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Video: Identifying Methods of Electricity Generation That Do Not Produce Carbon Dioxide

Parth Gharfalkar

Which of the following types of power station do not release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere? [A] A coal power station [B] An oil power station [C] A nuclear power station [D] A wind farm [E] A solar farm.

02:43

Video Transcript

Which of the following types of power station do not release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere? a) A coal power station, b) an oil power station, c) a nuclear power station, d) a wind farm, e) a solar farm.

So to reiterate, we’re trying to find the types of power station that do not release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. So let’s go through each option one by one. The first option, a coal power station, well, in a coal power station, the energy is gathered from coal by combusting it. In other words, we burn the coal as fuel. And the energy released by this process is used to heat up some water, which then becomes steam and turn some turbines. The turbines are connected to generators which then generate electricity.

So where in this process could we potentially release carbon dioxide? Well, that happens in the burning of the coal. Coal is made up of lots of carbon. And when we burn it, one of the byproducts of the combustion process is carbon dioxide. Therefore, a coal power station does release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. And so option a is not an answer to our question.

So option b, an oil power station, well, an oil power station does exactly the same thing as the coal power station, except this time we combust the oil instead of coal. And once again, because there’s a combustion process, one of the byproducts is going to be carbon dioxide. So yes, an oil power station does release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. And hence b is not an answer either.

Now, c a nuclear power station, in a nuclear power station, everything is identical to what we’ve just discussed except we get the energy from nuclear reactions — specifically from nuclear fission processes. So we have a nuclear power source such as uranium for example which splits up into smaller atoms and this process releases a lot of energy. However, there is no carbon dioxide involved in this process. So nuclear power stations do not release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. And hence, this is potentially one of our answers.

So let’s move on to d a wind farm. Well, a wind farm consists of lots of wind turbines. These turbines get turned by the wind and these turbines are connected to generators. So that’s how they generate electricity. And hence, no where in this process is carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. So a wind farm is also an answer to our question.

So moving onto option e a solar farm. A solar farm harvests the energy from sunlight. So light falls onto solar panels and this gets converted to electrical energy. And hence, once again, there is no carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere in this process. So e is also an answer to our question.

And hence, out the options that we’ve been given, a nuclear power station, a wind farm, and a solar farm do not release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.