Should cars using fossil fuels be replaced by car using alternative sources of energy?
We are mere small creatures in this huge and wide world, and to grasp this big world and its resources we have produced numerous inventions that facilitate us in conquering this phenomenon. One of the most creative and needed invention was transport. Cars, trucks, buses and other vehicles are the modern day descendants of the age-old invention. However, cars burn fossil fuels (petroleum and diesel) that originates from the decaying of pre-historic plants and animals for millions of years. Fossil fuels are the sole resources, which serve most of the world’s energy needs. The fossil fuel reserves, if extinguished then the world would enter an era of energy deficiency.
Statistical data reveals at present the globe contains 892 billion tons of coal, 186 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, and 1688 billion barrels of crude oil. Taking into account today’s level of fuelextraction, coal will be consumed in around 113 years from now, the last cubic meter of natural gas and crude oil will be consumed by 2069.Hence alternative sources of energy demands immediate attention to replace the existing sources of energy (Lerner and Lerner, 2006).
How is acid rain and photochemical smog affecting the environment due to fossil fuel usage?
Destructive disadvantages of using fossil fuels are the formation of acid rain and photochemical smog (smoke + fog). In acid rain, Carbon dioxide reacts with water to form carbonic acid (eq. a), which is highly corrosive. Then the acid bifurcates to give out two ions, positively charged H+ hydrogen ion and the negatively charged HCO3- or hydrogen carbonate ion (eq. b). The hazardous carbonic acid is capable of giving out numerous H+ ions that make it rather more acidic and lowers the ph of a solution as to its acidic nature.
1. CO2 + H2O à H2CO3(equation a)
2. H2CO3 àH+ + HCO3- (equation b)
Atmospheric nitrogen and oxygen react to form two moles of Nitric oxide during lightning storms. This reaction adds to the acidic content of rainwater in a harmful way (eq. c). Resulting Nitric oxide reacts with the commonly found oxygen gas to form Nitrogen dioxide thus undergoing oxidation (eq. d) (Payne, Hahn and Mauer, 2013).
3. N2 (g) + O2(g)à 2NO(gaseous)
During lightning (equation c)
4. NO(g) + ½ O2(g) à NO2 (gaseous)(equation d)
5. 3NO2(g) + H2O à 2HNO3(aq) + NO(g)(equation e)
Photochemical exhaust cloud or photo smog, frequently experienced in the Los Angeles Basin, is the resultant mixture of gases Ozone and Nitrogen dioxide. During ozone formation in the atmosphere, photolysis of nitrogen dioxide (from vehicle exhausts) occurs by the approaching solar radiation thus resulting in nitrogen oxide and an oxygen atom (unpaired) (Gosselin and Hrudey, 2010).
The luminous (UV) radiation (hν) from the sun causes photolysis of nitrogen dioxide from vehicle exhausts and thus nitrogen dioxide changes into Nitrogen Oxide (equation a).
NO2 + hv (radiation from sun) àNO + O (eq. a)
Then the oxygen molecule forms ozone with another atmospheric ozone molecule (equation b)
O + O2à O3(eq. b)
If the parameters are orderly then, O3 reacts with NO to create NO2 and an oxygen atom (equation c).
O3 + NO à O2 + NO2(eq. c)
This constant cycle results to a minimal increment in net ozone generation (Brown, 2002). To make photochemical smog on a large scale as seen in Los Angeles, the methodology must incorporate Volatile organic compounds (VOC's). Further research reveals that VOC’s presence causes an accelerated build-up of smog. An example of the starting reaction is as follows:
A reactive VOC particle is the product of atmospheric hydroxide and a normal VOC (equation d)
RH + OH à R + H2O (eq. d)
The text is understandable and comprehensive. Some excerpts are ‘Automobiles, water transport and trains would be fueled by power and hydrogen energy units…’ Be it India, U.S.A or Australia, the article is relevant. The subheadings, headings and the overall information are widely used and it helped in the analysis of the project topic.
The article is perfect and devoid of any grammatical or spelling errors. The information is 3 years old as it was publish in 2011, January (Tulchinsky and Varavikova, n.d.). It holds no contrast to any other source.
The author stated about and relevant information on him is found on Google. The contact number and the designation add to its credibility. Scientists verify the information as it comes from a research (Breslow, 2002). The domain is ‘.Edu’.
The resource presents an all-round point of view on the topic, with the apolitical and non-philosophical approach by the author. The article is purely scientific. The resource is not trying to influence my opinion and it is not selling any product or information. The language used is scientific and objective. Some examples are: One of the greatest obstacles with solar energy and wind oriented vitality is that both can be exceedingly variable…’The author uses non-stereotypical and generalized observations to base the topic. Thus in overall the article is apt for the paper.
Thus by the paper we havecome to the inference that the world is in a critical need of an alternative energy source. Vehicles is the considered resource for this swap as they consume most of the world energy and the fossil fuels reserves are limited. In overall it is imperative that we initiate an in depth research to fulfill this major project.
Anderson, R. (2006). Outbreak. Washington, D.C.: ASM Press.
Breslow, L. (2002). Encyclopedia of public health. New York: Macmillan Reference.
Brown, P. (2002). Health and the environment. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Gosselin, P. and Hrudey, S. (2010). Environmental and health impacts of Canada's oil sands industry. Ottawa: Royal Society of Canada.
Lerner, K. and Lerner, B. (2006). Medicine, health, and bioethics. Detroit: Thomson/Gale.
Lynch, A., Elmore, B. and Kotecki, J. (n.d.). Health.
Meyers, R. (2012). Encyclopedia of sustainability science and technology. New York: Springer.
Morley, N. (2012). The effects of radioactive pollution on the dynamics of infectious diseases in wildlife. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 106, pp.81-97.
Payne, W., Hahn, D. and Mauer E. (2013). Understanding your health. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Schneider, M. (2011). Introduction to public health. Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Stanford University, (2015). The world can be powered by alternative energy, using today's technology, in 20-40 years, says Stanford researcher Mark Z. Jacobson. [online] Available at: https://news.stanford.edu/news/2011/january/jacobson-world-energy-012611.html [Accessed 27 Feb. 2015].
Tulchinsky, T. and Varavikova, E. (n.d.). The new public health.