This paper takes part in the series essay competition of “great science” of Recordunkown.
The earth is the home where human beings have lived for millions of years. In this beautiful planet of life, there are millions of other creatures besides intelligent human beings. They and human together constitute the earth’s complex biosphere, whether animals or humans, want to survive, are inseparable from the supply of resources.
Of course, for animals, their requirements are very simple, as long as they can meet the resources they eat. But for human beings, satiety is only a basic need, and human beings are also charged with the task of exploring the world and the mysteries of the universe. And if we want to uncover the mystery of all things, the mystery of the universe, we need strong support of science and technology, and the rapid development of science and technology is naturally inseparable from the support of a large number of resources.
Therefore, the rich resources stored on the earth are actually prepared for human beings. Without these rich resources, human science and technology will be difficult to move forward quickly, and it is impossible to go out of the earth to explore the universe. The earth is a very rich resource planet, there are a lot of metal resources, there are a lot of fossil energy.
Neither of these two kinds of resources is enough, especially fossil energy is a very important part of human science and technology. Our daily life and scientific and technological products are inseparable from the support of fossil energy. Among many fossil energy sources, the most important one is oil.
I believe we are not unfamiliar with oil. We deal with it every day. Maybe in the eyes of many people, their understanding of oil is gasoline and diesel. They think that they don’t have a car, and they don’t use gasoline and diesel. They think that oil energy has nothing to do with themselves. But in fact, oil derivatives are very rich, gasoline and diesel are just two of them.
Petroleum products are mainly divided into the following categories: fuel, lubricating oil, asphalt, petroleum solvent and chemical raw materials, petroleum wax and petroleum coke. The fuels include gasoline, diesel, kerosene, aviation kerosene and LPG. Lubricating oil is mainly divided into internal combustion engine oil and grease. Petroleum wax mainly includes paraffin, ground wax and petroleum grease. Asphalt is the kind of asphalt we usually use to build roads. The main component of petroleum coke is coke. Petroleum solvents and chemical products refer to small molecular organic hydrocarbons such as ethylene, propylene, acetylene, benzene, toluene and xylene, and products such as carbon black and hydrogen.
Some people may say that we usually don’t use the above oil by-products. Oil has little to do with our daily life. Is that true? Of course not. In fact, the above petroleum by-products are not the whole application of petroleum. Petroleum is widely used. For example, many cosmetics have the application of petroleum by-products, and some chemical preservatives and sunscreen agents are inseparable from the application of petroleum by-products.
This shows how important oil is to human development. It is precisely because oil is the most important energy for human beings, so in modern history, there are many wars and conflicts caused by oil. Many Middle East countries have made a fortune by oil, and those superpowers are also looking for new oil fields all over the world. Some people even shout the slogan that whoever controls oil controls the world.
Oil is one of the most important resources in the industrialized society, known as the “blood of industrialization”. People use the technology of oil to make a great success, but there is no definite answer about how oil is formed and whether it can be regenerated. Maybe in many people’s cognition, oil is a kind of non renewable resource just like coal, and the common view of modern science is the same.
As for the formation of oil, it is generally believed that it was formed by the carcasses of animals. Is that really the case? In romonosov hypothesis, a hypothesis about the birth of oil is mentioned, that is, in the Paleozoic and Mesozoic era, after a large number of animals and plants died, with the geological movement, the sediments became sedimentary rocks, and oil, like coal and natural gas, was formed by these ancient organic matter through long chemical changes in the geological movement.
We all know that there have been many mass extinctions in the long life history of the earth. No matter what the cause is, each mass extinction will eventually lead to violent geological movement, resulting in a large number of animal death and extinction. In the process of geological movement, all the life lost in the mass extinction were deposited in the ground, and after a long period of chemical change, they became liquid and gaseous.
Now we can basically confirm that coal is formed by plants through long chemical changes, and the formation of natural gas is closely related to animal carcasses. But for the formation of oil, it is not entirely certain that it was formed by animal carcasses.
If the saying that animal carcasses form oil is correct, there is an important doubt here. We should know that the ecological habitat of the earth in ancient times can be much better than it is now. Because the oxygen content is higher than it is now, the vegetation is very lush, and there are forests made of tall trees everywhere. With prosperous plants, there will be a large number of animals. And it’s distributed all over the world.
When the earth has a huge geological movement, a large number of animals and plants are deposited in the ground is also a global event. In this case, how to form oil, its distribution should be very wide, everywhere. But why is there no oil in most places now? Can animal carcasses form oil in some places, but not in others? Obviously that doesn’t make sense.
There are too many doubts about the theory that animal corpses form oil, so some scientists put forward another point of view. According to the theory of abiotic oil formation, oil is the appendage of the earth’s geological movement, and it is natural hydrocarbons that penetrate upward in the geological movement and form oil fields.
Although there is some truth in the above point of view, it can not explain the biomarkers in oil. According to the detection of oil by scientists, it is found that there are obvious biomarkers, which is why more people believe that oil is the cause of the formation of animal corpses. Of course, the theory of bio oil formation is not the final answer. It is possible that we will find other answers in the near future.
If animals were formed from the corpses of living things, oil could be formed in ancient times, and so could it be in the future. Therefore, it is wrong for oil not to be renewable. Oil can be regenerated, but the conditions required are very harsh and the formation speed is very slow. The current earth environment may no longer be suitable for the formation of oil, so oil is basically a non renewable resource.
Some people may say, if the earth’s oil resources are used up in the future, what should human beings do. We need to know that oil can produce a lot of by-products. Once there is no oil, human beings may be greatly affected. Is this really the case? In fact, for human science and technology, oil is indeed a very important energy. Without it, many scientific and technological products will be affected.
However, with the progress of human science and technology, our dependence on oil will be lower and lower in the future. The development of science and technology with no longer renewable resources is only a helpless choice in the primary stage. Only by relying on these fossil energy can we complete the primary development of science and technology. However, when science and technology develop to a higher stage, fossil fuels have been unable to meet the needs of human beings, whether it is the energy level or the pollution side effects of fossil energy are not good.
In the future, we will have more powerful energy sources, such as controllable nuclear fusion energy, antimatter energy and so on. Take controlled nuclear fusion for example, it needs fuel everywhere, and it is a completely clean energy, without any environmental pollution. More importantly, the energy of nuclear fusion far exceeds that of fossil energy.
If the energy of fossil energy is a match, and the energy of nuclear fusion is a forest fire, the two are totally different. Once mankind has mastered controllable nuclear fusion, fossil energy will withdraw from the stage of history. At that time, even if petroleum energy is not used up, we will give it up.
The rapid development of mankind is inseparable from energy. Only with the continuous upgrading of energy, can human civilization usher in a more brilliant future, and fossil energy such as oil is only the cornerstone of human science and technology.
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