Non Renewable Resources

Non- Renewable Resources (All Info Updated as of May, 2011)


     Non Renewable resources are resources that will run out and cannot be replenished easily. Some examples of this include: coal, gasoline, nuclear (uranium), natural gas and wood. These resources are hard to be replenished because they are naturally occurring and are being used much faster than nature is able to produce them. 

Some Non-Renewable Resources: 

     Coal is a black or semi- black stone that is mined. It is found mainly in China, the United States, India, Australia, and South Africa. The main component of coal is carbon- up to 98 %, the rest are: sulfur, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. Coal is used mainly by countries as a reliable source of generating electricity. They rely on this resource because it is the one resource that is cheaply produced and efficient. The remaining coal sources in the world (that we know of) are only estimated to last for 119 years at current usage rates. That means that we are running out of this resource fast, and need to find a better and more sustainable resource to use in the future. Also, coal doesn't burn cleanly, meaning that when it's burning, the coal will release gases that are harmful to both us and the ozone layer (Carbon dioxide). 

     Gasoline is a clear (slightly yellowish) liquid that is used in multiple ways. It is mainly used for fueling car engines, but can also be used for farming (machines), and industry. Gasoline or Petroleum is produced mainly by Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran, Mexico, China, and Canada. It too like coal is naturally occurring, so drilling is the most common method for extracting this resource from the ground. Carbon is present in petroleum at rates from about 83% to 87%. The rest consist of Hydrogen (10- 14%), Nitrogen (0.1- 2%), Oxygen (0.1- 1.5%), Sulfur (0.5- 0.6%), and other metals (lesser than one percent.)

     The Uranium used to make Nuclear energy is mined. Uranium is used for generating electricity, for other experiments and for bombs. Nuclear is almost clean, meaning that it emits almost no carbon dioxide. The Uranium does, however, produce radiation that must be safely stored to avoid any harm to humans. You only need a tiny bit of Uranium to produce a ton of energy, making this resource widely used because of the small amount needed. Uranium is produced mainly by Canada (23 %), Australia (21 %), Kazakhstan (16 %), Russia (8 %), and Niger (8 %). Ontario gets 37% of its electricity from nuclear alone. That means that we really do rely on this resource for producing electricity.

     Natural Gas is a gas that consists of methane (up to 20 %). Natural gas is used mainly for electricity production, but is also used for water heaters and furnaces. It is considered as the cleanest gas in terms of carbon dioxide production.

     Wood is arguably another non- renewable resource. Although it can be regrown, we are simply just cutting down too much trees at a time. Also, when we replant the trees, we don't plant good, solid, hardwood, we just plant softwood. These trees are not as good quality and no one wants softwood flooring, just hardwood. This then leads to good wood being a non- renewable resource because we are not trying to preserve it or grow it.

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