What are some examples of fossil fuels?  

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Fossil fuels have their name because they are the remains of organisms that used to be alive.  The main three fossil fuels are oil, natural gas, and coal. These are the only three fossil fuels that are used on a large-scale, worldwide basis.  Peat can also be classified as a fossil fuel, but it is not available in many parts of the world.  Most of the energy produced in the world today is made through the use of fossil fuels. 

Fossil fuels are the fuels that come from the remains of ancient organisms.  For the most part, this means that fossil fuels are made up of the remains of ancient vegetation. Fossil fuels come from a period in Earth’s history when most land in the world was swampy.  Trees and other vegetation would die and sink to the bottoms of swamps.  Over the years (this period lasted over 100 million years), a very thick layer would have been deposited. Between that time and now, the remains of the ancient vegetation was compressed as sediments were deposited over it. The compression eventually turned the ancient plant material into fuels.   Because the fuels come from the remains of ancient plants, they are called fossil fuels.


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