The Minerals Resources:-
Minerals are non-renewable resource supplied by planet earth to mankind. They are naturally occurring inorganic earth materials possessing certain physical and chemical characteristic. However, the term ‘minerals’ encompasses a wide variety of substances taken from the earth.
They can be classified broadly into four groups:-
- Metals:- Such as copper, iron, aluminum
- Industrial minerals:- Such as lime and soda ash.
- Construction materials:- Such as sand and gravel.
- Energy minerals:- Such as coal, uranium, oil etc.
There are 110 elements discovered till today. Out of these about twenty are radioactive elements or unstable elements which constantly dissociate. The development of science has resulted in the preparation of many Alloys such as steel, Brass, and Bronze which possess better qualities and strength than that of a single mental.
Uses:- Minerals are mainly used as :
- For a development of industrial plants and machinery.
- Coal, Lignite, and Uranium are used for generation of energy.
- Used in defense systems weapons and ornaments.
- Used in the communication system like cables and telephone wires.
- Gold, silver, platinum, diamond are used as jewelry.
- Silver is used in photography, electronics.
- Minerals are used in the form of fertilizers and many fungicides in agriculture.
Effects of extraction of mineral resources:- Extraction of mineral resources from the earth is called mining or quarrying. Mining of minerals, coal, and petroleum from the soil results in the damage to the natural texture and composition thereby bringing a major ecological change of nature.
Effects of Mining in India:-
- People residing near the (Uranium mine), Jharkhand are exposed to nuclear hazards.
- Contamination of high sulfur in the groundwater is taken place in North Eastern Coal Fields (Assam).
- Impurities of Kudremukh Iron ore in Karnataka, released into the river, cause river pollution.
- Health Hazards in mines due to the appearance of diseases black lung disease, asbestosis etc.
- The disappearance of vegetation.
Energy is the capacity to do work. It can neither be created nor destroyed but can be converted from one form to another. The sun is inexpensive and unlimited, therefore ideal source of energy. Besides energy from the sun (solar energy) can also be obtained from different resources such as fossil fuels, biomass, biogas, nuclear power, hydroelectricity, wind energy, tidal energy and geothermal energy.
Depending on the source energy can be broadly classified into two types. They are:
1) Renewable Energy (OR) Non-exhaustible source of Energy.
2) Non-Renewable Energy (OR) Exhaustible source of energy.
1) Renewable Energy sources:-
Renewable or Non-exhaustible of energy is those that are present in nature and are continuously produced, irrespective of human activity. Solar, wind, tidal, geothermal and biogas energy are examples of renewable resources of energy.
- Wind Energy:- The wind power is utilized to generate electricity. The motion of air relative to the surface of the earth is wind energy. In India, many sites have been identified which are suitable for installing wind generators. Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Maharashtra or other sites were wind energy is abundant. Wind is a free and renewable resources and wind plants emit no greenhouse gases or air pollutants.
- Hydropower:- Hydropower generation is based on water motion. Nearly 25% of the World’s electricity comes from Hydel power. Asia has more than 1/4 of the World’s potential hydropower sources, and 45% of electricity comes from hydropower. The big hydropower projects are environmentally unsound because their water reservoirs submerge large areas of forests and agricultural lands. Besides, they displace thousands of people from their traditional homes. The Indian rivers are snow-fed and monsoon fed with continuous flows. Nearly 10,000 MW of power has been identified in the country Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh have highest hydropower potential in the country.
- Solar Energy:- It the energy derived from the sun solar energy may be used for heating and for generating power. Geographically India is favoured with high solar radiation throughout the year. The main advantages of solar energy are a) The source is inexhaustible b) It can be produced locally from a few watts to few megawatts. c) It produces no gases or noise d) Its modular nature enables to dismantle and to install at a different site. In solar photovoltaic, the solar light is directly converted into electricity using a device called solar cell. The solar electric power is used in many applications, lighting, water pumping, communications and warning systems.
- Biomass Energy:- All types of biological substances like plant products (wood, crop, algae and aquatic plants), their residues (straw, husk, sawdust, cow dung; animal soil are collectively known as biomass. Biomass is used as a source of energy in many parts of the world. The burning of the biomass produces heat energy known as bioenergy. It is obtained through the oxidation of biomass. The residue left after the burning of the biomass is used as manure in agriculture fields. Burning one kilo of wood produces about 4,000 to 5,000 K.cal of heat. Biogas:- Biogas is a mixture of methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and Hydrogen and Hydrogen-Sulphide, the major constituent being methane. Biogas is produced by anaerobic degradation of animal wastes in the presence of water. It is a non-polluting, clean, low-cost fuel and no storage problem.
- Hydrogen Power:- Hydrogen is a clean, versatile and easy-to-use energy carrier. It can be used to generate electricity to power industry to fuel automobiles, to fly aircraft and to run home appliances. The burning of hydrogen produces no gases nor pollute the atmosphere. Hydrogen can be produced by a simple process of electrolysis. It can be produced by solar, wind and geothermal power plants located in distant remote places and stored in pressurized tanks or as the cryogenic liquid or in metal hydrides. Fuel cells of higher capacity are used to generate electricity to power buildings and complexes. Hydrogen is likely to be the future energy of source and pave the path to a sustainable energy economy.
- Geothermal Energy:- The energy from hot rocks present inside the earth is called geothermal energy. In places like Kullu (Himachal Pradesh) and Sohna (Haryana). hot water comes out from the soil. Hot water coming out with pressure can be used to run turbines of a generator to produce electricity.
2) Non-Renewable Resources:-
Non-renewable resources are fuels such as coal and petroleum which are available in limited quantities and cannot be replaced. They are not replaced by nature if exhausted.
- Coal:- Due to its high abundance and easy availability, coal is the most widely used fossil fuel. It is a solid fossil fuel formed by partial decomposition of plants deposited in layers at varying depths. Depending upon the depth, pressure, and quality of plant materials, the quality of coal varies. Depending on the carbon content coal has different grades.
- Lignite Coal:- It is the lowest grade of coal and is also known as brown coal. It contains about 70% carbon and 27% volatile materials.
- Bituminous Coal:- It is the widely used solid fuel all over the World. It contains 75 to 85 percent of carbon. It is also known as soft coal.
- Anthracite Coal:- This is the best quality of coal with 95% carbon content and 5% volatile matter. It produces 6,000 to 7,000 Kcal of heat per kilogram. The high cost and less availability have restricted the use of this good quality coal. Coal is used mainly for cooking and heating purposes. It is used as a fuel for steam power plants and for running locomotive engines and industries. It is also used for the generation of electricity in thermal power plants. Coal can be transformed into gas, liquid or low sulfur, low-ash solid fuels and used as a substitute for petroleum
2. Petroleum:- Petroleum is obtained by refining crude oil. It is a mineral oil found between the rocks under the earth’s surface. It is mostly covered with compressed natural gas. It is extracted from crude oil by the process of fractional distillation. Petroleum is a cleaner fuel, easier to transport and use. The burning of fossil fuels like petrol, diesel, kerosene etc., also gives energy but it produces greenhouse gases causing the greenhouse effect and global warming.
3. LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas):- Petroleum gas is converted into liquid under pressure to form LPG, it is used as household gas. It is odorless, but the LPG in our domestic gas cylinders gives a foul smell due to ethyl mercaptan to defect any leakage.
- Natural Gas:- It is mainly composed of methane with small quantities of propane and ethane. It can be used as a energy source and also an industrial raw material in the Petro Chemical industry.
- CNG (Compressed Natural Gas):- It is used to run vehicles, to reduce air pollution it is widely used in Delhi and soon in other parts of the country.
- SNG (Synthetic Natural Gas):- It is prepared by combination of carbon monoxide and Hydrogen. Low quality coal is converts into synthetic gas.
- Nuclear Energy:- The energy produced from radioactive material is called nuclear energy. Small amount of radioactive substances produce large amount of energy by nuclear reactions. This energy is used for the production of electricity for running submarines, space crafts etc. The handling of nuclear material, manufacturer, extraction, transport of nuclear materials is highly risky and polluting. The energy produced from nuclear from nuclear plants is cheaper in post.