Today's oil and gas are at record prices, whilst global energy demand is increasing from population and economic development pressures.
What does it mean to say the climate is changing?
Climate change, resulting in large part from the burning of fossil fuels, is exacerbating the impacts of the accelerated exploitation of our natural resources. Therefore, anxieties over energy, water, and climate security are at an all-time high. Global action is needed now in order to address this set of urgent challenges and to avoid putting the future of our civilization at risk.
This book examines the powerful interconnections that link energy, water, climate and population, exploring viable options in addressing these issues collectively. Difficult political decisions and major reforms in resource governance, policies, market forces, and use are needed and this book provides excellent introductory material to begin to understand and to address these problems. Cleanup and recovery from an oil spill is difficult and depends upon many factors, including the type of oil spilled, the temperature of the water affecting evaporation and biodegradation , and the types of shorelines and beaches involved.
Environmental impact of the petroleum industry
Volatile organic compounds VOCs are gases or vapours emitted by various solids and liquids. Waste oil is oil containing not only breakdown products but also impurities from use. Some examples of waste oil are used oils such as hydraulic oil , transmission oil, brake fluids, motor oil , crankcase oil, gear box oil and synthetic oil. When waste oil from vehicles drips out engines over streets and roads, the oil travels into the water table bringing with it such toxins as benzene.
This poisons both soil and drinking water. Runoff from storms carries waste oil into rivers and oceans, poisoning them as well. Many countries across the World have subsidies and policies designed to reduce the use of petroleum and fossil fuels. Examples include China which switched from providing subsidies for fossil fuels to providing subsidies for renewable energy. In China, positive benefits were observed in the energy system due to higher renewable energy subsidies in three ways. It made consumption of energy cleaner due to moving for cleaner sources. Secondly, it helped increase the efficiency and third it resolved the issue of imbalanced distribution and consumption.
However, from the Chinese experience, there were challenges observed. These challenges included economic challenges like initially lower economic benefits for subsidies from renewable energy than for oil. Other challenges included a high cost of research and development, the uncertainty of cost and potentially high-risk investments. These factors make the development of renewable energy very dependent on government support.
However, aims of phasing out fossil fuels and petroleum use may also present economic benefits such as increased investment. This strategy may help achieve social goals for example reduction in pollution which might translate to better environmental and health outcomes. Another option for conserving energy and phasing out petroleum use is adopting new technologies in order to increase efficiency. This can include changing production methods and modes of transportation.
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Some of the alternatives have their strengths and limitations that might impact on the possibility of adopting them in the future. Using corn-based ethanol might be an alternative to using petroleum. However, studies that concluded that corn-based ethanol uses less net energy do not factor in the co-products of production.
Current corn-ethanol technologies are much less petroleum intensive than gasoline however have the GHG emission levels similar to gasoline.
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The future of biodiesel might be adopting cellulose ethanol technology to produce biodiesel as that technology will contribute to a decrease in emissions. Renewable energy alternatives also exist. These include solar energy, wind energy, geothermal and hydroelectricity as well as other sources.
These sources are said to have much lower emissions, and almost minimal secondary by products. The production of renewable energy is projected to grow in nearly every region in the World. Natural gas is much cleaner than oil in terms of emissions. For example, in order to switch from crude oil to natural gas there are technical and network changes that need to occur before the implementation can be complete. Two possible strategies are to first develop the end use technology first or second is to completely change the fuel infrastructure.
Biomass is becoming a potential option as a substitute for petroleum. This is due to the increased environmental impacts of petroleum and the desire to reduce the use of petroleum.
Potential substitutes include cellulose from fibrous plant materials as a substitute for oil-based products. Plastics can be created by cellulose instead of oil and plant fat can be substituted for oil to fuel cars. In order for biomass to succeed there needs to be an integration of different technologies to different biomass feedstock in to produce different bioproducts.
Incentives for biomass are a decrease of carbon dioxide, need for a new energy supply and need to revitalize rural areas. There is also the potential to implement many technologies as safety measures to mitigate safety and health risks of the petroleum industry.
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These include measures to reduce oil spills, false floors to prevent gasoline drips in the water table and double-hulled tanker ships. A relatively new technology that can mitigate air pollution is called bio-filtration. Bio filtration is where off-gasses that have biodegradable VOCs or inorganic air toxins are vented out through a biologically active material.
This technology successfully used in Germany and the Netherlands mainly for odor control. There are lower costs and environmental benefits include low energy requirements . From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
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Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. July See also: Environmental issues with energy. Main article: Air pollution. Main article: Acid rain. Main article: Attribution of recent climate change. See also: vapor intrusion. Main article: Waste oil. Main articles: Sustainable energy and Energy conservation. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. Acta Hydrochimica et Hydrobiologica. The Annals of Occupational Hygiene.
Retrieved Denier van der; Schlager, H. Elem Sci Anth. H Atmospheric Environment. B; Correa, Rodrigo J. Hawai'i Department of Health. Retrieved 8 December EPA 11 June Retrieved 13 June Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. Applied Energy. Energy Policy.
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