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What are Fossil Fuels?

Fossil Fuels are non-renewable fuels made from the fossilized remains of animal and plant matter that have decomposed over millions of years. Fuels that fall under this category are natural gas, coal, gasoline, diesel, and fuel oils (the last three being refined versions of crude oil). These fuels are used every day to power cars, generators, and sources of heat.

Though they are the preferred for of energy and heat, fossil fuels have a huge environmental impact. As they are burned, fossil fuels release pollutants that include carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds. These pollutants contribute to some different environmental issues such as smog, acid rain, and climate change.

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Other Sources

BBC. “Making Crude Oil Useful.” BBC 1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/ocr_gateway/carbon_chemistry/crude_oilrev1.shtml. Accessed August 2, 2016.

Government of Canada. “Fossil Fuels.” Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. https://www.ec.gc.ca/energie-energy/default.asp?lang=En&n=1F4E5D8A-1. Accessed August 2, 2016.