Coal and Natural Gas Power Plants Essay

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Coal and natural gas are the United States’ main fossil fuels used as energy sources. These fossil fuels both contain mixtures of hydrocarbons, which is a chemical compound of carbon and hydrogen (Olah, 2005). Currently, fossil fuels provide eighty-five percent of commercial energy, such as businesses, worldwide and this eighty-five percent does not even account for residential use. Imagine if the residential energy use was accounted for in that eighty-five percent (Davison, 2007). According to Goodell (2006), “Between 1950 and 2000, the world population increased by 140 percent and fossil fuel consumption increased by 400 percent. By 2030, the world’s demand for energy is expected to more than double,” with most of the electricity…show more content…
CO2 is the most significant greenhouse gas, which mainly comes from the use of fossil fuels. Many people feel that content of CO2 in the atmosphere is the main reason for manmade global warming. The main sources of CO2 emissions involve electricity generation, industrial processes, fumes from transportation and commercial buildings and use. Emissions of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, to the atmosphere are expected to cause even more of a significant change in global climate (Davison, 2007). The main focus to try to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is to reduce the amount that is released from coal-fired power plants. Greenhouse gas emissions that involve the productions of electricity come from natural gas production and coal-fired power plant operations. Natural gas production accounts for twenty-four percent and coal-fired power plant operations accounts for seventy-five percent, while the other one percent is caused by other electricity generation operations. The main reason why coal-fired power plants have a higher percentage of emissions is because the sulfur content of coal is much higher than that of other fossil fuels (Jarmaillo et al., 2007). This proves that there is a great need to find an alternative fossil fuel to use instead of coal. Although coal is easy to mine, transport and process for the electricity generation process, it is also the

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