Topic 8.3: Fossil Fuel Power Production Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Topic 8.3: Fossil Fuel Power Production Deck (15)
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• 8.3.1: Outline the historical and geographical reasons for the widespread use of fossil fuels.

o Recognize that industrialization led to a higher rate of energy usage, leading to industry being developed near to large deposits of fossil fuels


Discuss the energy density of fossil fuels with respect to the demands of power stations.

o A fossil-fuel power plant is a power plant that burns fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas or petroleum (oil) to produce electricity.
o The main systems are the steam cycle and the gas turbine cycle


Discuss the advantages associated with the transportation and storage of oil (3)

• Measures are in place for potential dangers
• Oil depots are usually situated close to oil refineries or in locations where marine tankers containing products can discharge their cargo
• Greater flexibility in maritime transport


Discuss the disadvantages associated with the transportation and storage of oil (3)

• Possibility of oil spills and discharging of polluting products such as the residue from tank and bilge cleaning
• Oil is corrosive to the pipes (pipes deteriorate if not changed in time)
• Construction of major pipelines crossing several countries requires intense negotiation


Discuss the advantages associated with the transportation and storage of natural gas (8)

• Transport by gas pipelines are less costly
• The compressed gas circulates at high speeds in a gas pipeline, with the aid of compression plants positioned at regular intervals along the network
• Underground facilities allow for reuse with suitable modification, of the extraction and distribution infrastructure remaining from the productive life of the gas field which reduces the start-up costs
• Depleted reservoirs are also attractive because their geological and physical characteristics have already been studied by geologists and petroleum engineers and are usually well known
o Cheapest and easiest to develop, operate, and maintain
o Relatively close to gas markets and to transportation infrastructure
• Salt caverns allow very little of the injected natural gas to escape from storage unless specifically extracted. The walls of a salt cavern are strong and impervious to gas over the lifespan of the storage facility
• Deliverability from salt caverns is, however, much higher than for either aquifers or depleted reservoirs
• useful in emergency situations or during short periods of unexpected demand surges
• the ability to perform several withdrawal and injection cycles each year reduces the effective cost.


Discuss the disadvantages associated with the transportation and storage of natural gas (6)

• In some cases, the construction of gas pipelines is technically impossible or too expensive
• Salt caverns cannot hold the large volumes of gas necessary to meet base load storage requirements
• construction is more costly than depleted field conversions when measured on the basis of dollars per thousand cubic feet of working gas
• The geological and physical characteristics of aquifer formation are not known ahead of time and a significant investment has to go into investigating these and evaluating the aquifer’s suitability for natural gas storage
• all of the associated infrastructure must be developed from scratch, increasing the development costs compared to depleted reservoirs
• Aquifers are generally the least desirable and most expensive type


Discuss the advantages associated with the transportation and storage of coal (7)

• The long life of the permanent assets, relatively trouble-free operation with minimum maintenance, the large-volume shipments that are possible, the high mechanical efficiencies that are obtained with low rolling resistances, and the dedicated nature of the origin and destination of the runs
• Trucks have a plus over trains because trucks can negotiate more severe grades and curves, roads can be resurfaced or constructed more readily and with far lower capital investments that can railways
• Transport of coal on barges is highly cost-efficient
• Conveyors can traverse difficult terrain with greater ease than trucks or rail systems, and they can also be extended easily and have the advantage of continuous transport
• Conveyors have enormous capacities
• The total costs of moving slurry during the life of the line do not increase in proportion to inflation
• Pipelines require less right-of-way, much less labor and about half of the steel and other supplies required for other transport methods


Discuss the disadvantages associated with the transportation and storage of coal (4)

• Roadbed and track requirements and large fixed investment in railcars make rail transport capital-intensive
• Waterways are usually circuitous, resulting in slow delivery times
• Slurry pipelines involve potential environmental problems. Water requirements are substantial
• Water pollution at the mouth of the pipeline


State the overall efficiency of coal power stations



State the overall efficiency of oil power stations



State the overall efficiency of natural gas power stations



Describe the environmental problems associated with the recovery of fossil fuels and their use in power stations (4)

o Destructs the habitations of wildlife and marine animals
o “oil spill”
o damage the environment since while burning the fossil fuels, the "pollutants" like "sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide" dissipate into air which helps the greenhouse effect to accelerate and cause "global warming"
o pollutants attribute to acid rain


Describe the environmental problems associated with oil recovery (2)

 Hydraulic downhole’s surface pumps are dangerous for wild animals who sometime become trapped in the surface pump which leads to injuries and death
 Production tube tearing can occur leading to an inefficient process in oil recovery by wasting lots of energy


Describe the environmental problems associated with natural gas recovery (2)

 Recovery of natural gas from salt water is extremely difficult
 Costly


Describe the environmental problems associated with coal recovery (3)

 Leads to destruction of the habitation for the wildlife animals
 Efficiency is really low due to high production of coal ash
 Coal that is mixed with oil or water is inefficient to recover