Fossil fuels

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Fossil fuels are hydercarbons in the form of oil (petroleum), coal, and natural gas. The utilization of fossil fuels has fueled industrial development and largely surplanted water driven mills and wood or peat buring for heat. The burning of fossil fuels is the major source of emissions of carbon dioxide which is one of the greenhouse gases.

They are called fossil fuels because they are believed to have been created from the decaying remnants of ancient lifeforms. There are some scientists who dispute this claim, however.

Fossil fuels are a limited resource, but the alarmist reports from the early 1970s (the oil crisis) that the supplies should run out about now have proven wrong. Still, sooner or later we will have to find alternatives in some kind of renewable energy source.

When generating electricity fossil fuels are almost always used to produce steam which then drives a generator that produces electricity.