Understand Exhaustible Natural Resources

Exhaustible Natural Resources
June 02, 2023

To live our lives on everyday basis, there are numerous materials that meet our various needs. We drink water, eat food, breathe air, and go to school, among other things. All of these things are available to us, but they are all free and easily accessible without fear of running down one day. But to our knowledge, we do not have instant access to everything. For example, sunlight, air, and other resources are abundant and will not be depleted anytime soon. As a result, these resources are known as inexhaustible natural resources.  But, there are certain other resources that are created over a longer period of time and are in very limited quantities. Such resources replenishes over long time. Natural resources are the ones that present in a limited amount in nature. They get exhausted by the human activities. Humans when they use these resources should be aware about its use and availability. These resources are Coal, Petroleum, Minerals, and Natural Gases etc.

Coal and Petroleum

Coal and Petroleum are the necessary natural resources that humans require.  Let us understand what is Coal and Petroleum-

Coal is a black-colored rock-like fuel with a carbon content ranging from almost 70 to 90 percent. It is created as a outcome of the decomposition of vegetation under high heat and pressure. The process of coal creation is known as carbonisation, and the time frame over which it takes place is regarded as the carboniferous age. Coal is a major fossil fuel used in the power generation process. Coal is extracted from the earth through either underground or surface mining. To generate energy, we burn coal. Coal majorly contains carbon, Hydrogen and oxygen.  Coal is also used in industries to produce Coke, Coal tar and Coal gas

Coal is of four types such as-

  1. Lignite
  2. Sub-bituminous
  3. Bituminous
  4. Anthracite

Class 10 Biology students must be aware that petrol is used as a fuel in light automobiles such as motorcycles, scooters, and automobiles. Diesel fuel is used in heavy vehicles such as trucks and others. Petrol and diesel are derived from the natural resource petroleum.  The word Petroleum is generated from the words petra (rock) and oleum (oil), as it is mined from between the rocks beneath the Earth. However, when petroleum is pull out from the wells it is not a condition to use directly it comes as impure oil and therefore popularly known as Crude oil.  Petroleum is a fossil fuel that occurs naturally in the liquid form as a result of the decomposition of organic matter beneath the earth's surface millions of years ago. These fossil fuels are then refined into usable substances like gasoline, kerosene, and so on. It is created through the reaction of hydrocarbons and other substances, primarily sulphur.  Petroleum is an oily, dark liquid. It has an offensive odour. It is a blend of various constituents such as petroleum gas, gasoline, diesel, lubricating oil, paraffin wax, and so on. The separation of petroleum's various constituents/fractions is known as refining. It is done in a petroleum refinery. Petroleum and natural gas provide many useful substances. These are known as 'Petrochemicals’ which are used to make detergents, fibres (polyester, nylon, acrylic, and so on), polythene, and other man-made plastics. Natural gas hydrogen gas is used in the production of fertilisers (urea).Coal and Petroleum is also known as 'black gold' due to its commercial importance.

How Coal and Petroleum is formed?

  • Formation of coal and petroleum both takes years. The earth had dense forests in low lying wetland areas around billion years ago. Due to many natural causes such as flooding these forests were buried beneath the soil. They were compressed as more soil was deposited on top of them. As they sank deeper and deeper, the temperature rose as well. Dead plants were slowly converted to coal under high pressure and high temperature. Because coal is primarily composed of carbon, the slow process of converting dead vegetation into coal is known as carbonisation. Coal is also known as a fossil fuel because it was formed from the remains of vegetation.

  • Petroleum was created by organisms that lived in the sea. As these organisms died, their bodies sank to the seafloor and were covered by layers of sand and clay. Over millions of years, the dead organisms were transformed into petroleum and natural gas due to a lack of oxygen, high temperatures, and high pressure. In the process of creation of petroleum; it comes as crude oil, this crude oil is refined using a process known as fractional distillation, in which different hydrocarbons separate to form different fractions. Its fractions include petrol, kerosene, paraffin, and diesel. Petrol is used as a fuel in automobiles. The fractions obtained from crude oil refining are used not only for transportation but also for the production of a wide range of products such as plastics, tyres, and synthetic materials such as polyester. It is a dependable and portable energy source. 

Uses of Coal and petroleum

Coal is used for:

  • Coal is used home and industry fuel.
  • Coal was also used to run trains earlier.
  • Coal gas is used for street lighting. 

Petroleum is used for: 

  • Petroleum is used for home and industry fuel
  • It is also used for motor fuel and used in aviation fuel also.
  • Constituent of petroleum paraffin wax is used to produce ointment Vaseline etc also. 
  • Another constituent of Petroleum kerosene is used for lamps and stoves

For understanding more on this subject class 11 biology and class 12 biology class contents gives best understanding. For class 10, 11 and 12 biology students various online biology tuition classes are available that helps you to clear concepts.  of Natural resources such as coal and petroleum and many other topics like this

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