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Env Sci - Energy

coal, nuclear energy, energy units, joules, watts

What is a Joule? a unit of electrical energy equal to the work done when a current of one ampere passes through a resistance of one ohm for one second
What is a BTU? A British thermal unit, a unit of heat equal to the amount of heat required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit at one atmosphere pressure; equivalent to 251.997 calories)
What is a watt? a unit of power equal to 1 joule per second; the power dissipated by a current of 1 ampere flowing across a resistance of 1 ohm
What is a kilowatt? a unit of power equal to 1000 watts
What is a megawatt? a unit of power equal to one million watts
What is a calorie? The amount of energy it takes to heat 1 gram of water, 1 degree celcius
What is the composition of coal? (What is coal made of?" Coal is made of plant remains (and trees) chemically changed by microorganisms and compacted (by heat) over millions of years (we don't really know how long).
What are the two main types of coal? Lignite Bituminous = Soft coal Anthracite = Hard Coal
Pros and Cons of, and environmental problems of coal #1 Strip-mining causes considerable environmental damage in the forms of erosion and habitat destruction.
Pros and Cons of, and environmental problems of coal #2 Sub-surface mining of coal is less damaging to the surface environment, but is much more hazardous for the miners due to tunnel collapses and gas explosions.
What is the abundance of coal? Coal is the most abundant fossil fuel in the world with an estimated reserve of one trillion metric tons. The world is consuming coal at a rate of about 5 billion metric tons per year. The main use of coal is for power generation.
What is the composition of oil? (what is oil made of?) Crude oil is made of tiny decayed plants and animals, called plankton. The plankton were trapped under many layers of sand and mud. The heat and pressure gradually turned the mud into rock and the dead animals and plants into oil and gas.
What are the environmental problems of oil? The burning of oil releases atmospheric pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. These gases are smog-precursors that pollute the air and produce greenhouse gases that some people think cause global warming.
What are the environmental problems of oil drilling in the ocean? Substantial oil reserves lie under the ocean. Oil spill accidents involving drilling platforms kill marine organisms and birds.
What is ethanol? the intoxicating agent in fermented and distilled liquors; used pure or denatured as a solvent or in medicines and colognes and cleaning solutions and rocket fuel; proposed as a renewable clean-burning additive to gasoline. Often times derived from corn.
What is biofuel? A fuel produced from dry organic matter or combustible oils produced by plants. Examples include alcohol (from fermented sugar), black liquor from the paper manufacturing process, wood, and soybean oil.
What is biodiesel? a vegetable oil- or animal fat-based diesel fuel
What is wind energy? The kinetic energy of wind converted into mechanical energy by wind turbines
What is solar energy? Electricity produced from the sun’s radiation.
Three types of radioactivity Alpha, Beta, and Gamma
Alpha Radiation The most energetic but least penetrating form of radiation. It can be stopped by a sheet of paper and cannot penetrate human skin
Beta Radiation High-energy electrons (beta particles) emitted from certain radioactive material. Can pass through 1 to 2 centimeters of water or human flesh and can be shielded by a thin sheet of aluminum.
Gamma Radiation Penetrating electromagnetic waves or rays emitted from nuclei during radioactive decay, similar to x-rays. Dense materials such as concrete and lead are used to provide shielding against gamma radiation.
Half-Life The time required for a radioactive substance to lose 50 percent of its activity by decay.
Radioisotopes An unstable isotope of an element that eventually will undergo radioactive decay. Radioisotopes with special properties are produced routinely for use in medical treatment and diagnosis, industrial tracers, and for general research.
Fission Reaction Splitting of an atomic nucleus into two smaller nuclei of approximately equal mass.
Chain reaction Series of fission reactions that occur because the products released during one fission reaction cause the fission reactions in other atoms.
Water Reactor Better known as a BWR: Boiling Water Reactor, a nuclear reactor that uses water as a coolant and moderator; the water boils in the reactor core and the steam produced can drive a steam turbine
Created by: ChristFirst