SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Coal and petroleum were formed from the degradation of biomass millions of years ago. So these are exhaustible resources. It is estimated that petroleum will last us for about 40 years and the coal will last for another 200 years. So we have to look for alternate sources.
In addition to carbon, fossil fuels contain hydrogen, nitrogen & sulphur. On burning, they form CO2, water, oxides of nitrogen & oxides of sulphur. When combustion takes place in insufficient air (oxygen), then carbon monoxide (CO) is formed. Oxides of sulphur & nitrogen and CO are poisonous at high concentrations and CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Increase in CO2 causes global warming. So, we need to use these resources judiciously.
The management of coal and petroleum also addresses the efficiency of machines. Fuel is most commonly used in internal combustion engines for transportation. Recent research concentrates on ensuring complete combustion in these engines to increase efficiency and reduce air pollution.
Going beyond laws, rules & regulations, we need to tailor our requirements so that the benefits of development reach everyone now and for all generations.