The immense progress that mankind has experienced during the last centuries 2 would never have happened without the discovery of a remarkable energy source. This is the source from the combustion of fossil fuels. It has many advantages: low cost, high energy and especially abundant and easily exploitable (including transport facilities)
Thus, fossil energies have greatly contributed to improving industrial productivity and comfort of Western populations. They also allowed the emergence of new areas of very active chemical activities and led to the development of products or processes unimaginable and inconceivable without oil.
The development and progress are closely linked to the use of these fossil fuels. So that, today, no more industrialized country can not do without oil, the most common form of fossil fuels and very aptly called black gold.
The whole world economy is based on the use of oil and all industiels processes directly or indirectly use this form of energy. Nuclear and natural gas represent interresting energy alternatives on certain points but they could not fully replace petroleum. Transport, for example, still use to a few tens of years of oil (directly or indirectly)
Obviously given the industrial and demographic Dévelopements global energy consumption is increasing. So if annual global consumption was 2 Gtoe (gigatons oil equivalent) in 1950, it is currently about 8 Gtoe. The World Council of Energy experts estimate that it will be between 10 and 15 2020 in Gtp.
Note: 1 1 Gtoe = Billion tons equivalent of oil = 4 exajoules (4 10 × ^ 16 Joules) = 40 million billions of joules = 10 million billion calories around.
2 the uses of oil
We must distinguish 2 kinds of oil uses. Use the form of energy, we talk about oil and energy as the more noble raw material for manufacturing a product, we speak of process oil.
Energy oil: is oil, the combustion of supplied thermal energy. This energy can be converted into mechanical energy in thermal motors (AC, gas turbine ...). Without exception, these engines require, according to their technology, prior oil refining, to obtain a lighter compound than crude oil.
Energy Oil accounts for about 85% of the oil consumed in mass.
The process oil: it is the oil products by chemical processes. These products are innumerable and affect almost all areas of human activity. These areas of activity that absolutely can not do without oil and products are ubiquitous in our daily lives. For proof: look around you and remove anything that has not been realized thanks to oil: almost all plastics, printing inks, paints ... without all that oil process would become very empty and our daily landscape would very different ...
The process oil is about 15% of the oil consumed mass product but some are heavy residues from the refining of petroleum energy.
Improper use of petroleum energy
Oil is a fantastic first ubiquitous material in the form of energy industry or process. Unfortunately the oil resources are not inexhaustible and combustion of fuel oil has the major drawback of being highly polluting. Also most combustion processes (for conversion into mechanical energy) of oil have low efficiency (less than 30%!). This means that a high proportion of oil is wasted.
You can find more details about the misuse of energy oil and its consequences:
- The energy waste and depletion of resources
- Direct and indirect pollution related to the use of oil: Figures and Consequences
Such steps: towards a rationalization of resources
The oil resources are depleted, the extracted oil is tempered and its use is highly polluting.
It now becomes necessary firstly to increase the efficiency of industrial processes using energy oil and also reduce their emissions.
This is to streamline global energy resources and environment.
This will only increase with the development of inventions and innovation to increase the energy efficiency of our energy conversion means even if this must create a shortfall for lobbies up !! You will find here various innovations that could make a difference.
The consequences of such political decisions ...
In addition to non-quantifiable environmental benefits here, such inventions to develop and increase the efficiency of energy conversion systems would:
- Increasing global energy resources, lowering the gross energy consumption.
- to provide less expensive useful energy that is accessible to the poorest populations, but also to those facing an economic and industrial boom (China and India).
- To maintain a constant oil price of energy (to useful energy direction) despite the increase in demand and the future decline in supply following the exhaustion of resources.
- to put to the future anti-pollution standards the industrialists for a cost (to the kW installed and the kWh produced) very low in comparison with other solution of "clean" energies.
- To pose fewer problems for future on-costs to oil industries using process by increasing the operating life of existing resources.
An example of such invention is water injection in internal combustion engines.