ENV221 Post-Midterm Notes (Reading Summaries)

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School of Environment
Karen Ing

1 ENV221 Post Midterm Reading Notes 12 Chapter 11 Energy by Dianne Draper p 203240 y Canada is fortunate to have an abundant supply of fossil fuels and these have provided us with most of our energy requirements over the last century y Consumption of fossil fuels affects our environment y Canadas high standard of living is attributed partly to a reliable and relatively low cost supply of energy y Alternative energy sources are increasing their market share as technologies become more viable such as solar and wind powerPrimary energy y Energy as it is first produced y Includes energy used by final consumers energy used in transforming one energy form to another ex coal to electricity energy used by supplies in providing energy to the market y Major forms of primary energy in Canada are fossil fuel hydrocarbons coal crude oil natural gas natural gas liquids and electricity from nuclear and hydroelectric power plantsSecondary energy y Produced by processing primary energy such as electricity produced from coaly Energy used by final consumers to heat and cool their homes and workplaces and to operate their appliances vehicles and factorieschanging the way we use energy to meet our needs y Energy Conservationy Energy Efficiency using the most effective equipment we can y Energy Star programo Is an approach to improving energy efficiency in Canada o International symbol of energy efficiency for producers and consumers of homes appliances and energy using equipmento Identifies products that are highly efficienty Net useful energy o Usable amount of energy available from an energy course over its lifetime o To determine all losses are subtracted including those automatically wasted second energy law and those wasted in the discovery processing and transportation phases o Oil has a relatively high net useful energy as it is readily accessible and easily transported however as deposits decline and their locations become more remote net useful energy of oil will decrease y Canadas primary energy resources fossil fuels oil heavy oil coal and natural gas hydroelectricity and nuclear power Fossil Fuels Oil y Oil is a mixture of hydrocarbon compoundsy Most oil is found in sedimentary rock located deep below surface of land and sea floor y Fossil fuel combustion releases gases that contribute to climate change acid precipitation and smog 2 ENV221 Post Midterm Reading Notes y Hydrocarbons most are remains of prehistoric animals forests and seafloor life buried in layers of sediment these plants and animals decomposed very slowly and eventually were converted into crude oil y Extracted along with oil and gas in the drilling process produced water contains a wide variety of contaminants including heavy metals and petroleum hydrocarbons all of which are known to be harmful to fish in their early life stagesFossil Fuels Heavy Oil y Oil deposits in the form of shale and oil sand are found close to the earths surfacey Oil shaleo Rock that contains a solid mixture of hydrocarbon compounds called kerogen o Once crushed and heated kerogen vapor is condensed to form heavy slow flowing shale oilo More expensive and difficult to extract and process than conventional oily Oil sands o Are crude oil deposits that consist of sand bitumen mineral rich clays and water o Substantially heavier more viscous than other crude oils o Also known as tar sands o Canada has the largest known oil sands deposits in the world northern Alberta o Net useful energy yield is lower than for conventional oil because more energy is required to extract and process bitumen than conventional rude oilo Requires large volumes of water in processing operationso Oil sands development incorporates either mining conventional or in situ nonconventional production methodso Minable bitumen deposits are located near the surface and following removal of the overburden trees soil are excavated using open pit mining methods o In situ methods are used to recover oil from bitumen deposits that are more than 75 meters undergroundy Bitumen black oil rich in sulfur requires upgrading to synthetic crude oil to enable transportation by pipelines and to be usable by refineries y A typical oil sands mine in Alberta represents billions of dollars in capital investment employs over 1000 people and has a lifespan of over 50 yearshowever the mining and extraction of bitumen produces a number of environmental problems that contribute to cumulative environmental degradation in the oil sands regiony Freshwater and groundwater consumption during oil sands production significantly affects the environmenty Water use by oil sands companies is one of the most urgent environmental challenges in the regiony Mature fine tailings MFT are fine particles of sediment suspended in water created by most oil sands during extraction processes y Air emissions and climate change are also concerns associated with oil sands mining as oil sands projects emit many chemical pollutants such as NO SO and VOCs 2Volatile Organic Compounds volatile meaning easily evaporated at normal tempFossil Fuels Coal y Most abundant fossil fuel in the world
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