Living in Our Environment Vocabulary Non- Renewable Energy- a source of energy that is in limited supply and irreplaceable. Fossil Fuels - materials of biologic origin (dead plants and animals) occurring within the Earth's crust that can be used as a source of energy. Fossil fuels include coal, petroleum (oil), and natural gas. They all contain carbon and were formed as a result of geologic processes acting on the remains of (mostly) plants and animals that lived and died hundreds of millions of years ago. All fossil fuels can be burned to provide heat, which may be used directly, as in home heating, or to produce steam to drive a generator for the production of electricity. Fossil fuels supply nearly 90% of all the energy used by industrially developed nations. Coal –a fuel formed from 300 million years old plant matter. Plants died and fell into swamps and bogs. Under these conditions the plant mater was not allowed to decay and under water due to lack of oxygen, after millions of years of matter building up on top of it pressure compressed the plant mater into coal. Oil – a fuel formed in an ocean environment when plankton and other organism die and fall to the bottom. Over millions of years the accumulations are covered with sediments and with heat a pressure are converted to oil. Natural gas –a fuel formed from decaying plant matter or oil that has been exposed to heat and pressure and is often found with oil deposits. Natural gas is mostly Methane (CH4) with a mixture of other gasses such as ethane, butane and propane. Alternative energy -Any of various renewable power sources to use in place of fossil fuels and uranium. Technologies include solar energy, wind power, tidal power, wave power, hydroelectric power, and geothermal energy. The amount of energy in such renewable and virtually pollution-free sources is large in relation to world energy needs. Renewable energy - energy derived from resources that are capable of being regenerated or for all practical purposes can not be depleted Passive Solar -a term referring to those technologies that can be employed to convert sunlight into usable heat, to cause air-movement for ventilation or cooling, or to store the heat for future use, without the use of much or any electrical or mechanical equipment. Active Solar -a term referring to those technologies that can be employed to convert sunlight into usable heat, to cause air-movement for ventilation or cooling, or to store the heat for future use, without the use of much or any electrical or mechanical equipment. Hydrothermal -“hydro” meaning water and “thermal” meaning heat. Hydrothermal solutions, from which so many minerals are deposited, are solutions of hot water escaping from subterranean sources, possibly of molten rock. Hydrothermal solutions may be used to generate electricity using steam turbines. Geothermal energy-Thermal energy contained in the earth; can be used directly to supply heat or can be converted to mechanical or electrical energy. Photovoltaic -The process of converting light directly into electricity using specially designed silicon cells. Hydroelectric -Generating electricity by conversion of the energy of running water. Turbine generator -Generating electricity by conversion of the energy of running water. Wind turbine -a machine that converts the wind's kinetic energy into rotary mechanical energy, which is then used to do work. In more advanced models, the rotational energy is converted into electricity, the most versatile form of energy, by using a generator. Biogas -A mixture of methane and carbon dioxide produced by bacterial degradation of organic matter and used as a fuel. Generated by decaying waste as in landfills, and animal waste. Biogas chamber- an underground tank where animal and food waste is digested by bacteria to produce methane that can be used as a fuel for cooking. Biomass fuel –any dried plant matter or animal waste that can be burned for energy. Field crops may be grown specifically for combustion or may be used for other purposes, and the processed plant waste then used for combustion. Most sorts of biomatter, including dried manure, can actually be burnt to heat water and to drive turbines. Biodiesel -fuel made from natural, renewable sources, such as new and used vegetable oils and animal fats, for use in a diesel engine. Fresh soybean oil is most commonly used, although biodiesel can be made from mustard seed oil or waste vegetable oil (such as used oil from restaurant deep fryers). Ethanol - CH3CH2OH, is also called alcohol, ethanol, grain alcohol, ethyl alcohol. Can be used as a fuel in cars, either mixed with gasoline, or alone. Ethanol is produced by fermenting plant matter such as corn, sugar cane or sugar beets. Cellulosic ethanol –ethanol made from cellulose, long complex fibers found in plants. The cellulose is broken down into simple sugars which can be fermented to make ethanol. Can be made using sawdust, paper pulp waste, switch grass, and agricultural feed waste, like corn stalks. Sustainable -Capable of being continued with minimal long-term effect on the environment. Ecological footprint -The phrase "ecological footprint" is a metaphor used to depict the amount of land and water area a human population would hypothetically need to provide the resources required to support itself and to absorb its wastes, given prevailing technology. Correlation - In statistics, a measure of the strength of the relationship between two variables. It is used to predict the value of one variable given the value of the other. However, correlation is not the same as causation, and even a very close correlation may be no more than a coincidence.