Energy and Transportation

Energy and Transportation

Chemists and chemical engineers have made several major contributions to energy and transportation, which allow us to power the lives we want to lead on land and in space. In the 19th century people heated their homes with wood or coal, used kerosene lanterns or candles for illumination, and traveled by railroad, steamboat, horse or on foot. As demands for energy in the last two centuries have significantly increased, chemists and chemical engineers have developed and improved new power sources, liquid fuels, batteries, and novel energy-conversion technologies. Advances in chemistry have also revolutionised transportation, contributing new and improved materials to automobiles, airplanes, space vehicles, and roadways. By extracting metals, minerals, and motor fuels from natural resources and by creating entirely new materials, the achievements of chemists and chemical engineers have brought mankind a completely new way of life.