written by | November 3, 2022

All About Non-Renewable Resources | Characteristics and Examples

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Table of Content


The Earth's resources are plentiful, some are unbounded, while others have physical limits. Renewable resources can be regenerated and are limitless. However, non-renewable resources are finite and must be used wisely if they are to be available for future generations.

These resources, which are situated underground, cannot be utilised sustainably. They can be obtained in liquid, gaseous, or solid form and are then used to produce energy. Nonrenewable resources, in contrast to renewable resources, replenish or replace themselves more slowly over time. Therefore, it is wise to limit the use of these limited resources since they might not be accessible if they run out.

Did you Know? Market participants could invest in natural resources through anything that has been mined or collected in raw form.

Understanding Sources of Non-Renewable Energy

A natural resource that does not replenish as quickly as consumed is non-renewable. As a result, a non-renewable resource is limited in supply. While it takes eons for new supplies to generate, humans continuously deplete the stockpiles of these compounds. Fossil fuels, including coal, natural gas, and oil, are non-renewable resources. A renewable resource is what a non-renewable resource is not. These resources can sustain or replenish their supplies spontaneously.

However, there are just a few easily accessible non-renewable energy sources. Additionally, they are economically valuable and easy to extract, making them popular for industrial and domestic uses. However, utilising these substances has negative side effects. Their burning will probably release toxic gases into the air, contaminating the environment and causing global warming. Therefore, it is necessary to manage these resources' use or transition to substitutes made from their renewable counterparts.

Natural resources that do not refill as quickly as they are used up are referred to as non-renewable resources. A Non-renewable resource is, therefore, a finite resource. Coal, natural gas, and other fossil fuels are examples of non-renewable resources. A renewable resource is the opposite of a non-renewable resource. These resources can be sustained or replenished organically.

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Availability and Formation of Non-Renewable Sources

The four nonrenewable resources are coal, unrefined petroleum, natural gas, and nuclear fuels or energy. The first three are referred to as fossil fuels as a whole. These nonrenewable materials are created when pressure and heat are applied to the dead and decomposed plants and animals buried under the surface of the Earth for millions of years in rocks and sediments. They primarily consist of organic carbon.

The Sun provides energy for all living things, including plants and animals. During photosynthesis, plants absorb solar energy stored in their tissues. These plants contain energy that is added to the energy already present in animals when they consume them.

Therefore, the energy stored in rotting and dead plants and animals is released when fossil fuels are burned. As a result, it benefits the community in various ways through the use of coal, petroleum, gasoline, etc.

The Earth's surface is rich in minerals and metal ores, including gold, silver, iron, and fossil and nuclear fuels. They are considered non-renewable materials since they are formed by geological processes spanning millions of years.

Characteristics of Nonrenewable Resource

To better comprehend why these resources are nonrenewable, let's look at some of their other qualities.

  • They can be exhausted and expendable.
  • These materials had to form over thousands of years.
  • They are present in fixed numbers all across the planet.
  • These resources need to be conserved before usage to avoid depletion.

Various Types of Nonrenewable Resource

Crude oil, coal, uranium, and mineral resources like gold are a few of the more typical types of natural resources. Natural gas and crude oil are two examples of nonrenewable resources. These two substances are made depending on the shape that organic carbon material takes after being heated and compressed over time. Minerals, such as gold, silver, and iron, are another category of nonrenewable resources. These are much more difficult and expensive than crude oil and natural gas. Different types of groundwater, however, are nonrenewable when they do not recharge at the rate at which they drain.

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Examples Of Non-Renewable Resources

Non-Renewable resources are resources that are found as a source of energy and resources cannot be replenished. Therefore, the resource must not be wasted. Examples of non-renewable resources are as follows:

Coal

Coal is the first nonrenewable resource on the list, and it is obtained by excavating underground mines. This dark substance, made by the fossilisation of decomposing plant material, contains carbon and hydrocarbon. The four types of coal are anthracite, lignite, bituminous, and sub-bituminous coals. The heat produced by coal burning is used to create electricity.

Petroleum 

Oil can be extracted by drilling a vertical well through sedimentary rocks, tar sands, the ocean floor, and the Earth's crust. It is a natural resource in liquid form, combined with hydrocarbons, and kept in subsurface reservoirs. It is black and smells strong.

Like gasoline and diesel, these resources can be used as fuel. The fuel produces polymers, heating oil, lubricating oil, propane, jet fuel, fake food taste, asphalt, and the engines for many types of vehicles.

Natural Gas

Natural gasses, including methane, propane, ethane, butane, and pentane, are contained in these deposits that were naturally formed deep inside the Earth's subsoil. These gasses are removed by processing facilities, turning them into liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). People use it for cooking and heating their homes, and it is used by businesses to run steam and gas turbines to produce electricity.

Nuclear Energy

Radioactive substances Nuclear power plants use fuel from two sources: uranium-235 and plutonium. From mines and underground shafts, industries extract them. Nuclear fission occurs when the nuclei of such substances break. Large amounts of heat are created throughout the process, and steam turbines are used to convert that heat energy into electrical energy.

To produce nuclear energy, these minerals go through nuclear fusion. This energy generates electricity that powers turbines and generators. To prevent causing environmental harm, it is essential to treat radioactive materials carefully while employing nuclear energy.

Biomass

An energy source that can be categorised as both renewable and nonrenewable is biomass. This energy is derived from plant energy. It also depends on the biomass feedstocks, such as plants, wood, and other materials, that are converted into electricity. Biomass energy may run out if people don't find ways to store the feedstocks regularly.

Non-renewable resources  such as coal and oil are sources of power in the world, and they are used to power vehicles, factories, and homes. Although affordable, they are a negative aspect to the environment and are one of the notable contributors to global warming.

Groundwater

Groundwater is a finite resource because it is withdrawn from aquifers at a rate far quicker than its regeneration rate, which is comparably relatively slow. Even though most of the globe is made up of water, we should take water conservation seriously and avoid wasting it .

Earth Minerals

Earth minerals are limited in nature and cannot be created again since they are uncommon minerals. As a result, caution should be used when extracting minerals. Minerals are an important part of our daily lives, and most of the Earth's crust is made up of minerals. They are defined as naturally occurring substances that have a crystalline structure. The atoms which make up a mineral are fitted together to form a crystal. The chemical composition that is the kinds of atoms in a given kind of crystal is the same for every crystal of that kind although impurities or matter that is not part of the crystal may be included. Gold, diamond, graphite and rock salt are examples of minerals. Each one is different yet many times you'll find that minerals look alike or something else can pass for it (e.g.: glass). A piece of green plastic could easily pass for an emerald and one very clear quartz could easily pass for a rough diamond.

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Conclusion:

Natural energy sources with a finite supply are referred to as nonrenewable resources. When used frequently, these do not naturally refill and eventually wear out. Nonrenewable resources would take hundreds of thousands of years to regenerate themselves or be generated again when they run out. The four nonrenewable resources are coal, unrefined petroleum, natural gas, and nuclear energy or fuel. The first three are referred to as fossil fuels as a whole.
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FAQs

Q: What is the meaning of Natural Resources?

Ans:

Natural Resources are a naturally occurring source of wealth, such as land or water. Natural resources are a country's natural wealth, consisting of land, forests, mineral deposits, water, etc.

Q: Is soil as a Non-Renewable Resource?

Ans:

People continue to pollute the soil in numerous ways, reducing it further and making it a non-renewable resource. The issue is debatable given that the world is covered with more than 70% water.

Q: How does climate change relate to Nonrenewable Resources?

Ans:

Humans rely significantly on fossil fuels like crude oil, natural gas, and coal for their energy needs. Carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere when these items are burned. The main greenhouse gas that causes climate change is this one. Gases accumulate at a faster rate the more fossil fuels we consume. As a result, the climate warms, and changes are brought about in the atmosphere, the sea, and the land.

Q: Do you know why groundwater is a finite resource?

Ans:

Because it takes a very long time for it to naturally replenish compared to how quickly it is used, groundwater cannot be replenished and is a finite resource.

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Disclaimer :
The information, product and services provided on this website are provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis without any warranty or representation, express or implied. Khatabook Blogs are meant purely for educational discussion of financial products and services. Khatabook does not make a guarantee that the service will meet your requirements, or that it will be uninterrupted, timely and secure, and that errors, if any, will be corrected. The material and information contained herein is for general information purposes only. Consult a professional before relying on the information to make any legal, financial or business decisions. Use this information strictly at your own risk. Khatabook will not be liable for any false, inaccurate or incomplete information present on the website. Although every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this website is updated, relevant and accurate, Khatabook makes no guarantees about the completeness, reliability, accuracy, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, product, services or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Khatabook will not be liable for the website being temporarily unavailable, due to any technical issues or otherwise, beyond its control and for any loss or damage suffered as a result of the use of or access to, or inability to use or access to this website whatsoever.