Ever wonder where a “fossil fuel” gets its name?
Fossil fuels are compound mixtures made of fossilized plant and animal remnants from millions of years ago. The creation of fossil fuels—either oil, natural gas, or coal—from these fossils is determined by the type of fossil, the amount of heat, and the amount of pressure.
I. THE BEGINNING
III. FOSSIL FUELS FORM
IV. THE CHEMICAL BREAKDOWN
In order to be used within industry and for transportation the crude oil must be separated into its individual hydrocarbon-based fuels and lubricants. With so many molecule types, there isn’t an industry that doesn’t use oil products in some form or another. Oil is used as lubricants, fuel, in plastics, cosmetics, and even medicine. In general, oil’s composition is classified into four different types of molecules.
V. OIL IN THE ENVIRONMENT
VI. WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM OIL SPILLS?
Researchers took to the sea to learn as much as they could about the impacts the oil had on the surrounding marine environment, as well as the nearby Gulf communities. Since the spill in 2010, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative has funded hundreds of scientists and learned a great deal about what happened to the spilled oil and what impact the spill had on natural environments along the northern Gulf of Mexico coastline. Explore some of the findings below.