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5.2: Nonrenewable Energy Resource

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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Lesson 5.2: True or False

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Write true if the statement is true or false if the statement is false.

_____ 1. Fossil fuels are compounds known as hydrocarbons.

_____ 2. Unlike other types of coal, anthracite is igneous rock.

_____ 3. Most of the coal in the United States is found in the Rocky Mountains.

_____ 4. Petroleum formed at the bottom of ancient seas.

_____ 5. The United States produces more oil than it uses.

_____ 6. Burning gasoline leads to smog and ground-level ozone.

_____ 7. Natural gas is obtained from Earth’s atmosphere.

_____ 8. Most coal contains the element sulfur.

_____ 9. Nuclear energy is a renewable energy resource.

_____ 10. Fuel rods in nuclear power plants are made of carbon.

Lesson 5.2: Critical Reading

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Read this passage based on the text and answer the questions that follow.


The fossil fuel called oil, or petroleum, is a thick, dark brown or black liquid found in rock layers of Earth's crust. Oil is currently the most commonly used source of energy in the world. Earth’s present oil reserves formed over millions of years from tiny sea organisms such as plankton and algae. After the organisms died, they settled to the bottom of the sea and were covered by sediments. As the organic material was buried more deeply, it was exposed to high heat and pressure. Eventually, the organic material changed to liquid oil.

Oil comes out of the ground as crude oil. Crude oil is a mixture of many different hydrocarbons. It is separated into different hydrocarbon compounds at an oil refinery. This can be done by heating the oil because each compound boils at a different temperature. Fuels that come from oil include gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel, and heating oil. Oil is also used to make waxes, plastics, and fertilizers.

Oil-based fuels such as gasoline are concentrated sources of energy. They contain a large amount of energy for their weight. As liquids, they are also easily transported. These properties make them especially useful for cars, trucks, and other forms of transportation. In fact, oil-based fuels provide about 90 percent of the energy used for transportation around the world.

Using gasoline and other oil-based fuels has negative effects on the environment. When the fuels burn, they release pollutants into the air. The pollutants create smog and ground-level ozone, both of which cause health problems. Air pollution is a big problem for cities where large numbers of people drive every day. Burning gasoline also produces carbon dioxide. This is a greenhouse gas and a major cause of global warming.


  1. Explain how Earth’s present oil reserves formed.
  2. How and why is crude oil refined?
  3. Identify products made from oil.
  4. What are pros and cons of using oil-based fuels such as gasoline?

Lesson 5.2: Multiple Choice

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Circle the letter of the correct choice.

  1. Which fossil fuel formed from dead plants that settled to the bottom of swamps millions of years ago?
    1. coal
    2. crude oil
    3. petroleum
    4. natural gas
  2. What happens to crude oil at a refinery?
    1. It is separated into different compounds.
    2. It is removed from rock layers.
    3. It is heated.
    4. two of the above
  3. Which products are made from crude oil?
    1. gasoline
    2. plastic
    3. fertilizer
    4. all of the above
  4. The fossil fuel that is the biggest contributor to global warming is
    1. oil.
    2. coal.
    3. diesel fuel.
    4. natural gas.
  5. Dead organisms turn to fossil fuels when they are exposed to
    1. oxygen.
    2. sulfuric acid.
    3. heat and pressure.
    4. underground water.
  6. Which statement about natural gas is false?
    1. It releases no air pollutants when burned.
    2. It forms at higher temperatures than crude oil.
    3. It must be processed before it is used as a fuel.
    4. It produces less carbon dioxide than other fossil fuels.
  7. What does a properly operating nuclear power plant release into the air?
    1. carbon dioxide
    2. sulfur dioxide
    3. particulates
    4. steam

Lesson 5.2: Matching

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Match each definition with the correct term.


_____ 1. fossil fuel that produces the least pollution when burned

_____ 2. hardest form of coal

_____ 3. solid fossil fuel

_____ 4. element used to produce nuclear power

_____ 5. liquid fossil fuel

_____ 6. main component of natural gas

_____ 7. any compound consisting of carbon and hydrogen


a. methane

b. hydrocarbon

c. uranium

d. natural gas

e. petroleum

f. anthracite

g. coal

Lesson 5.2: Fill in the Blank

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Fill in the blank with the appropriate term.

  1. Most coal is the type of rock called __________ rock.
  2. The most commonly used fossil fuel in the world today is __________.
  3. In the United States, most electricity is generated by burning __________.
  4. The fossil fuel that releases the most carbon dioxide when it burns is __________
  5. Sulfur dioxide released when __________ burns is the main cause of acid rain.
  6. Nuclear energy is produced by __________ the nucleus of an atom.
  7. Nuclear power plants use the energy they produce to heat __________.

Lesson 5.2: Critical Writing

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Thoroughly answer the question below. Use appropriate academic vocabulary and clear and complete sentences.

Compare and contrast coal and natural gas in terms of their uses and the consequences of their use.

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