Fossil fuels are plants and animals that have been buried
in the ground for millions of years. People use three types
of fossil fuels to make electricity: 1) coal, 2) oil, and
3) natural gas. Electricity is made when these fossil fuels
A lot of power plants burn coal to make the electricity that
we use for our air conditioners, lights, TVs, radios, computers,
and other things that need electricity to work.
Burning coal puts different gases into the air. Some of these
gases are called sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. These
gases mix with water droplets and oxygen (another gas) to
make chemicals called sulfuric acid and nitric acid. These
acids can fall to the ground in dust, rain, sleet, snow, or
fog, and can be harmful to people, forests, lakes, streams,
buildings, cars, and other objects.
Cars and Trucks
When cars and trucks burn gasoline (which comes from fossil
fuels) to make them move, pollutants that are called nitrogen
oxides come out of the tail pipe. When these gases mix with
water droplets and oxygen that are in the air, they make chemicals
like nitric acid. These acids can fall to the ground in dust,
rain, sleet, snow, or fog, and can be harmful to humans, forests,
lakes, streams, buildings, cars, and other objects.