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25 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What's the difference between renewable and nonrenewable energy? Give examples.
-Nonrenewable= cannot be replaced, ex. oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear
-Renewable= can be replaced, ex. biomass, hydropower, solar and wind, tidal/wave, geothermal
How is coal formed?
Peat (compressed plants)--Lignite (moist, low heat)-subbituminous--bituminous--anthrocite (less water, more heat)
What pollutants are created from burning coal?
CO2, mercury, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides
What was the Clean Air Act of 1990?
-Plants had to instal scrubbers and cut SOx emissions in half
-2008: 70% of US plants had scrubbers
What are some clean coal technologies?
1. Scrubbers
2. Carbon capture
3. Coal gasification (heat ground to release coal)
How is oil formed? What's some of it's history?
-Modern use began in 19th C
-Formed by ancient marine organisms
What is ANWR?
-Arctic National Wildlife Reserve
-Controversy on oiling drilling in area 1002
What is natural gas?
-Mixture of gases
-Vehicles use it to produce less emissions
-Major reserves= NE US, Russia, Middle East
What are problems with oil?
-Burning (pollution)
What are three famous spills?
1. Exxon Valdez= drunk ship crash in Gulf of Mexico, resulted in 1990 Oil Pollution Act ($ for spills, double-hulled ships), 260,000 barrels
2. BP Spill= explosion in deep well, Gulf of Mexico, 5 mil barrels
3. Persian Gulf= Saddam intentially spilled 6 million
What are three other sources of fossil fuels?
-Tar Sands= Canada, sand thickly coated in oil (probe: tons of waste, more expensive)
-Oil Shales= Rocks containing hydrocarbons, extract oil and natural gas (probs: energy and $)
-Methane hydrates= ice encrusted natural gas, on sea flow (probs: hard to get)
What is Uranium, what are the types and where is it found?
-Reserves in Australia
-Uranium ore= U-238 (99%), U-235 (.7%, kind we want), U-234 (.01%)
-Control rods absorb neutrons, controls the reaction
What are problems with nuclear power?
-Radioactive waste= old fuel rods in ponds, low/high level
-Mining= bad for environment
-Potential accidents
-Disposal= 1/2 life of radioactive elements
-Cost/danger of shutting down a plant
What are 3 accidents related to nuclear plants?
-3-mile Island= partial meltdown, low-level water/gas leak, close to major accident
-Chernobyl= explosion Eastern Europe
-Fukushima= earthquake/tsunami, cooling water couldn't circulate, reactor meltdown
What is biomass?
-Wood= 80% of renewable energy, charcoal
-Peat= burned
What are 2 biofuels?
-Ethanol= gas cars, alcohol from fermentation, yeast, sources= corn, cellulose, sugar cane
-Biodiesel= diesel cars, oils and fats, sources= soybeans, fryer oil, algae
What are the pros and cons of biofuels?
-Pros: burns cleaner
-Cons: corn needed for food
What is hydroelectric power?
Dams, 7% of electricity
What are the basics of wind energy?
-US= 2.5% of electricity
-Very clean
-Cheap, same as coal
-Modern turbines produce 3-5 MW (but average coal/nuclear=1000 MW)
What are problems with wind power?
-Bird kill
-Variation in wind
-Power grids= collect power, hard to collect from spaced out sources with small MW
What's geothermal electricity?
-Heat from earth heats up water underground
-Relatively clean (no emissions)
-US is largest producer
-Relatively cheap= slightly more than coal
What is geoexchange?
Not electricity, uses temperature of ground to heat/cool a building
What is tidal/wave energy?
-Movement of tides to generate electricity
-Damns to capture tidal waters or underwater turbines
-Wave= buoys with tiny generators
What are problems with tidal and wave energy
-Tidal= similar to dams, location
-Wave= low amounts, boats, organisms live on (low life span for generators)
-Both have probs with location and elements
What are the two types of solar energy?
-Passive= use sun's energy directly (home design)
-Active= use sun's energy w/ mechanical aid to get electricity