Citation: Organic Geochemistry 10: 1-15 1986
The flow of fossil fuels through contemporary civilizations, and the related emissions and
depositions of sulphur and nitrogen compounds, can no longer be considered to be of only local
importance. The size of these flows compares with and even exceeds natural cycles. This leads to a problem
whose future evolution in time is not clear. The question becomes more difficult with the present tendency
to increase use of fossil fuels. Whereas this was considered a problem of the quantity of available resources
in the 1970’s, it may now turn out to be a problem of the quality of resources.
The procedure applied in the present study highlights the lack of data and knowledge. Particularly
striking are lack of data on quality of resources, the chemistry of the atmosphere, and the transport of
aerosols, and the lack of standards by which to judge effects of NOx and SO 2 deposition.
Keywords: energy uses, fossil fuels, environment, emission, deposition, sulphur, nitrogen
Areas of Research: Energy and Climate