Coal and Petroleum

  • Coal and petroleum are non-renewable natural resources.
  • Coal was formed from the remains of trees buried deep inside the earth some 500 million years ago.
  • Petroleum is formed by the bacterial decomposition of dead marine plants and animals (buried at the bottom of the seas. This decomposition takes place under high pressure and temperature and formation of petroleum take millions of years of time. Coal and petroleum are called fossil fuels.
  • Very soon coal and petroleum will be exhausted.
  • At present rate of usage, petroleum will last us for about 40 years and the coal resources will last for another 200 years.

Harmful effects of using fossil fuels

Combustion of coal and hydrocarbons release a large amount of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, Sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, etc. These cause air pollution and cause various diseases like respiratory and throat problems congestion etc.

Excessive emission of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide cause a rise in atmospheric temperature (Global Warming).


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