is the fabrication (creation) or assembly of components into finished
products on a fairly large scale. From chemicals to clothing, food
to furniture, almost everything that we use during the day is manufactured
in some way.
is used in manufacturing in several ways. Energy can provide electricity
to run equipment. Energy can provide a way to move goods around.
And energy can provide heat to make people comfortable. But energy
is also used to provide a way to turn raw materials into usable
goods. This is energy's role in manufacturing. As a matter of fact,
Iowa spends 38 percent of its total energy consumption on manufacturing.
Ways Manufacturing Uses Energy
Energy is used in three major areas of manufacturing:
1. Energy allows
us to retrieve raw materials used in manufacturing.
2. Energy allows
us to turn raw materials into components used in manufacturing.
3. Energy allows
us to assemble these components into usable goods.
Important Are Fossil Fuels?
Just like the other three uses of energy (transportation, electricity,
heating and cooling), manufacturing is something we depend on for
our livelihood. Fossil fuels have played an important role in manufacturing
ever since the beginning of the American . Initially, factories were set up where they had
access to water power (hydropower). For example, flour mills were
located on the Mississippi River in Minnesota. Eventually there
was no more room on rivers for more manufacturers. Around this time,
coal was popular because the railroads were being built across the
country. Trains could ship coal anywhere along their tracks. This
allowed manufacturers to spread out to anywhere they could get service
from the railroad.
are important to manufacturers. They use fossil fuel to provide
massive amounts of intense heat to produce metals and metal products.
Food is harvested by large machinery and processed in facilities
that use fossil fuels to run the equipment. Fossil fuels are then
used to ship the products from the manufactures to warehouses or
consumers. Fossil fuel are a source of raw materials for inks, polyesters,
nylons and other synthetic fibers used to make fabrics. Coal based
dyes color packaging and paint. Paint and adhesives are petroleum-based
products. The list is endless.
Could Replace Fossil Fuels?
There are some alternatives to fossil fuels. Most lubricants,
adhesives, and textiles can be made from
sources. We can make grease necessary for cars from animal byproducts.
We can make inks from soybeans. We can run our machinery on fuels
we make from corn or sugar.
Administration. International Energy Outlook 2001. "Transportation
Energy Use." Table 22, page 137.