Alternative Sources


(HSC) Renewable and Non-Renewable Sources

At the current rate of petroleum and energy consumption, some analysts predict that supplies (including the world's fossil fuel sources such as crude oil, coal and gas) will be effectively used up by 2020 or 2030: others suggest a couple of decades later. The petrochemical industry currently consumes only about 3-5% of the total oil used in the world, but it would be prudent for the plastics industry to develop alternative sources of ethylene and propene.[((bibcite Smith, Roland.))] As a non-renewable source crude oil, coal and gas are unrecoverable in a short period of time, that is within the turn of a century (roughly within the life expectancy of a human). Hence it is important due to these factors that products made from petroleum must be derived from alternative resources.

Alternative Sources

Alternative sources are as follows:

  1. Energy from renewable resources
  2. (HSC) Products from renewable resources
  3. (HSC) Recycling existing waste

1. Energy from renewable resources

Fossil fuels are burnt to provide power, alternatives to this is the use of renewable resources such as solar power, geothermal power, nuclear power, wind and hydroelectricity.

2. Products from renewable resources

On earth cellulose contribute to roughly 40-50% of the dry weight biomass[((bibcite Institute of Socience and Society, 2006))] as such it is both renewable carbon neutral. Ethylene's importance can be found here and here.

3. Recycling existing waste

Recycling waste is important as it is a potentially reconstructable source of petrochemical products. So far though the only reliable sources of renewable energy is either recyclable (soft) plastics and excesses from fractional distillations (heavy hydrocarbons).

Please cross check and improve accuracy here.

Smith, Roland. "Will Raw Materials Run Out?" Conquering Chemistry. Sydney: McGraw-Hill, 2000. 18-19


Institute of Socience and Society, 2006
Institute of Science in Society. (2006 , 03 15). Ethanol from Cellulose Biomass Not Sustainable nor Environmentally Benign. Retrieved 12 31, 2010, from Institute of Science in Society: science society sustainability: