How you turn dead dinosaurs into diesel fuel

How you turn dead dinosaurs into diesel fuel

Alright, so let's just start this off right by admitting to those of you out there with backgrounds in paleontology, petrology, or any interest in the science of how and, more importantly, which period fossil fuels originate from and state that, yes, it's true, you're not really driving around a vehicle powered by dinosaur bones.

I know, we're disappointed too.

Right, now that we've allowed it to soak in, we should go forward and give you the breakdown of how the fossil fuels that amount to an outstanding 90% of the world's energy source come to be.

fossil fuels

What falls into the category of fossil fuels?

In a general sweep we want you to factor into the umbrella of fossil fuels the following: coal, natural gas, and petroleum. Continuing on this definition we'd like to point out that fossil fuels can be further refined to recognize solid, gas, and liquid states of matter.

Estimations coinciding with evidence suggests that most of the fossil fuels around the world are from a bygone era about 300 million years ago. Which means they were about 75 million years too early for dinosaurs.

How did they change from life into fuel

How did they change from life into fuel?

As a process of anaerobic decomposition, organic matter such as prehistoric phytoplankton, zooplankton, and other material settled on the bottom of the ocean or lake floors. There, under anoxic conditions (areas with almost-to-no oxygen), the matter mixed with mud and was buried under the earth.

Time and pressure is what would eventually lead on to the fossil fuels we unearth today. This caused a chemical reaction transforming the material into something called kerogen (often still found in this state in oil shales), and then, when exposed to more heat transforms into a liquid or gaseous form. This is called catagenesis.

Plants from earth generally form coal or methane in this process, and date back to the Carboniferous Period. It is through this that organic material has been transformed into fossil fuels.

Is it a recent trend

Is it a recent trend?

While it's important to note that the use of fossil fuels has, in recent history, been an important movement in order to generate energy there is ample evidence that shows coal used as far back (and likely even further than this) as China in 4000 BCE. Similar historic use is shown to have occurred during the Bronze Age between 3000 and 2000 BCE in the Roman Empire using outcrop coal rather than mining techniques.

Diesel, on the other hand, was invented much more recently. German scientist Rudolf Diesel invented a compression-ignition engine as early as 1892. Diesel, originally, used coal dust as fuel and had experimented with other fuels including peanut oil, vegetable oil showcasing them in the 1900 Paris Exposition and then again, refined further, in 1911 at the World's Fair in Paris.

Petroleum diesel, the most common by far, is produced by fractional distillation of crude oil at incredible atmosphere pressures and temperatures between 200 and 350 degree Celsius. Diesel itself can be produced using a variety of methods including the same application of biomass, animal fat, biogas, natural gas, and coal liquefaction.

Still, the quantity and the extent of which the technique was applied is greatly overshadowed by the modern, global use and practice.

Something to Consider When You Fill Up

Something to Consider When You Fill Up

Without fossil fuels we would not have seen the advancements that we have today, certainly, we would not have had the opportunities to expand our industries and establish the modern technology that we have become largely reliant on.

So, you may not be filling up on dinosaur bones, but that doesn't make the process any less interesting or important. The modern trends show that, little by little, we are moving into more efficient and less fossil-fuel-reliant options with a strong hint that the future will be brighter as a result.

To find out more about diesels and vehicles available with engines in which is can be used join us today at Leduc Chrysler!