Alternative Energy [3 Vols] by Neil Schlager and Jayne Weisblatt

By Neil Schlager and Jayne Weisblatt

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A possible effect is a rise in sea levels, which can change the shape of coastlines; cause changes in forests, crops, and water supplies; and harm the health of humans and animals. Fossil fuels account for 98 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, 24 percent of methane emissions, and 18 percent of nitrous oxide emissions. Oil spills When transporting petroleum, there is always the danger that the oil will leak out of its tank and contaminate the local environment. Many oil spills occur when a giant tanker ship crashes and the petroleum leaks out of the tank into the ocean.

This energy can serve a variety of purposes from heating homes to powering automobiles. The simplest devices that use fossil fuels burn them so that people can take advantage of the heat. For example, some homes are heated by furnaces that burn natural gas. The heat from the burning gas warms the house. Camping stoves often burn propane that is fed to the stove burners from an attached bottle. Coal stoves burn lumps of coal. Most fossil fuel-powered operations, however, use the burning of the fossil fuel to power much more complex machines, such as internal combustion engines.

Now oil companies know that natural gas is a valuable commodity in its own right, and they extract it carefully. The process of drilling for natural gas is similar to that of drilling for petroleum. In many cases natural gas comes out of wells that have already been dug to extract oil. Oil companies also drill wells to extract natural gas by itself. There are three main kinds of natural gas wells: • Gas wells, which are dug into a reservoir of relatively pure natural gas • Oil wells, which are dug for extracting oil but also extract any natural gas that happens to be in the reservoir • Condensate wells, which are dug into reservoirs that contain natural gas and a liquid hydrocarbon mixture called condensate but contain no crude oil Natural gas that comes from oil wells is sometimes called associated gas.

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