Energy Resources Vocabulary

Pages 158-171 Define all terms on index cards:

1. Renewable Resource A natural resource that can be replaced by nature in a short period of time.  Example: people, plants, water, air, soil etc.
2. Non-renewable Resource

      A natural resource that cannot be replaced by nature in a short period of time (takes hundreds to millions of years to replace itself)  Examples: Fossil Fuels, rocks, minerals, some trees.

3. Natural Resource

      Any item that is made by nature and can be used by man. (not man-made).

4. Fossil Fuel

      An energy source produced from the remains of dead organic matter millions of years ago.  It is the most common source of energy used since the industrial revolution.  There are three forms: coal, oil, natural gas.

5. Coal

      This is the solid form of fossil fuel.  It produces the least amount of energy of the fossil fuels.

6. Oil This is the liquid form of fossil fuel.  It produces the most amount of energy of the fossil fuels.
7. Natural Gas  This is the vapor form of fossil fuel.  It produces the middle amount of energy of the fossil fuels.
8. Hydrocarbons A chemical compound that contains both hydrogen and carbon.  It contains a great amount of energy.  Fossil fuels are made of hydro-carbons.
9. Combustion

      The process of burning.  When fossil fuels are burned they release hydrocarbons into the atmosphere which leads to a great amount of pollution.

10. Petroleum

      Another name for oil. It is actually refined crude oil.  In most countries gasoline is called petroleum, or petro for short.

11. Petrochemicals These are compounds made from oil.  Petrochemicals are used to make: Plastics, medicines, cosmetics, paints, clothing, etc.
12. Solar Energy

      An energy source produced by the sun.  . (It is commonly used to run calculators, heat pools and recently to heat homes. Positives of using solar energy: it is clean and abundant.  Negatives: In order to use solar energy when the sun is not out, you need to use expensive solar collectors.

13.  Wind Energy

     An energy source produced by the wind. It is an indirect form of solar energy.  It is the fastest growing energy source in the world.  It is used to produce energy to heat homes and run factories, turn turbines generate electricity and sail ships.  Positives: It is clean, it is available in hard to reach places. Negatives: Few places have winds that are strong enough, wind generators are noisy and they can be easily destroyed by very strong winds.

14. Water Energy

An energy source produced by running water.  It is an indirect form of solar energy.   It requires a dam and power plant to be built on a strong river.  Positives: It is clean, and inexpensive.  Negatives: Not every place has a suitable river and damming a river can harm the river ecosystem.
15. Hydroelectric Power This is the type of energy produced by running water and dams.  The power plant uses the running water to create electricity. The town of Niagara Falls uses electricity produced by the Niagara power plant.
 16. Geothermal Energy In areas where magma is very close to Earth's surface its heat is used to boil water and the steam is used to generate electricity.  Positives: It is clean and cheap. Negatives: there are very few places on Earth where the magma is this close to Earth's surface.  Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park is an example of a geyser of steam produced by geothermal energy.
17. Tidal Energy An energy source produced by the tides of the ocean.  Positives: It is clean, and inexpensive.  Negatives: Not every place has strong predictable tides.
18. Biomass This is a type of fuel produced by organic matter such as wood, leaves, corn, food wastes and manure.  It was the first fuel source.  When these items are burned they produce energy.

19. Gasohol

Biomass can be converted into an alcohol that is mixed with gasoline to form gasohol.  This is used as a cheap, renewable car fuel.
20. Hydrogen Power An energy source produced by the hydrogen in water. It is obtained by running an electric current through water to separate out the hydrogen. Positives: It is clean, and abundant.  Negatives: It takes more energy to obtain the hydrogen than is produced.
21. Nuclear Power Plants The factory where nuclear energy is produced.
22. Nuclear Energy A clean energy source produced by a complicated process of splitting atoms.  It is the same method that the sun uses to produce energy.  It is widely used to produce energy throughout the world. Negatives: A nuclear power accident can create an explosion equal to the atom bomb. This type of accident can create an environmental disaster that will last centuries.