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Hydrocarbons and the core

  1. Oct 13, 2004 #1
    I have a consern. If we are taking oil, coal, and other natural resources from the earth that have a large chemical energy due to hydrocarbons, then 100,000 or more years from now when they are supposed to slide under the surface of the earth, will our core start to lose enough of it's kenetic energy to put us into another ice age?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2004 #2


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    I don't think so, because the energy released when we burn coal and other carbon fuels is the result of the carbon bonding with oxygen. If you bury some burning coal under some dirt, you extinguish it buy eliminating its oxygen source. Coal that is subducted into the Earth's mantle is burried under a lot of dirt, and can't get any air at all, so I don't think the core gets energy from the burning of coal.
  4. Nov 2, 2004 #3
    Then why are there burning underground coal mines?
  5. Nov 2, 2004 #4


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    Carbon can oxidize if there's another source of oxygen, for example in black powder the oxidizer is potassium nitrate, KNO3. It is possible the coal seams are close to oxide minerals.
  6. Nov 2, 2004 #5
    so then there is a conseivable risk correct?
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