Fossil fuel


Human beings need energy to be able to carry out any activity of daily life, in the same way it turns out to be fundamental for activities related to industry and agriculture . There are renewable and non-renewable energy for them and nowadays non-renewable energy sources such as fossil fuels are still used, which present a strong tendency to rise in price.

What is fossil fuel?

fossil fuel is a resource that comes from the organic matter of plants, microorganisms, algae and bacteria through photosynthesis could transform the energy of the sun into chemical energy .

  • Characteristics of fossil fuel
  • Story
  • Types of fossil fuel
  • Composition
  • What is it for
  • Training
  • Obtaining
  • Bookings
  • Environmental impact
  • Advantage
  • Disadvantages
  • Importance of fossil fuel
  • Which is the most abundant
  • Which is the most polluting
  • Which is the most used
  • Other examples

Characteristics of fossil fuel

Among the main characteristics that distinguish fossil fuel can be found the following:

  • They are a type of energy source that has always been present on earth.
  • The age of this type of fuel is approximately 650 million years.
  • They can be found on earth .
  • They are used mainly in the field of industry and in homes .
  • They can produce large concentrations of pollution in the environment .
  • They are considered as a type of non-renewable energy .
  • The resources to obtain them are quite limited .


The history of fossil fuels dates back millions of years when, over time, the remains from animals and plants accumulated at the bottom of rivers , lakes and the earth . These layers were gradually covered with other components and due to environmental conditions , low oxygen levels and chemical reactions, they gave rise to hydrocarbons . The remains that gave rise to fossil fuels are believed to have occurred during the periodCarboniferous , which took place approximately 350 million years ago, at which time coal deposits were also created .

Types of fossil fuel

There are three types of fossil fuels:

  • Coal : This type of fossil fuel is a sedimentary rock that comes from the plants that make up coal . It is found abundantly on the planet and is made up mainly of carbon . It can be obtained through mining and can be easily modified to create other products.
  • Petroleum : it is made up of a mixture of oxygen , nitrogen , hydrocarbons and small amounts of sulfur . It is a type of liquid and oily fuel that is formed through the sedimentation of organic debris found deep underground in the earth. Oil has several important derivatives such as plastic, paraffin, lubricants, and asphalt.
  • Natural gas : it is a mixture of hydrocarbon gases that is composed mainly of methane, hydrogen and carbon . Gas originates from oil, is odorless , toxic, and highly flammable .
  • Liquefied petroleum gas : it is made up of butane , propane and some other gases . It is obtained from the refining of oil and natural gas and is used as a type of alternative fuel for cars that work using gasoline .


Fossil fuels are hydrocarbons that are composed mainly of carbon , hydrogen, and small amounts of sulfur . In addition, some elements such as oxygen , nitrogen and various minerals can be found . Depending on the type of fossil fuel, their composition can also vary but their elements will always be the same.

What is it for

Fossil fuels have a wide variety of uses. In the residential field , they are used to keep houses heated , to cook , to keep electric generators running, and much more. They are also very useful in the agricultural field as they are necessary for the equipment in charge of producing heat in the greenhouses, they are essential for the irrigation pumps to work as well as the machinery that works the land.

Many petroleum derivatives are used as a type of fuel for automobiles as well as those that come from natural gas and have the ability to improve the combustion of engines. It is used in many mechanisms of extraction and engines as well as machines such as aircraft and ships . They turn out to be fundamental in the production of basic energy for the industrial sector and it is even used in some products such as soaps, creams and cosmetics.


Fossil fuels are formed from the decomposition of organic matter which is found in the remains of plants and animals. When these combine with oxygen , this matter acquires the ability to produce energy . In order for fossil fuels to be formed, organic matter needs to follow a completely natural transformation process which consists first in the fossilization of matter, then in its decomposition and later sedimentation .


To obtain fossil fuels they can be obtained through different types of excavation processes deep in the ground . Each of the types of fuel that exist also follow a certain process or treatment in order to be manufactured and so that they can thus become fuels.


Fossil fuel reserves are in decline over time as the use of renewable energy is increasing every day. These reserves can be found in oil and coal reserves which are limited.

Environmental impact

The techniques that are used for the refining and extraction processes of fossil fuels have the capacity to cause serious damage to the environment as they are highly polluting. The daily use of this type of fuel generates a strong negative impact on the environment, mainly caused by petroleum derivatives that can produce large amounts of carbon dioxide, thus increasing global warming and increasing the greenhouse effect .


There are several advantages of fossil fuels, including the following:

  • They can be transported very easily and in the same way they can be stored .
  • They are very easy to remove .
  • They are energies that have a lower economic cost .
  • They can be found in abundance.
  • The extraction costs are usually cheaper.


Fossil fuels also have major and significant disadvantages, for example:

  • Produces a significant increase in the greenhouse effect because they release dioxide of carbon in the atmosphere in addition to methane.
  • They are quite toxic to nature as they release mercury and arsenic .
  • They increase global warming .
  • As they are not distributed throughout the planet, conflicts can arise between countries .

Importance of fossil fuel

Fossil fuels are of great importance because they turn out to be the main source of energy used by people today, this because they have the great capacity to produce heat in large quantities, which makes them better than other types of fuels . Furthermore, it is one of the main means by which transportation is possible.

Which is the most abundant

The most abundant fossil fuel on earth is oil , which originates from the raw material of living organisms, which can be plants, aquatic and animals. It is also located in media of sedimentary origin.

Which is the most polluting

The most polluting fossil fuels are gasoline , diesel and coal . The greatest pollutants are produced through the emissions of gases that these products produce in the atmosphere.

Which is the most used

The most widely used fossil fuel is oil because it is the main material in the manufacture of gasoline , fuel and diesel , substances necessary for the daily transport of people and cargo.

Other examples

Some examples of fossil fuels are:

  • Gasoil
  • Gasoline
  • Kerosene
  • Olefins
  • Coal
  • Anthracite

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