Coal and petroleum

Coal and petrol as our natural sources

Coal and petrol are the fossil fuels used for various purposes. Both of them are highly essential for the country`s economy as the major portion of our spending goes to petrol diesel, LPG and other petroleum products. The Indian government is working hard to preserve and promote the coal reservoirs across the country, however, it is an inexhaustible source that cannot be replenished like other natural sources. In the year 2018, coal was used as the primary source of energy in India, a year later, coal amounted to over 75% of country`s total energy supply. An average Indian consumes roughly 176liters of petrol per year, however, this is not the accurate picture. India stood at the 4th position as largest consumer of global petroleum products only after the USA, China and Japan. This article describes the production, sources, uses and preservation methods of coal and petrol. 


Classification of natural sources

All the resources are classified into 2 major categories,  Inexhaustible Natural Resources and Non-exhaustible resources. Non-Exhaustible sources are unfinished sources irrespective of their usage, for example, air and sunlight. On the other hand,  exhaustible natural resources are found in limited quantity. Depending upon the usage, they can be exhausted at a point of time, for instance, petroleum, coal, forests, wildlife, minerals,  natural gas etc. Natural sources can also be classified based on whether the sources can be reused or not. Accordingly, the 2 types of resources  renewable and non-renewable sources. Renewable sources can be reused whereas non-renewable ones cannot be reused.  Coal and petroleum fall under non-renewable fossil fuels.  There was an abundance of fossil fuels until the 80s but the commercial exploitation has worsened the situation from the past 2 decades.  Industrial revolution has welcomed a great number of industries in the sectors like construction, aerospace, automobiles, and many manufacturing. Consequently, the per capita usage has raised. India spends a lot of money in importing crude oil and natural gas if this continues the country`s GDP might be at stake. The best way to combat is to depend upon the renewable and non-exhaustive sources such as solar energy.


Formation of fossil fuels

Coal and petroleum are produced from the centuries-old decayed matter deposited under deep, hard rocks. The biological wastes undergo biodegradation, as a result, they gradually get into the reservoirs of energy in their crude form, but it takes a very long time. Fossil fuel is the age-old collection of the vast majority of moist forests including huge trees, shrubs and many ferns that sustained their life -cycle and withered away. As a result, the residues are accumulated at different layers of the earth for millions of years to form a plaque-like reserves. Since the earth`s crust is so hot, the matter undergoes physical and chemical changes resulting in the formation of carbon-rich material fossil fuels. Later on,  The carbon plaques that survive for millions of years turn into coal reserves. Coal is a readily combustible rock with more than 50% of carbon mass in it. 3 principal types of coal are Lignite, Bituminous and Anthracite.


Coal reserves



Formation of petroleum

Petroleum is a fossil found in its liquid form under normal temperature. The liquid is produced as a result of prolonged decomposition of organic(dead) matter laid between the impervious and reservoir rocks. The biological materials accumulated under these layers undergoes a series of thermodynamic and mechanical changes resulting in the formation of crude oil. Crude oil is the combination of many products hence the crude oil must be refined before using them. Some usable petroleum products of crude includes  petrol, gasoline, diesel, kerosene, tar, heavy fuel oil, plastic items, lubricants, special, special gasoline for aviation, paraffin, and diesel.


Fossil fuel reserves



Uses of Petroleum

Petrol is the most primary fuel in India. A substantial proportion( 70%) of the petrol  is shared by automobiles, scooters, public transportation departments for their fuel. Countries like India are completely relying on petroleum products especially petrol. The crude oil is a mixture of carbon, hydrogen, impurities and a few other components. The refining process separates various fractions of hydrocarbons and several by-products have been produced. Petrol and diesel are used as the major source of energy in the transport system that includes road, rail, water or air transport. Major industrial sectors use oil as their main ingredient of their operations and it is extracted out of crude oil. Furthermore, in some industries, diesel and gasoline are used in gas turbines to generate electricity. Kerosene is a byproduct of crude extraction and it is used for domestic purposes. Lubricants extracted out of petroleum are used in the large machinery to make them fuel efficient and friction-free. A lot of petro-products are used to produce fibres, synthetic matter, plastic, chemical fertilizers,  synthetic rubber, nylon, pesticides and insecticides.


Effects of burning fossil fuels

Coal and petroleum are rich in biomass , made up of reserves of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and Sulfur. They emit harmful fumes and gases when they burnt. The combustion of fossil fuels results in the accumulation of various gaseous poisons such as Carbon monoxide, Sulphur, Nitrogen and Carbon dioxide. They are accountable for 90% of the air pollution in India. Combustion of coal and petrol results in the conversion of elemental carbon into carbon dioxide, consequently, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere shoots up to provoke intense global warming. Moreover, gases formed by the combustion of fossils are thickly distributed alongside the clouds. When it rains, these components combine with the rainwater to form acid rain. Acid rain has a profound impact on the fertility and health of the soil.


Preserving fossil fuels

It is the duty of every citizen to preserve fossil fuels by demonstrating the usage of fuels with caution or find an alternative to save them. In the recent days, the government has insisted on embracing solar engines for the day-to-day energy needs used for travelling ,recreation and domestic activities. To combat the over-exploitation of resources, opting solar energy is a great choice. People should realize that using public transport instead of privately owned vehicles is the best way to join the campaign as India is the second-largest user of automobiles. Undoubtedly, the country is under great economic pressure because of increasing oil imports in the recent days. The substitution to petrol vehicles can be non-motor vehicles such as bicycles, pedal boats and carts as they save energy aside maintenance of good physical health.  It is advisable to either use  fuel-efficient engines or switch into electric or manual vehicles as they produce lesser smoke. Another important way to preserve our fossil fuel reserves is to recycle or reuse plastic containers and some synthetic material.


Read more


 Sources of energy   


Conventional sources of energy


Management of natural sources


Conserving biodiversity


  1. What are renewable and non-renewable sources?

  2. Explain the formation of coal

  3. What are fossil fuels?

  4. Describe the effects of burning fossil fuels. 

  5. Mention some alternatives to the motor vehicles for commuting.

  6. Explain the formation of petroleum.

If you are looking for a home tutor in Bangalore innoclazz is the best choice as we provide free demo and all our tutors are verified, certified and qualified . Feel free to contact us anytime 





Course List