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(Solved) 113 Exercise 11 Energy Resources James S. Reichard Georgia Southern University John Meholick Student Name _________________ Section _______ In this...


Can some one please help me with questions 8-15? I worked the problem for question 7 incorrectly and have fallen behind.

113 Exercise 11 Energy Resources
James S. Reichard
Georgia Southern University
John Meholick
Student Name _________________ Section _______
In this lab you will:
explore the connection between society and its use of energy resources. In particular, you
will examine how these resources are used and some of the associated environmental issues.
Background Reading and Needed Supplies
Prior to doing this exercise you should read Chapter 13 (Conventional Fossil Fuels) and
Chapter 14 (Alternative Energy Resources) in the textbook. You will need a calculator, ruler,
and colored markers to complete this exercise. Part I – Coal Geology
Recall from the textbook that coal is a sedimentary rock that originates from decaying plant
matter found in swamps. As illustrated in Figure 11.1, the buried organic matter first becomes
peat, and is then transformed in coal as the peat becomes more deeply buried. As the
temperature and pressure of burial increase, the coal becomes more concentrated in carbon,
hence gives off more heat when burned. Grade refers to the amount of heat that a particular
coal gives off. Lastly, note that because oxygen levels within swamps are typically low, heavy
metals tend to bond with sulfur atoms, forming various sulfide minerals that end up in coal.
Figure 11.1 – Coal originates from decaying plant material in swamps. Deep burial causes the
organic matter to be transformed into coal. Ex 11 – Energy Resources 114 The map in Figure 11.2 shows the location of U.S. coal reserves according to their grade
(i.e., heat content). Anthracite deposits, which are the highest grade, are mainly found in the
Appalachian Mountains, but these relatively small deposits have largely been mined out. Up
until the 1970s, the vast majority of coal mined in the U.S. came from the bituminous deposits in
the Appalachia area (Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Kentucky). Today, large quantities
of lower grade sub-bituminous coal are being mined in the Rocky Mountain region (Montana,
Wyoming, and Colorado).
Figure 11.2 – Map showing the distribution of coal deposits in the U.S. The grade of coal
relates to its heat content, which is controlled by the temperature, pressure, and
amount of during its burial. 1) Provide an environmental reason why lower grade (sub-bituminous) western coals are now
being heavily mined despite the fact that the Appalachia region still holds vast reserves of
higher grade (bituminous) coal. 2) Note in Figure 11.2 that parts of Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma contain reserves of
fairly high grade bituminous coal. Why do you think that very little of the coal in this region is
being mined today? Ex 11 – Energy Resources 115 3) Mountaintop removal of coal, shown in Figure 11.3, has become a very common and
controversial form of strip mining in the Appalachia region of the eastern U.S. Think of some
of some pros and cons of this method and record them in the space below.
pros cons Figure 11.3 – In mountaintop mining, successive coal seams are accessed by removing
massive amounts of overburden material, which is placed in adjoining stream valleys. 4) Describe your thoughts as to whether the environmental and social consequences of
mountaintop removal to society are worth the financial advantages to the mining companies. Ex 11 – Energy Resources 116 Part II – Petroleum Geology
Petroleum refers to the collection of naturally occurring organic molecules consisting mainly
of hydrogen and carbon atoms, hence the name hydrocarbons. Crude oil is composed of
hydrocarbon molecules that exist in the liquid state, whereas gaseous hydrocarbons make up
what is collectively referred to as natural gas. As illustrated in Figure 11.4, oil and gas
accumulate in places where the molecules can become trapped within porous and permeable
rock formations. The key to trapping oil and gas is the presence of an overlying impermeable
layer that prevents the hydrocarbons from rising to the surface. Once located, an economical
deposit is extracted by drilling a well. During the refining process, crude oil is heated in order to
separate the various hydrocarbon molecules based on their density (natural gas requires only
minimal refining). Products refined from crude oil include gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, motor
oils, and grease.
Figure 11.4 – Oil and gas become trapped in the subsurface beneath an impermeable rock
formation, thereby allowing hydrocarbons to accumulate in some underlying porous
and permeable rock. 5) Exploring for petroleum deposits is restricted almost exclusively to sedimentary basins.
Describe the geologic reason why oil companies rarely bother to explore in igneous and
metamorphic rock terrain. 6) Explain the meaning of the "oil and gas window" label located on left side of Figure 11.4. Ex 11 – Energy Resources 117 Well Blowouts
On April 20, 2010, operators of the Deep Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico lost control
of an oil and gas well when they were in the final stages of converting the borehole into a
production well. This accident, and subsequent environmental disaster, highlights the inherent
dangers of extracting oil and gas. As depicted in Figure 11.5, drilling operators keep the
borehole filled with a mixture of mostly water and clay, commonly referred to as drilling mud.
The dense mud is pumped down through the drill pipe where it eventually exits out the drill bit.
The mud then circulates back up the borehole toward the surface, carrying rock fragments that
had been dislodged by the drilling bit. At the surface the mud is sent into a pit where the rock
particles are allowed to settle out. The mud is then re-circulated back down into the well.
In addition to removing rock fragments from the well, the sheer weight of the drilling mud is
crucial to keeping highly pressurized oil and gas from entering the wellbore (cement seals are
later installed when the well is completed). If the drilling operator is unable to contain the
pressure from within the rock formation, then oil and gas can quickly travel up the borehole and
onto the drilling platform, resulting in what is called a blowout. Modern wells are equipped with a
blowout preventer, which is a large safety device designed to quickly seal the well should the
operator be unable to control the pressure within the hole. If the blowout preventer fails, as in
the case of the Gulf of Mexico disaster (Figure 11.6), it can lead to an intense fire that is
extremely dangerous. Moreover, it can be quite difficult for the operator to regain control of the
well, thereby resulting in a major release of crude oil into the environment.
Figure 11.5 – Illustration of a deepwater oil and gas well. The first inset shows drilling mud
circulating through the drill pipe and well bore. The second inset shows how the weight
of the mud produces pressure that keeps oil and gas from entering the open borehole. Ex 11 – Energy Resources 118 Figure 11.6 – The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig after the April 20, 2010, blowout in the Gulf of
Mexico (courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard). 7) The 2010 blowout in the Gulf of Mexico (Figure 11.6) occurred after the drilling operator
replaced the drilling mud in the well with seawater during the final installation of the cement
seals.
a) Assuming that the drilling mud had a density of 2160 kg/m3 (18 lbs/gal) and that the column
of mud was 5486 m (18,000 ft) high, use the following relationship to calculate the pressure
in kg/m-sec2 at the bottom of the well. The gravitational constant is 9.806 m/sec2. Be sure to
show your math, including the units.
pressure = (density of mud) x (gravitational constant) x (height of fluid column) b) Convert the pressure you calculated into pound per square inch (PSI) using the following
relationship:
1 PSI = 6896.6 kg/m-sec2 8) Following the same steps as above, calculate what the pressure (in PSI) would have been at
the bottom of the well after the driller replaced the mud with seawater. Here the height of the
fluid column will again be 5485 m (18,000 ft), but its density is now 1025 kg/m3 (8.6 lbs/gal). Ex 11 – Energy Resources 119 9a) How much did the pressure decline at the bottom of the well when the driller replaced the
mud with seawater? b) Explain how the reduced pressure within the well bore combined with the failure of the
blowout preventer are related to the catastrophic fire and release of oil into the Gulf of
Mexico. 10) Describe whether you think the need for oil is worth the potential environmental damage and
economic and social costs associated with a deepwater accident, or should the U.S. put
more emphasis on replacing its energy needs with renewable sources. Ex 11 – Energy Resources 120 Part III – Energy Future
One of the realities of our energy usage is that world reserves of light (low viscosity) crude
oil are finite. The concept of peak oil describes the fact that the number of new discoveries of
light crude has already peaked, and that world production will at some point also peak and
begin to permanently decline (Figure 11.7). There are, of course, abundant reserves of heavy
crude and tar sands, but these deposits are much more difficult and expensive to extract. This
means that the world's petroleum-based economies will ultimately become more expensive to
operate as we continue to deplete our remaining reserves of cheap, light crude.
Another important issue is that our heavy use of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas) is releasing
carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, thereby exacerbating the problem of global warming.
Ultimately then, society must switch to clean and renewable sources for much of our energy
needs. In this section we will examine some of the inherent difficulties in moving from a fossilfuel based economy to one that is more reliant on clean and renewable sources of energy.
Figure 11.7 – Hypothetical curves showing how there is time lag between peak discoveries of a
finite resource and peak production. 11) Figure 11.8a illustrates just how dependent the U.S. is on fossil fuels for meeting its energy
needs. Our most immediate problem is that world production of light crude oil will at some
point begin to decline, making it more costly to run the U.S. economy.
a) What sector of the U.S. economy shown in Figure 11.8b do you think is the most
dependant on crude oil?
b) Make a list of the areas within this economic sector that could be switched over to run on
electricity and those that likely will require oil to continue to operate.
run on electricity Ex 11 – Energy Resources continue to run on oil 121 Figure 11.8 – The graph in (A) showing U.S. energy consumption by source, whereas (B)
shows the energy consumed in different areas of the economy.
(A)
(B) 12) Recall from the text that electricity is a secondary rather than a primary energy resource,
meaning it requires some other energy source to produce.
a) Describe the basic problem with trying to replace some of our need for oil by using
electricity that is produced by burning coal. b) Explain what needs to be done in order for us to use clean forms of renewable energy
(wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, etc.) rather than coal to produce the additional electricity we
need. c) Large quantities of electricity can also be produced using nuclear power. Describe some of
the problems with expanding the use of nuclear power in the U.S. Ex 11 – Energy Resources 122 Figure 11.9 – Location of coal (A) and nuclear (B) power plants in the U.S.
(A)
(B) 13) Figure 11.9 shows the location of existing coal and nuclear power plants in the U.S. A vast
network of high voltage transmission lines, referred to as the electrical grid, carries electricity
from the power plants to homes and businesses. This grid naturally expanded over time as
new power generating plants came on line.
a) Explain why the electrical generating plants are not evenly distributed across the country. b) What does the fact that the power plants are not evenly distributed tell you about the
nation's electrical grid? 14) The maps in Figures 11.10 and 11.11 show the areas in the U.S. with the highest potential
for developing wind and solar power. In terms of the electrical grid, what basic problem do
you think must be overcome before wind and solar power can be developed on a large scale
in the U.S.? Ex 11 – Energy Resources 123 Figure 11.10 – Land areas in U.S. favorable for developing wind power (courtesy of U.S. Dept of Energy). Figure 11.11 – Average annual solar radiation in the U.S. (courtesy of U.S. Dept of Energy). Ex 11 – Energy Resources 124 15) From Figure 11.12 you can see that China and the U.S. are by far the largest producers of
carbon dioxide (CO2) in the world. This is because these two nations consume the most
energy and they rely on fossil fuels for about 90% of their energy needs.
a) Explain whether or not you think it is possible for there to be an overall reduction in
worldwide CO2 emissions without the cooperation of both the U.S. and China. b) Notice that China's per capita emission of CO2 is much lower than that of the U.S. With a
population of over 1.4 billion people and a rapidly growing economy, China's future energy
needs will be enormous. Explain how this will affect China's ability to scale up renewable
sources of energy so as to reduce its CO2 emissions. Figure 11.12 – Carbon dioxide emission of the world's top energy consumers. Ex 11 – Energy Resources

 


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