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Products from Oil
How does Oil affect the Environment?
Fossil fuels are burnt on a huge scale (continued).
Reducing the amount
of carbon dioxide in the
or stopping more carbon dioxide from entering it
can be achieved by carbon capture,
converting carbon dioxide into hydrocarbons (or other fuels)
or by iron seeding of oceans - see below.
What is Carbon Capture?
Technology can be used to trap some of the carbon dioxide
emitted by power stations and stop it from entering the atmosphere.
This is called carbon capture.
Trapped carbon dioxide can be stored in old oil or gas fields
which are no longer used. Some of these are under the North Sea.
Converting Carbon Dioxide into Hydrocarbons or Other Fuels.
It is possible to react carbon dioxide with hydrogen
and use it as a source of other hydrocarbons or alcohols.
The process is complex and requires energy to both
do the conversion and to produce hydrogen for the reactions.
What is Iron Seeding of Oceans?
Iron seeding of oceans involves
adding iron to an area of
an ocean at a depth which is close to the sea surface.
In the upper layer of the sea there are a large number of
tiny creatures which are mostly too small to see called
phytoplankton. These creatures contain chlorophyll and
will photosynthesize. They multiply rapidly in the presence
of an increased level of iron forming phytoplankton
blooms. The resulting increased level of photosynthesis
removes more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
It must be said that the three methods described above
are in their experimental stages and are not yet widely
used to decrease the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
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