There are three main types of Fossil Fuels- Coal, Natural Gas, and Petroleum.

Effect of Fossil Fuels on the Environment

  • Cost of retrieving and converting fossil fuels are expensive
  • Combustion of these fossil fuels is considered to be the largest contributing factor to the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. In fact it is believed that energy providers are the largest source of atmospheric pollution today. There are many types of harmful outcomes which result from the process of converting fossil fuels to energy. Some of these include air pollution, water pollution, accumulation of solid waste, not to mention the land degradation and human illness.
  • Toxic Substances released
  • Delivery of Fossil Fuels can result in oil spills
  • Environmental Health
  • Human Health

As you can see, these affects are not a good thing. Using fossil fuels as energy sources harm the environment and even us as human beings.

What is the Combustion of Fossil Fuels?

First of all, we need to know what the the main types of fossil fuels are. They are coal, natural gas, and petroleum. Fossil Fuels are non-renewable energy resources using the different fossil fuels. They are non-renewable because it takes millions of years to form and reserves are being wiped out much faster than new ones are being formed. Therefore, humans often burn fossil fuels which is harmful for the environment. Alternative solutions must happen. However, burning does provide a great source of energy, it is just harmful.


Coal was to run furnaces for the melting of metal ore. The burning of coal if a great heat source. Yet the burning of coal contributes to the amount of carbon dioxide given off from producing energy from fossil fuels. Coal is formed from the earlier geological periods from the compaction of plant remains. It now looks like this :
Coal, one of the main fossil fuels

These are the top 5 states in producing coal:
  1. Wyoming - 194 million tons
  2. West Virginia - 166 million tons
  3. Kentucky - 157 million tons
  4. Pennsylvania - 66 million tons
  5. Illinois - 59 million ton

Natural Gas

Natural gas was once identified as an un-needed product of petroleum production. It is now looked at as a very valuable source. Natural gas is an extremely important source of energy for reducing pollution and maintaining a clean and healthy environment. In addition to being a domestically abundant and secure source of energy, the use of natural gas also offers a number of environmental benefits over other sources of energy, particularly other fossil fuels. Natural gas is one of the cleaner fossil fuels in terms of the environment and still a very sufficient energy source.

Source of natural gas

Petroleum is a flammable liquid rock that is naturally occurring. It is mainly used for fossil oil and gasoline, both important energy sources. Another common name for Petroleum is Crude Oil. Like coal, petroleum is formed from the remains of biodegraded organic material. Petroleum can take three different forms:

1. Paraffin
2. Asphaltic
3. Mixed-Base

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