Effects of Hydrocarbon in the Environment

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Hydrocarbon in the environment affects a wide variety of different things, including the way we fill our cars with oil or gasoline. Find out about the effects of hydrocarbon in the environment with help from an experienced educator in this free video clip.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Robin Higgins and this is effects of hydrocarbons in the environment. Alright, so let's define what a hydrocarbon is. Well it's any molecule that consists solely of hydrogens and carbons. So they look like this when you draw them out in stick form where you have a carbon at each point and little hydrogens I'm not drawing hidden here and they can be simple or complex. They come in a bunch of different shapes. And so what are they really? Well, the words that we usually use for them are any type of oils or gasoline. In general any fuel and just things like machine lubricant. Okay, so what's their effect on the environment? Well, one, which you probably can now think about now that you know what a hydrocarbon is is that when we drive our cars or use electricity we burn gas which creates carbon dioxide. This is bad for the environment and it's causing global warming. So that's one. Just a lot of carbon dioxide being created and it's worth noting that carbon dioxide isn't a bad chemical or anything, it's not toxic, it's just that we are creating it at too fast of a rate. The truth actually, actually all plants need carbon dioxide to form oxygen which of course we need but we are kind of beating the trees on chemical production these days. Okay the other pretty common environmental side effect is oil spills. Obviously this happens when tankers carrying gasoline or oil crash and they are bad for the ocean and they are bad for all the animals in the ocean. So yeah, these are definitely two of the main ways that hydrocarbons affect the environment negatively and I just think it's worth nothing that there's nothing bad about hydrocarbons. They are not evil or toxic molecules, they are actually extremely helpful. Obviously we use them. It's just that humans are using them in excessive or dangerous or uncareful ways. So hydrocarbons aren't bad, we're bad. That's the lesson of what you will learn is that you are bad, humans are bad. So, yeah, there we have it. Alright, I'm Robin Higgins and this is the effect of hydrocarbons in the environment.


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