The following chapters describe the various forms energy can take và the story behind humans, energy, fuel and the environment.

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Petrol và Diesel

Petrol và diesel come from crude oil, which comes from deep underground. Crude oil is refined to make petrol (in America this is known as gasoline) or diesel.

Most forms of transport use either petrol or diesel khổng lồ power their engines - from lawnmowers, cars, buses and motorbikes khổng lồ large ships và aeroplanes. Petrol và diesel power the lorries and ships that get food khổng lồ the supermarket, cars and buses might help you get lớn school, in fact, petrol and diesel make so many things possible that, like electriđô thị, they’re now vital lớn our way of life!

History The history of crude oil starts between 150 & 200millionyears ago when animals living in the sea - plankton and other millionarthur.mobianisms -died và sank lớn the sea bed. Over time, more and more bodies of sea creature built up on the sea bed và were covered over with silt. The silt built up more and more và started khổng lồ turn into lớn rochồng. Meanwhile, the bodies of the plankton & other animals, trapped under the silt, were changed by pressure & heat of between 60 & 1đôi mươi degrees C into the blaông xã, goopy liquid we Call crude oil. Large deposits of oil can be found deep underground và under the sea bed in different parts of the world.

The history of petrol & diesel as a transportation fuel for humans began in 1858. The first combustion engine was invented by an engineer from Belgium but it took another 40 years before petrol-powered cars were sold commercially. American industriadanh sách Henry Ford is famous for inventing the assembly line technique of mass production that paved the way for millions of factories và products. Henry Ford of the Ford Motoring Company began khổng lồ sell the Model T ford in 1908 & went on to sell 15 million in the next twenty years. This also led khổng lồ the creation of miles and miles of roads and streets across the USA. Ford are still operating today, although the cars look a little different.

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How it works

An engine’s purpose is to convert the chemical energy of the fuel inlớn kinetic energy, movement! Petrol or diesel is burnt in the internal combustion engines of vehicles. Like power stations, engines use heat and pressure to lớn move moving parts that drive sầu the oto forwards.


Unfortunately, as well as kinetic, sound và thermal energy this combustion technique also produces chemical energy as a byhàng hóa. This chemical energy leaves the engine via the exhaust pipe as exhaust fumes. Sadly, many of these fumes are harmful for us, animals và the environment. Let’s take a look at the different chemicals you might find in the fumes -

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas và contributes khổng lồ global warmingCarbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gasSulphur dioxide (SO2) is a cause of acid rain and can cause breathing or heart problemsNitroren oxides (NOX) & Volatile millionarthur.mobianic Compounds (VOC) can irritate và damage the lungsParticulate matter (PM) is what makes cities hazy and foggy. It contributes lớn ground-level ozone (a gas which is good for the planet when it is up above sầu the clouds, but bad for us when it is at ground-level) These particles also contribute lớn asthma & other lung problems.Lead is poisonous but only in extremely high doses. Various airborne toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde can also cause health problems. These chemicals also contribute khổng lồ ground-level ozone.

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Alternatives to petrol và diesel are well underway và include electric cars và biodiesel. Some cars can be converted to lớn run on the oil used to cook chips! Others can be powered by plants that are refined in factories into liquids a little bit lượt thích petrol. But these solutions also create problems of their own. Electric cars obviously need electricity & how ‘clean’ or green the cars are also depends on how that electriđô thị is produced.

Biodiesels on the other hvà require acres & acres of crops which are often grown where lush primary rainforests once stood. The amount of l& needed lớn grow crops for the fuel could be left as rainforest or, if it was already clear, could be helpful for growing food for our ever-growing population, or the world’s livestoông chồng.