Fossil Fuel Facts: 15 Interesting Stats About Burning Fossil Fuels

facts about fossil fuels

Burning fossil fuels produces heat energy that we use to meet our electricity needs, power our vehicles, and warm our homes.

Although these are vital parts of our daily lives, burning these fuels makes our lives more complicated. They emit carbon dioxide, which makes up 65% of the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. The rampant air pollution puts millions of lives at risk due to heightened health issues.

To fully grasp the impact of burning fossil fuels, let’s take a look at 15 significant fossil fuel facts.

Interesting Facts About The Fossil Fuels

1. Fossil fuels are older than the dinosaur

Interesting facts about fossil fuels show that the fuels we use today began forming during the Carboniferous Period before dinosaurs came into existence.

2. Fossil fuels were formed from a natural process

Fossil fuels are organic materials formed from decayed plants and animals hundreds of millions of years ago. The most common fossil fuels are oil (petroleum), coal, and natural gas.

3. Fossil fuels get their energy from the sun

Fun facts about fossil fuels reveal that decayed plants that turned into fossil fuels used photosynthesis to capture energy from the sun.

4. Fossil fuels are in limited supply

There is a limited supply of fossil fuels because it takes hundreds of millions of years to naturally create them. Fossil fuels are considered an unstainable energy source because of how long it takes to make them and the high rate humans are extracting them.

5. Oil reserves could be depleted by 2052

As the human population multiplies, oil reserves could be depleted by 2052 if we don’t reduce consumption.

6. The US is one of the highest consumers of fossil fuels

The population of the United States of America is less than 5% of the world’s population; however, it consumes more than 25% of the world’s fossil fuels.

7. Around 90% of our energy comes from fossil fuels

Although renewable sources of energy are better than fossil fuels, we continue to use nonrenewable sources because they are easier to obtain.

8. 40% of the electricity in the world is made from burning coal

Facts about fossil fuels show that 40% of the world’s electricity is produced from burning coal. The heat from burning coal turns water into steam, turning turbines and making electricity.

9. Americans use about 18 million barrels of oil every day

Texas, Alaska, and California are the top three oil-producing states in the US. When it comes to the country’s oil consumption, about 18 million barrels of oil are used by Americans daily.

10. It would take 422 years to replace what we currently consume in a year in fossil fuels

It would take the natural decomposition process of materials 422 years to produce enough fossil fuels to be consumed in a year.

11. What you smell as leaking gas is not really gas

Natural gas is tasteless and cannot be detected. A chemical called mercaptan is added so that gas leaks are easily detected.

Burning Fossil Fuels Facts

12. Fossil fuels must be burned to produce electricity

Fossil fuels in their natural form must first be burned to be used as electricity.

13. Burning fossil fuels cause air pollution and health problems

When fossil fuels are burnt, they release toxic gases into the atmosphere. They can cause air pollution and severe health problems such as cancer.

14. A major cause of climate change

Burning fossil fuels facts show that these fuels contribute to the rapid climate change the planet is experiencing.

15. Burning fossil fuels cause acid rain

Burning fossil fuels releases sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. These gases are transported by air currents and react with water, oxygen, and other chemicals to form acids that mix with water. Acid causes a rapid decline in the PH levels making entire bodies of water incapable of supporting life on earth, especially animals.

Which Country Uses the Most Fossil Fuels?

China is the largest consumer of primary energy in the world. The Chinese consumed about 145.46 exajoules in 2020.

How Much Fossil Fuels Does the US Use?

The US consumes more than 25% of the world’s fossil fuels.

How Many Years of Fossil Fuels Are Left?

Fossil fuel reserves are emptying very quickly. Fossil fuel facts show that oil has 51 years, coal 114 years, and natural gas 53 years left.

These 15 fossil fuel facts show how much damage fossil fuels cause to people, animals, the environment, and the planet in general. It’s about time we shifted from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources that are kinder to us and our environment.

Sources: Statistical Review of World Energy 2020, Greenpeace, Annual Energy Outlook 2018

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  Jamie - Cofounder

Hi, I hope you enjoyed reading this article.

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Thanks for stopping by - Jamie