MurrellS M5 A1 Essay

Submitted By Sara-Murrell
Words: 2011
Pages: 9

Grant Parish’s Source of Energy
Sara Murrell
Argosy University
Ecology and Environmental Sustainability
October 5, 2014

Grant Parish’s Source of Energy In Grant Parish, our source of energy is electricity. According to my local electric provider, CLECO, three primary energy sources that are used in in the Brame Energy Center to produce the electricity are coal, natural gas, and petcoke, otherwise known as petroleum coke (Power Plants, Regulated Power Plants, n.d.). The average power plant works off of a thermal generation system that uses the heat from the burning energy sources to power the turbines that conduct electricity (Electricity 101, How a Power Plant Works, n.d.). The uses of these nonrenewable resources help keep our community, Grant Parish, with power to heat and cool our homes and water supply.
The first primary source of energy, coal, is a fossil fuel made up of decomposed creatures and plants that has had applied heat over millions of years and this source is considered a nonrenewable resource with it not being able to replenish itself in a reasonable time frame (Coal, Electricity from Coal, 2013). The second primary source of energy, natural gas, is formed in a very similar way as coal but, it the gas comes from the sun’s energy that was stored in the plants and animals that turned into a gas form (Natural Gas, Electricity from Natural Gas, 2013). And finally, the third primary source of energy, petcoke, is a mixture of carbon in the inorganic and organic forms (What is Petcoke?, n.d.). According to AboutPetcoke.com, petcoke goes through a process called coking. “After gasoline, jet fuel and lubricating oils are manufactured from crude oil, the remaining material goes through additional processing called coking. Coking is the use of heat to crack or break down large hydrocarbon molecules to produce ‘fuel grade’ petcoke, a highly stable, solid fuel” (What is Petcoke?, n.d.).
These three primary sources of energy can have some negative environmental impacts. The first primary source of energy, coal, has a few negative environmental impacts such as air emissions, water usage and pollution, creation of solid waste, and usage of land (Coal, Environmental Impacts, 2013). The air emissions come from the toxic chemicals released when the coal is burned (Coal, Environmental Impacts, 2013). The water usage and pollution are from the amounts of water needed to create steam in boiler and to cool the systems that is then released back into the water supply (Coal, Environmental Impacts, 2013). The creation of solid waste comes from the ash of the burning coal (Coal, Environmental Impacts, 2013). And the usage of land is because the land that is being used for the coal sites becomes contaminated from the pollutants of coal (Coal, Environmental Impacts, 2013).
The second primary source of energy, natural gas, can have some very negative environmental impacts such as air emissions, water usage, and usage of land (Natural Gas, Environmental Impacts, 2013). The air emissions come from toxic chemicals released when natural gas is burned, but not as much as what is released with coal or oil (Natural Gas, Environmental Impacts, 2013). The water usage comes from the amounts of water needed to create steam in the boiler and cool the systems, but the amount of water that is needed for this is not as much as what is needed for coal (Natural Gas, Environmental Impacts, 2013). The usage of land that is used for natural gas can destroy habitats in the ecosystem, make soil loose production, and cause erosion (Natural Gas, Environmental Impacts, 2013). This form of energy is not as harmful to environment as some of the other forms of nonrenewable energy. This form burns cleaner and creates a much better environment for all of us (Natural Gas, Environmental Impacts, 2013).
The third primary source of energy, petcoke, has no real environmental impacts. The way that the petcoke is produced, if it were to be…