Fossil fuels are formed from fossils (dead plants and animals) buried in the earth’s crust for millions of years under pressure and heat. They are composed of high carbon and hydrogen elements such as oil, natural gas and coal. Since the start of the Industrial Revolution in Europe in the nineteenth century the World became extremely dependent on fossil fuels for its energy needs. The bulk of fossil fuels is used in transportation, industrial processes, generating electricity as well as residential and commercial heating. Although they are non-renewable, we still need them. In this article, we will explore the advantages of fossil fuels in depth.
The Major Advantages Of Fossil Fuels
The advantages of fossil fuels are:
Fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas are found in many parts of the World. They are formed over millions of years from the remains of plants and animals and are found in sedimentary rock formations. Some of the largest deposits of fossil fuels are located in North America, Russia and the Middle East.
2. Energy density
Fossil fuels are a highly concentrated source of energy meaning that they have a high amount of energy stored in a small volume. This makes them easier to transport and store.
The energy density of fossil fuels varies depending on the type of fuel. The following are some examples of the energy density of commonly used fossil fuels:
- Coal: approximately 24.000 to 29.000 megajoules per ton (MJ/ton)
- Natural Gas: approximately 55.000 to 60.000 MJ/m3
- Petroleum (crude oil): approximately 44.000 to 47.000 MJ/m3
- Diesel fuel: approximately 45.000 to 48.000 MJ/m3
- Gasoline: approximately 44.000 to 47.000 MJ/m3
It’s important to note that these values are approximate and can vary depending on the specific type and quality of the fossil fuel. Additionally, the energy density of fossil fuels is measured in different units depending on the type of fuel.
3. Ease of use
Fossil fuels are easy to use because they can be burned directly to produce heat or electricity. Fossil fuels are relatively easy to use as they are readily available and can be easily extracted, transported and stored. They are also compatible with existing infrastructure and technology making them a convenient source of energy.
Fossil fuels are a versatile energy source because they can be used in a variety of ways. They can be burned to generate electricity, used as a fuel for transportation and used as a feedstock for industrial processes. They are also used to heat homes and buildings and can be converted into liquid and gaseous forms for easy transport and storage. Additionally, fossil fuels can be used to produce a wide range of chemical products such as fertilizers, plastics and synthetic materials. Overall, the versatility of fossil fuels has made them a widely used and important energy source for many industries and everyday life.
Fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas have been a reliable source of energy for many years. They are easily accessible, widely distributed and have a high energy density making them a convenient and efficient source of energy for many industries and households.
6. Economic benefits
The extraction, transportation and use of fossil fuels provide jobs and contribute to the economy. The fossil fuel industry employs a significant number of people in a variety of roles such as drilling and mining, transportation and logistics and power generation. Additionally, the revenue generated from the sale of fossil fuels contributes to government revenues and can be used for infrastructure and social programs.
7. Acceptable prices
Fossil fuels can be relatively cheap to extract and produce but their prices can fluctuate depending on factors such as supply and demand, geopolitical tensions and natural disasters. Additionally, the cost of extracting and producing fossil fuels can vary depending on the type of fuel and the location of the reserves. For example, coal is often cheaper to extract and produce than oil or natural gas.
8. Rapid deployment
Rapid deployment of fossil fuels refers to the quick and efficient use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas to meet the increasing energy demands of society. This can involve the construction of new power plants, the expansion of existing ones and the development of new drilling and extraction technologies. Rapid deployment of fossil fuels can provide a reliable and affordable source of energy.
9. Existing infrastructure
There is already a vast infrastructure in place for extracting, transporting and using fossil fuels. This includes things like pipelines, refineries and power plants that are designed to run on fossil fuels. This infrastructure has been built up over many decades and is a significant investment. Changing to a different primary energy source would require significant investments in new infrastructure and technology which could be costly and time-consuming.
10. Well-known technology
Fossil fuels have been used as an energy source for many years and the technology for extracting, transporting and using them is well-established and understood. This makes it easier to maintain and operate fossil fuel-based energy systems.
11. Back-up power usability
Fossil fuel-based power plants can be used as a backup source of energy when other renewable sources such as solar or wind are unavailable due to weather conditions. Besides, using fossil fuel plants as a backup power source can provide a reliable source of energy during times of high demand. These plants can quickly increase their output to meet the increased demand and can be easily shut down when not needed.
12. Energy security
Countries with large reserves of fossil fuels may have greater energy security because they are less reliant on importing energy from other countries. This reduces their dependence on foreign energy sources and can help insulate them from potential supply disruptions or price fluctuations.
13. High energy efficiency
Fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas are considered to be highly energy efficient because they contain a large amount of energy per unit of mass. This means that a small amount of fossil fuel can produce a significant amount of energy when burned. For example, one kilogram of coal can produce about 24,000 kilojoules of energy while one liter of oil can produce about 42,000 kilojoules of energy. This high energy density is one of the reasons why fossil fuels have been the primary source of energy for transportation and electricity generation for many years.
14. Wide industrial applications
Fossil fuels are used as feedstocks in the production of many industrial products such as plastics, fertilizers and pharmaceuticals. Fossil fuels particularly oil and natural gas are used as raw materials in the chemical industry to produce a variety of products including plastics, fertilizers and pharmaceuticals. The hydrocarbons in fossil fuels are used as building blocks for these products and the energy generated from burning fossil fuels is also used to power the production processes.
15. Location independency
Power stations that make use of fossil fuel can be constructed in almost any location. This is possible as long as large quantities of fuel can be easily brought to the power plants.
In conclusion, the article provides a comprehensive overview of the advantages of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are an abundant source of energy and possess a high energy density, making them easy to transport and store. They are versatile and can be used in a variety of ways, including transportation, electricity generation, and industrial processes. Fossil fuels have been a reliable source of energy for many years and their well-established technology makes them easy to maintain and operate. Additionally, the extraction, transportation, and use of fossil fuels provide jobs and contribute to the economy. Despite their non-renewable nature, the article highlights why fossil fuels continue to be an important and relevant energy source.