You are here:

Geology/History of oil


In science i need to make a timeline of the history of a nonrenewable source of electricity and need some reliable information thank you

Dear Dianney, Goodmorning and Fraternal Greetings!
Thank you for your question and my reply to the best of my knowledge is given below.

A non-renewable resource also known as a finite resource is made up of deceased organic material. The organic material, with the aid of heat and pressure, becomes a fuel such as oil or gas. Also considered non-renewable are resources that are consumed much faster than nature can create them. The history of the non-renewable resources dates back to ancient times. In fact, any new fuel, discovered by humans, became alternative to the old ones at some period of time. For example, in the Middle Ages coal became an alternative to wood, which people commonly used earlier to heat their houses and cook food.

Later, at the early 19th century petroleum became an alternative option to whale oil, which was widely used for lighting lamps and resulted in serious destruction of whales in the oceans. The dawn of the 20th century was marked with the appearance of ethanol as the alternative to gasoline. However, nowadays we put a new meaning into the term “alternative energy”. Today alternative energy is that derived from the sources, which do not deplete or exhaust natural resources and do not harm the environment. Modern understanding of the alternative sources of energy appeared about 1970th, when the most developed countries first felt the shortage of gas. Humanity has already faced serious consequences of thoughtless use of non-renewable natural resources: global warming and ozone depletion, caused by the vast emissions of greenhouse gases during burning fossil fuels, as well as air pollution and soil erosions, are only several examples of irreversible changes in the environment.

Natural resources such as coal, petroleum (crude oil) and natural gas take thousands of years to form naturally and cannot be replaced as fast as they are being consumed. Eventually fossil-based resources will become too costly to harvest and humanity will need to shift its reliance to other sources of energy. These resources are yet to be named.
At present, the main energy source used by humans is non-renewable fossil fuels. Since the dawn of internal combustion engine technologies in the 17th century, petroleum and other fossil fuels have remained in continual demand. As a result, conventional infrastructure and transport systems, which are fitted to combustion engines, remain prominent throughout the globe.
Oil, or petroleum, comes from the liquefied, fossilized remains of plants and animals that lived hundreds of millions of years ago; once oil sources are depleted, they cannot be replaced. Oil is an energy source that the U.S. is very much dependent upon. It is used to create fuels, such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. It is also used in the manufacturing of plastics and industrial chemicals. Much of our oil is imported, creating a dependency on sources that are unpredictable and costly.

Coal is the most plentiful nonrenewable resource in the world and is used to create more than half of the electricity used in the U.S. Coal is made when plant material has been compressed in bogs for millions of years. The extraction of coal from surface and sub-surface mines creates numerous problems for humans and the environment. Sub-surface mines are dangerous for miners as tunnels can collapse and built-up gas can explode.
Natural gas is the result of decomposing plants and animals that were trapped beneath rock millions of years ago. This gas is drilled from the ground or extracted using dynamite and then processed and piped through thousands of miles of pipelines for cooking, heating homes and fueling vehicles.
Although nuclear energy is often held up as a viable alternative to coal and oil, it is not a renewable energy source. Nuclear power requires uranium, a radioactive metallic element that must be mined from the earth and is not quickly replenished. Nuclear energy does not create air pollution though combustion like fossil fuels. It does, however, produce radioactive waste, which must be disposed of and which can cause problems for humans and ecosystems for thousands of years.

Modern alternative energy sources, such as wind or sun, are renewable, which means they will never be used up. Besides, alternative energy in its modern meaning is clean and eco-friendly, which is safe not only for humans, but for environment with its flora and fauna as well.

with regards

Dr D S Subrahmanyam  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Dr D S Subrahmanyam


All questions related to Geology, Geotechnical Engineering (especially in-situ stress, in-situ Deformability and Shear investigations) required for underground tunnels and excavations, Dimensional Stone Mining. Can't answer Soil dynamics related to Geotechnical Engineering


Geology and Geotechnical Engineering and Dimensional Stone Mining

National Institute of Rock Mechanics (Govt of India)

International Journal of Mining Engineering and some other Indian journals

Doctorate in Geology

Awards and Honors
Reviewer for 3 International Journals

©2017 All rights reserved.