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Energy from Fossil Fuels

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A series of free GCSE/IGCSE Physics Notes and Lessons.

In this lesson, we will
• State the main fossil fuels used for energy.
• Describe the advantages and disadvantages of using fossil fuels.

The fossil fuels used for energy are coal, oil and gas.

Advantages of fossil fuels
• Fossil fuels are reliable. They always provide energy when we need it.
• Fossil fuels release a great deal of energy.
• Fossil fuels are extremely versatile.

Disadvantages of fossil fuels
• Burning fossil fuels releases a huge amount of carbon dioxide.
• Fossil fuels are non-renewable. They are not being replenished as we use them.
• Burning fossil fuels can release other pollutants.



Generating electricity by burning fossil fuels
In this lesson, we will
• Describe how electricity can be generated by burning fossil fuels.
• Describe the advantages and disadvantages of this method.

Fossil fuels are formed from the remains of living organism. Fossil fuels are non-renewable.

Advantages of generating electricity by burning fossil fuels.
1. Fossil fuels are relatively cheap.
2. Fossil fuels provide reliable electricity, producing electricity when it is needed.
3. Burning fossil fuels generates a lot of electricity.

Disadvantages of generating electricity by burning fossil fuels.
1. Fossil fuels are non-renewable.
2. Burning fossil fuels release carbon dioxide which contributes to climate change.
3. Burning coal can release sulfur dioxide gas leading to acid rain.

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