Fossil fuels are utilized because they are abundant and easy to use. They make modern living and the development and technology possible. Fossil fuel by-products are used to produce electricity and manufacture medicines, synthetic fibers, plastics and cosmetics.
Fossil fuels, such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas, are the primary sources of fuel for generating electricity and steam and powering transportation facilities. Without fossil fuels, the discovery of renewable energy sources would not have been possible.
Fossil fuels are organic matter from the decaying flora and fauna that had been exposed to immense heat and pressure millions of years ago. Coal can be used in its natural form, while oil and natural reserves are burned and processed. During the Industrial Revolution, fossil fuels were deemed ideal energy sources because of the seemingly inexhaustible supply of coal and oil. Coal readily displaced firewood as the leading source of heat and fuel. Petroleum remains as one of the most useful fossil fuel, with over 6,000 products made from petroleum waste by-products. Kerosene was originally the prime petroleum product used for lighting and heating, but that changed in the mid-1800s. Petrol, one of petroleum's major derivatives, supplies about 80 percent of the world's demand for fuel for transportation systems, such as ships, airplanes, motor vehicles and railways.