The Potential Of Alternative Energy Sources Environmental Sciences Essay

Fuel Oil was found to be a utile energy beginning 2 million old ages ago by Homo erectus [ 1 ] . Originally fuel was extracted from fat of workss and animate being. In 1000 BCE in China, states at there have started utilizing coal every bit fuel as energy beginning. Afterwards, coal has become a utile power beginning after the steam engine had been invented. In twentieth century, coal had provided 40 % of the universe ‘s electrical supply [ 2 ] .

Energy can be extract from the fuel which helps to execute assortment of mechanical plants. There a batch of ways to pull out energy from the fuel which are burning, redox reaction, exothermal chemical reactions and atomic reactions. The most common beginning of fuel used presents is hydrocarbons. Vehicle is the most common machine that uses fuel as their chief beginning of energy where energy is gained when air-fuel mixture is ignited. Complete burning will bring forth C dioxide, H2O and most significantly energy, but complete burning is about impossible to accomplish in world. Hence, C monoxide and pure C will be released to air when the air-fuel mixture is burn incompletely, and this has brought to air pollution. From here, we can see that fuel is non an ideal energy beginning for long tally since it can truly do to serious environmental jobs and even impacting human ‘s wellness.

Therefore, several beginnings of alternate energy have been considered in order to protect our environment and even bring forth more power compared to fuel which is solar energy, weave energy, hydropower, ethanol biofuel, H fuel.


Alternative energy is an energy beginning used to replace the fuel beginning but does non lend to unwanted results like fuel beginning and it is besides named as “ umbrella term ” . These energy beginnings emit lower C content compared to fuel beginning and hence are environmental friendly.

Solar energy

Solar energy is renewable energy where energy is produced straight from the Sun. The energy is extracted from Sun through a thermonuclear procedure which involves a procedure of change overing about 650,000,000 dozenss of H to helium every second, which besides generates heat and electromagnetic radiation. Functional solar energy generator requires two constituents which are aggregator and storage unit due to the nature of solar energy. The aggregator is to have the radiation and change over it to electricity and heat. The storage unit is used to do the solar energy norm because the sometimes the radiation received is in little sum particularly at dark. The storage unit is able to hive away the extra energy produced during twenty-four hours clip and utilize it during dark clip [ 3 ] .

Wind Energy

Wind Energy is a renewable energy which is extracted from the air in gesture. There will be gesture air whenever there is denseness difference in air which is caused by the temperature difference in air induced by beaming energy. Therefore, the ideal topographic point for which the local air current will be formed is where H2O and land meet. This is because air above the land is hotter than the air above the H2O during the twenty-four hours and frailty versa during dark. From the diagram at the right, air current turbine is used to change over the kinetic energy of the air current to electricity and when there is stronger the air current, more electricity will be generated [ 4 ] .

Hydro Power

It is a renewable energy which is generated from the traveling H2O where the gesture of the H2O is induced by the gravitation to flux from high land to low land. Hydroelectric workss are used to bring forth electricity from H2O force where turbine generator inside convert the kinetic energy to electricity [ 5 ] .

Ethanol Biofuel

It is a replacing for gasoline in its pure signifier. Before utilizing ethanol biofuel, 70-80 % of the pureness must be distilled in order to take all the H2O inside it. This is a critical procedure because H2O can non be in the burning chamber of a vehicle since it will botch the machine. The ethyl alcohol biofuel is really popular in Brazil that about 50 % of Brazilian autos are utilizing ethanol biofuel. In United provinces, ethanol are largely produced from maize where one bushel of maize can bring forth 2.8 gallons of ethyl alcohol [ 6 ] .

Hydrogen Fuel

Hydrogen can non bring forth energy but it carries energy which is secondary signifier of energy that has to be manufactured. Hydrogen fuel contains the highest energy per unit of weight and did non bring forth harmful emanation when it is burned flawlessly and its lone waste is H2O. Other than H2O, abundant domestic resources such as natural gas, coal, biomass can besides bring forth H. The heat energy is released when H is burned. This procedure involves besides the radiant emanation where new H2O molecules are formed [ 7 ] .

Nuclear Energy

Nuclear energy can be said to be a really ideal energy beginning if proper safety steps are being carried out, but one time there is a error, everything will come to a really bad stoping. Nuclear energy is besides named as atomic energy because energy is created in a atomic reaction. There are 2 ways to bring forth atomic energy which are dividing big karyons ( Nuclear Fission ) and uniting little karyon ( Nuclear Fusion ) .

Section 2: Discuss current key issues

Current Issues:

One twelvemonth ago, National Economic Advisory Council ( NEAC ) has approved Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, to construct atomic power works in Southeast Asiatic part. Malaysia is one of the possible states with a suited flood tide for the edifice of atomic plantation. Terengganu, Johor and Pahang will be the possible provinces for the plantation ; it is because of the handiness of distant countries that are near to H2O beginnings which fulfill the international regulations of constructing a atomic plantation.

There are some contentions on this issue, former premier curate, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is against the thought of constructing atomic power works in Malaysia, and he believes that it brings more harm than good to our state. The disposal of the atomic fuel would hold harmful consequence towards world. The usage of atomic in medical is still acceptable, but one time the U is activated, it ca n’t be deactivated any longer. The atomic waste is still lifting throughout the universe, and it has caused a really serious job to our female parent Earth. [ 8 ]

To construct a atomic power works, there are some indispensable parts which play an of import function to maintain the plantation in a safe status. A safe atomic plantation needs an efficient chilling system which able to chill the reactor and take the decay heat which is still in the reactor ‘s fuel after the reactor is shutdown, it besides provide some chemical to guarantee the reactor does non bring forth power once more. Another concern is the handling of the exhausted atomic fuel ; it is more unsafe compared to manage exhausted fresh fuel. After atomic fuel rods are spent, they will be stored for old ages in a spent fuel pool site, and it is needed to be transported to elsewhere for recycling, the transit of stored atomic fuel rods has a really high hazard because they still will be radioactive for more than hundred old ages.

Other than these, the cognition towards the activation of U is still non plenty for Malaysian to construct a atomic plantation, they would necessitate to make more research and study on this before the state earnestly believing of edifice this plantation. Some even argue that the chilling systems in many atomic power workss have caused the devastation of aquatic life and the ecosystem. The H2O being discharged back to the ocean, river or lake after the chilling procedure by the atomic power works, the temperature of the H2O increased up to 25 grades warmer than it original temperature. [ 9 ] The warmer H2O kills some aquatic and submerged works life. Terengganu, Johor and Pahang, these three provinces in Malaysia extremely rely on the fish agriculture, hence, with the building of atomic power works in these provinces, non merely it will foul the environment, the fish agriculture industries besides will be affected.

Section 3: Case surveies and treatment about the instances

Case survey: As we know, gasolene is limited energy beginning in the universe and it is acquiring lesser and lesser. Hence, the monetary value of the fuel keeps on increasing in recent old ages. Energy produced by firing fuel ( gasolene ) in vehicles has causes serious pollution to our environment. In order to be eco-friendly and to work out the increasing monetary value of the fuel, H fuel cell vehicles are in its development to be used as a replacing for gasolene vehicles. Discuss.

Hydrogen fuel cell as an alternate beginning of energy in vehicles

First of all, in order to do H fuel cell to be applicable for vehicles, we have to happen out the ways to bring forth H. Hydrogen is the simplest component which consist one proton and one negatron. Although it is the simplest component and can be found elsewhere, it does non happen separately and of course as a gas on the universe. Hydrogen ever combined with other component for illustration O to go H2O ( H2O ) .There are several procedures that can be used to bring forth H which include thermochemical procedures [ 10,11 ] , electrochemical procedures [ 12 ] , photochemical procedures [ 13 ] , photocatalytic procedures [ 14 ] and photo-electrochemical procedure [ 15 ] . In thermochemical procedure, H is released by affecting thermic aided chemical reactions for illustration hydrocarbons or H2O [ 16 ] . It has the advantage of higher overall efficiency ( I· ~ 52 % ) and lower production costs [ 17 ] .

In a fuel cell, the produced H ( gaseous ) is electrochemically combined with O from the air ( oxidant gas ) through electrodes and across an ion carry oning electrolyte which generates electricity and heat [ 18 ] . As in battery, fuel cell does hold two electrodes while the electrodes in fuel cell are sandwiched around an electrolyte [ 18 ] . Under the action of the accelerator, the H is being splits into protons and negatrons, and both will be taking different waies towards the cathode [ 18 ] . The negatrons flow out of the cell making separate current which will be used as electrical energy. Meanwhile, the H ions ( protons ) pass through the electrolyte to the cathode electrode. The protons and negatrons that reach cathode will be combined with O from the air to organize pure H2O molecule and heat [ 18, 19 ] . Unlike battery, fuel cell ne’er run out but will bring forth electrical power continuously.

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles bring us several advantages. First, H fuel cell vehicles can accomplish higher efficiency and with lower emanation. Electricity in internal burning engines is generated by utilizing a dynamo driven by the stored energy extracted through a controlled explosive reaction [ 20 ] . In contrast, fuel cell merely needs one measure which is utilizing electrochemical reaction to change over the fuel straight into energy. Therefore, the transition efficiency is higher. For the applications in vehicles, the efficiency of fuel cell vehicles will be 2-3 times higher than current gasolene vehicles. Such vehicles can cut down the demand for gasolene to about zero by twelvemonth 2050 and cut down CO2 emanations by 80 % harmonizing to National Academies of Science and NHA ‘s Energy Evolution Study. The emanation is reduced chiefly due to the higher efficiency in fuel cell which means lesser sum of fuel is required to bring forth the same sum of energy and there are negligible of NOx and SOx emanations since there is no burning in the fuel cell [ 20 ] . The lone waste from the H fuel cell is H2O vapour. Second, H vehicles will hold higher dependability with lower care. Compared to internal burning engines, fuel cell vehicles have lesser traveling parts and hence required lesser care for illustration alterations of lubricator. In another words, lesser care means higher dependability. Furthermore, traveling parts in internal burning engines such as Pistons, clocking belt, and crankshaft will bring forth a batch of noises and quivers. While in fuel cell, there are fewer traveling parts which will unusually cut down the noises and the quivers [ 20 ] .

Fuel cell vehicles do hold several disadvantages although they are good in a few ways. For illustration, the electrolysis procedure which is utilizing H2O to bring forth H by dividing them from O is really dearly-won and is seldom used [ 21 ] . Besides, H is barely stored and distributed unlike O which comes from the air [ 20 ] . Hydrogen can easy vaporize and it needs a armored combat vehicle with perfect insularity to hive away it safely while the armored combat vehicle will be much larger than the ordinary armored combat vehicle in gasolene vehicles.

Refering about the hereafter of H fuel cell vehicles, there are several developments in fuel cell engineering and selling. Germany, Japan and Korea have anticipated that they will hold over 30 fueling Stationss runing by the timeframe of 2015-2017. Besides, there are a few auto makers have announced that they will unveil their Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles ( FCEV ) shortly for illustration Mercedes Benz B-class F-cell and Mazda Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid. In United States, 2.8 million stat mis of real-world drive has been achieved after 152 FCEVs and 24 H Stationss have been demonstrated by the industry [ 22 ] .

In short, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have great possible to replace the current gasolene vehicles. In order to accomplish these objective, reformists need to work hard to get the better of all the restrictions and disadvantages step by measure and we are anticipating that there will be more hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the market get downing from twelvemonth 2015 onwards.

Section 4: Decision and suggestion for betterments

Based on the analysis, we found that the major field which consumes most of the energy ingestion in a state is the industrial sector. As what we have seen in the background, China has been utilizing fuel as their energy beginning. This has caused China contributed to environment debasement because of the turning trust on fuels. These effects will be exacerbated even further, if energy ingestion in these states increases as prognosis, and fuels are still implemented. As we know these current beginnings we utilizing are making many pollutions to the Earth. In order to guarantee our Earth is free from pollution, developing states should utilize cleaner fuels. By utilizing alternate beginnings, we may extenuate the environmental pollutions.

From the current issue, we know that the atomic power works is the latest engineering introduced by many developed states. Nuclear power works can go on to do a important part to the universe ‘s energy portfolio in the hereafter because it is a low-carbon resource. However, atomic power works presently limited by concerns related to cost, works safety, waste direction and proliferation hazards.

As what mentioned in the instance survey, gasolene is limited energy beginning in the universe and it is acquiring lesser and lesser. Hence, the monetary value of the fuel keeps on increasing in recent old ages. The monetary value of gasolene will besides increase when natural catastrophe happen or war happen. These may do the monetary value addition until certain degree which is human being non low-cost to pay for it. This is another ground we have to happen alternate beginnings to replace it. The chief advantage of H fuel cell is it is non a limited beginning. Besides, it is a good replacing for gasolene due it is can easy bring forth and make less pollution. The chief advantage of H fuel cell is it is non a limited beginning.

In fact, those natural minerals that we utilizing in our day-to-day life will complete one twenty-four hours, so we must to the full use those natural resources that we have on the Earth. Those alternate resources ( solar energy, weave energy, hydro power, ethyl alcohol biofuel, hydrofuel ) that we are holding on the Earth are more sustainable, renewable and make less pollution. Besides, these natural resources are reasonably good plenty to replace those natural mineral ( crude oil ) that we utilizing. Most of the thing has it ain advantages and disadvantages. Even though it may be expensive to put up dike and windmill, but these resources is limitless and renewable. We should calculate out for long term and most of import it is eco-friendly. Meanwhile, we should make readying and bar before the natural mineral coating.