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What are types of fossil fuels?

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Quick Answer

Coal, oil and natural gas are three main types of fossil fuels. Fossils fuels are combustible materials that are formed over millions of years by the decomposition of plant and animal life.

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Full Answer

Oil is extracted from the ground as crude oil and refined into products like gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. Though the use of oil has been essential to human technological, economic and social development, there are many problems associated with this fossil fuel. Drilling for oil destroys natural habitats, and the refining process is energy intensive and uses toxic chemicals. Burning oil emits carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the atmosphere, and the transport of oil can lead to oil spills.

Coal is generally extracted through mining, and its use has historically been a factor in raising standards of living around the world through providing jobs and electricity. However, mining for coal is detrimental to human health, and when unregulated, it can be a dangerous and deadly job. Burning coal releases carbon dioxide and is known to cause ozone pollution and acid rain.

Natural gas is a mixture of methane and other hydrocarbons. It is used for heating and to make a variety of products, including paints, plastics, glass and paper. It also produces carbon dioxide when burned but has a lower carbon output compared to coal and oil. Natural gas extraction can be very damaging to the environment.

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Related Questions

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    Natural resources of Alberta, Canada, include natural gas, oil, minerals, coal and the Athabasca oil sands. Especially rich in resources, this vast region of Canada is considered the country's energy province, despite the challenges of permafrost and extreme temperatures. The largest single contributor to Alberta's GDP, capital investments and exports is energy development. As of 2013, oil and gas technology revenue totaled $33 billion.

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    Where can you find natural gas?

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    The term nonrenewable resource is generally used to refer to the energy-providing resources of oil, coal, natural gas and uranium. Nonrenewable resources are any resources comprised solely, or in part, from elements on the periodic table and that were created through chemical reactions that either required conditions no longer found on Earth or that took millions of years to complete, making them nonrenewable in a practical sense.

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    What are the natural resources found in the Midwest region?

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    The Midwest region of the United States has natural resources such as water, soil, coal, oil, iron ore, limestone, lumber, wind and natural gas. Within the Midwest lies plains, grasslands, forests and mining sites, making the region extremely rich in many different types of natural resources.

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