Research Paper on Fossil Fuels
Pollution, the presence of harmful substances called pollutants in the environment, is introduced into the environment through the activities of man. It is especially harmful in heavily populated areas and/or technologically advanced places. This is so because one of the main causes of pollution is due to the burning of fossil fuels-- coal, oil, etc. Lakes, rivers, and oceans are polluted with factory wastes, chemical residues, untreated sewage, and garbage. The air of most cities is burdened with exhaust fumes from cars, coal and fuel smoke, and chemicals from factories. The land itself is polluted with litter, chemicals, and radioactive wastes.
The burning of fossil fuels is a dirty process. When fossil fuels like coal burn, harmful chemicals like sulfur are released, thus producing dangerous oxides. Because the air is 80% nitrogen, nitrogen is combusted when fuel is burned, releasing nitrous oxides at high temperatures as a result. Furthermore, because fossil fuels are composed of carbon, they tend to produce carbon dioxide when burned. As a result, the sulfur and nitrous oxides produce sulfuric acid and nitric acid, leading to acid rain. The carbon dioxide produced from the burning of fossil fuels traps heat in the atmosphere, thus contributing to the global warming of the earth (Hart 1994). These two effects of fossil fuel burning, acid rain and global warming, are two of the main causes of the pollution problem in the world today.
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Fossil fuels are the primary source of energy today. In the past century, technology has advanced so much that people have come to depend on it more and more for everyday purposes. For example, as cars became more dependable and plentiful, they became cheaper and more useful to people. As a result, people came to depend more on cars, which are run by burning fossil fuels. In fact, the United States uses up about 17...