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From Plankton To Pantyhose

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DreamCore

One of the most useful thing we get from the ground is oil. Here are some questions and answers about this important source of energy.

 

What is oil?

Oil was first made from tiny sea creatures, mainly plancton, that died and fell to the sea floor. There they where buried in mud. The mud hardened slowly into rock and after millions of years the creatures have turned into oil.

 

Where is it?

Under the sea there is a lot of oil in the rocks. To get at it a hole is drilled from a drilling rig right down into the sea-bed. The drill has to be very strong to cut trought the rocks and has sometimes diamonds on the end to make it sharper. Of course, oil does not have to be under the sea. Some areas where there used to be sea are now dry land. Oil can be found in all the continents but about 40% of the world?s oil comes from the Middle East countries.

 

What Happens to the oil after it is pumped up?

When it is pumped out of the ground, the crude oil is piped to refineries where it is separated into petrol and other oils.

 

What do we do with oil?

We need oil to make electricity and heat our houses. It is one of our most important sources of energy. It is also used to make things like pantyhose, lipstick, candles, plastic and detergents.

 

How long will it last?

Until the 20th century the world?s supply of oil was almost untouched. Since then about half the known supply has been used. There are experts who think that by the year 2100 there might be no oil, coal or gas left in the world.


atomicnacho

It turns out we actually have the technology to make our own oil, for fuel. The processes and catalysts were developed during WWII by the Germans so that they could make their own diesel fuel. A process called steam reforming yeilds what is called syn-gas which can then be further processed into olefins, which are the valuable component in oil.In South Africa, which is far from any sources of natural oil they actually use this process to make their own oil. If you purchase gasoline in South Africa it is synthetic.


Plenoptic

If we were to make our own oil we would probably have to modify the cars because I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be the same. I think once they build more hybrids and use other sources for gasoline the life of the oil on Earth will lengthen because we won't use it that much. That is the very reason though why the government isn't allowing the building of many Hybrids, they would lose gasoline sales which would lose them money. At the moment Hybrids are so expensive and people won't buy them because it won't save them any money in the long run because they are spending 10,000 dollars more for that car. They need to start mass producing them. If cars were run fully electrically and all gasoline cars were not in use we would slow down the production of oil a lot, helping to lenghten the life of it and the Earth.


amhso

we'd probably get to mars by 2100...maybe there are resources there? anyways synthetic oil should work just as well. nowadays the oil you use in cars is already partially if not a big fraction of them is synthetic.


mahawirasd

synthetic oil is mostly used as lubricants.well you could produce oil from most anything that has carbon molecules, but nowadays the best we can do is use palm oil and the sort...for plenoptic, please remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch... where do you think electricity comes from?and what exactly are you referring to when you say "lenghten the life of earth"?most electrical plants on earth at this moment uses coal as their energy source. coal burning releases at least CO2 into the atmosphere. other than that there is a high probability that coal burning also releases sulpur, nitrogen, etc...


unicornrose

Note to moderators: Plancton is actually spelled Plankton. As far as the oil thing goes it does turn in to rock but it turns into oil because it gets compressed. That is also how coal and diamonds are made. The government and many oil companies really don't want us to find other resources for our cars because they would loose so much money and go out of business. If the oil refineries and people in oil and fuel business were smart they would study and look for ways to invest in alternate fuel sources. Our lives and the earth will depend on it. I wonder if synthetic oils and fuel are both fuel efficient and better burning. If they cut down on emmissions and/or eliminate back emissions that would be great. That is the main purpose behind the whole finding alternative fuel and energy sources. If that is the case then it is just a slow matter of converting current refineries to producing synthetic fuel and oil. This would make people who are in the fuel and oil business happy. In such a case the government could fund the slow change over. There probably would be a certain amount of people out of a job. Mainly the people who are drilling oil now. I am sure that there may be a way to bring those people into the refineries to produce the synthetic fuels. There would even be a great job for someone to figure out how to coordinate all this with the greatest amount of profit while still maintaining a good production level throughout the transition period. hehe.


salamangkero

we'd probably get to mars by 2100...maybe there are resources there?

There'd be plenty of resources there, alright, but I doubt oil is one of them. Like the earlier posts outlined, oil came from putrefied, compressed and fermented organisms. If, however, by any stroke of luck, we find oil on Mars, you can be sure people will start doubting whether Mars had any lifeforms some time ago.

shadowx

It is a scary though that in 70 or 80 years our fossil fuels will be declining and electricity will be at a premium! What will happen to computers!!!But what i dont understand is if they can use hydrogen and oxygen to create energy by combusting them which then probuces pure water cant they just split the water back int ohydrogen and oxygen and use it again? then the exhaust could go straight into the tank and you wouldnt need to refuel!


salamangkero

But what i dont understand is if they can use hydrogen and oxygen to create energy by combusting them which then probuces pure water cant they just split the water back int ohydrogen and oxygen and use it again? then the exhaust could go straight into the tank and you wouldnt need to refuel!

That's because you would need to use energy to split water back into its components. It's like using a motor to drive a turbine or powering a solar cell with a lamp or torch.

Teragonto

Uhhh.. Ok, I think oil will be gone by 2100, but by then we'll probably find out a way to substitute oil and gas. Heck even Bangladesh and India have discovered CNG(Compressed Natural Gas)!


Jimmy

Uhhh.. Ok, I think oil will be gone by 2100, but by then we'll probably find out a way to substitute oil and gas. Heck even Bangladesh and India have discovered CNG(Compressed Natural Gas)!


Very true, It seems the oil crisis has been a bit overrated. Ver are also easily accessible car conversion kits to allow even the most useless person to upgrade their car to run on vegetable oil (with amazing miles to the gallon levels too ) They also have hybrid cars now that are almost out in production, these would dramatically reduce the use of oil and make the supplies last even longer. Thus our "in crisis" oil supplies would be extended through the use of electricity as the main source of propulsion. I believe it doesn't really matter, because I'll probably be dead by the time any such major crisis or shutdown of world economy takes place.