carbon-based (fossil) fuels, respiration and photosynthesis

  • Describe the process of fossil fuel formation and the importance of photosynthesis and respiration in this process

  • Describe the principles of fossil fuel exploration and extraction and their impact on the environment

  • Describe the current world and national proportions of electricity generation by fossil fuels and renewable fuels

  • discuss the problems associated with the current levels of fossil fuel usage, and describe the known reserves of fossil fuels and future world energy needs

  • Know, use and apply the concepts of specific heat capacity and specific latent heat of vaporisation in the context of the use of carbon-based (fossil) fuels to generate heat and electricity


How long will this topic take to study?


On average you’ll be looking at about 8 hours. This includes taught time and independent study.


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