• Three examples of fossil fuels could be

a. Coal

b. Oil

c, Natural Gas

  • The fossil fuel that is most abundant and least expensive isfossil-fuel


  • The plant material that dies in swampy areas and does not decay eventually forms a dense material called what?


  • What conditions are necessary in swamps or bogs to prevent or slow decay?

Low oxygen conditions

  • The 4 steps in coal formation are:
  • a. The organic matter accumulates and forms a bed of peat.
  • b. The peat bed gets buried by other sediments and under heat and pressure begins to transform to a low grade coal known as lignite.
  • c. More heat and pressure further change the lignite into bituminous coal.
  • d. Even more heat and pressure change the bituminous coal into a nice hard shiny anthracite coal.
  • The increase of what 2 conditions changes these from one form to another over time?

a. Heat

b. Pressure

  • What is the highest grade of coal that produces the least pollution and most energy per unit?

Anthracite Coal

  • What area of North Carolina could become a coal bed thousands of years from now?
Photochemical Smog: History & Summary

Great Dismal Swamp of North Carolina

  • What are the 2 main methods of coal mining?  Name a negative environmental impact of each.Natural-Gas

a.  method: Underground                                          impact: Acid mine drainage

b.  method: Surface                                                    impact: Erosion, loss of habitat.

  • What are the 2 types of surface mining for coal?
  • Strip Mining
  • Mountaintop Removal
  • What are 2 negative impacts of burning coal?
  • Burning coal produces carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and methane gas, all of which could contribute to global climate change.
  • Coal (and fuel oil) combustion emit fly ash particles into the atmosphere, which contribute to air pollution problems.
  • What is the main ingredient of Natural Gas?


  • What are three of its characteristics?
  • Formed from the remains of tiny sea animals and plants that died thousands of years ago. (Same process that formed petroleum.)
  • The gas became trapped in the rock layers much like wet household sponge traps water.
  • What are 2 benefits of using Natural Gas?
  • Cleaner fuel than petroleum or coal.
  • Has the highest energy content of the hydrocarbons used for fuel.
  • What is the term for fuel sources that come from plant and animal waste?
Photochemical Smog: History & Summary


  • What is the name of the organic material in Oil Shale?


  • What are the other names for “Tar Sands”?

Oil sands or bituminous sands.

  • What are 2 of the environmental impacts of using shale or tar sands?
  • This can be processed to make synthetic crude oil or be refined into petroleum products.
  • This may prove to be a viable alternative to oil imported from the Middle East.
  • Name one alternative energy and list some of its benefits.

Nuclear Energy

  • It produces huge amounts of energy from small amounts of nuclear fuel (uranium and plutonium).
  • Earth contains enough nuclear fuel to meet all present and future needs.

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