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Conservation of Non-renewable Resources

Discussion in 'Biology' started by lectportal, May 20, 2019.

  1. lectportal

    lectportal Administrator Staff Member Administrator User

    Our supplies of fossil fuels and mine are dwindling fast. These are non-renewable resources as we cannot produce them by any process. Our demand for these limited resources, however, is constantly increasing. To conserve them, we have to

    • cut down their wastage
    • find acceptable alternatives or renewable sources of energy and
    • recycle them where possible

    WASTAGE
    Fossil fuels such as coal and crude oil are the most common sources of energy in industries and homes. We can cut down fuel requirement by using improved burners, furnace and engines that burn the fuels more efficiently. Enormous amounts of crude oil are wasted through careless handling and evaporation at oil wells, during transportation and storage and refineries. In many homes, fuel is wasted unnecessarily. All these wattages should be reduced.

    SOURCES OF ENERGY
    Fossil fuel are destroyed by use, that is they cannot be recovered. Alternative sources of energy include hydroelectric power, nuclear energy, wind generators and solar panels.
    Hydroelectric schemes can only be built in mountainous regions where rainfall and rivers are plentiful. Such schemes involves damming rivers which upset the aquatic ecosystems.
    Nuclear reactions produce nuclear energy.
    Wind generator and solar panels are not very efficient energy producers. However, future schemes for producing solar energy via solar power satellite are promising. Such schemes would provide us with an inexhaustible supply of energy which would also not cause any pollution problems.
    Wood oil, and alcohol (from fermentation of sugar) could also be used as alternative sources of energy. As these are product photosynthesis, they are renewable. However, arable land has to be used to produce the plants which supply these energy sources. This would be a problem as we do not have enough land to produce even our food needs.

    RECYCLING OF MINERALS
    Unlike fossil fuels, most minerals are not destroyed when we use them. We can, therefore recover them for other uses. This is known as _recycling._

    Metal scraps and metal tins, lids, etc. In garbage can be recycled. Glass too can be recycled from glass container in garbage. To recycle used materials, we have to collect them and sort them. Recycling helps to reduce solid waste, one of the causes of land pollution.
    Many industrial processes like electroplating produce wastes that contain metals. These are now recovered from the wastes as they cause environmental pollution. Their recovery also helps to conserve them as they are non-renewable resources.

    Many minerals which are now considered as non-renewable resources will be classed as recyclable resources in the future. The concentration of these waste mineral resources will be in towns and cities.
    Recycling of all kinds of wastes will be a promising industry. This is because recycling

    • conserves non-renewable resources like metals;

    • reduces environmental pollution; and
    • reduces the problem of waste disposal.
     

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