Chemistry Words: Fossil fuels

Simple Description

Coal, oil and gas (remember solid, liquid and gas)

Further Detail

Fossil fuels are dead organic matter (i.e. old plants and animals) that died millions of years ago and have turned into coal, oil or gas over millions of years. Burning fossil fuels causes two main environmental problems - the greenhouse effect and acid rain. The greenhouse effect is caused by the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere (the carbon was previously locked up in the fossils) and this causes global warming. Acid rain is formed when sulfur, an impurity in crude oil, is burned in oxygen to form sulfur dioxide, this dissolves in rain water to make acid rain. Fossil fuels also have a limited supply as they are non-renewable and will eventually run out.

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