Natural Resources

  • Natural resources come from the Earth’s crust and form without human intervention. Examples include cotton, crude oil and timber.
  • Some resources can be replaced by synthetic products and others cannot.
  • Rubber which is extracted from the sap of trees is an example of a natural product that can be replaced by a synthetic one.
  • The replacement material for rubber are polymers which have been developed to specifically replace the rubber in many products.
  • In some areas the appliance of scientific advancement has also allowed us to maximise the production of natural products.
  • The use of fertilisers to enhance crop yield is an example of this.

Renewable & Non-renewable Resources

  • Resources can be classified as either renewable or non-renewable (finite).
  • Renewable resources reform ideally at the same rate or quicker than they are being consumed.
  • Timber is an example of a renewable resource as trees and forests can be replanted after the wood has been harvested, although they do take years to reform.
  • Finite or non-renewable resources are those that don’t reform quickly enough or don’t reform at all.
  • Examples include minerals from the Earth’s crust and metal ores.
  • After extraction many resources require further processing to produce the desired product.
  • These processes require energy and make the extraction process less sustainable.
  • Examples include the reduction of metals from ores and the fractional distillation of crude oil.
  • The extraction of non-renewable resources has risks.
  • The Earth’s natural resources are being depleted and large amounts of energy are being consumed in the process of extraction.

AQA GCSE Chemistry Notes

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Morgan Curtin Chemistry

Author: Morgan

Morgan’s passion for the Periodic Table begun on his 10th birthday when he received his first Chemistry set. After studying the subject at university he went on to become a fully fledged Chemistry teacher, and now works in an international school in Madrid! In his spare time he helps create our fantastic resources to help you ace your exams.