Flared gas in North Dakota alone in 2011 put as much CO2 in the
air as an estimated 384,000 cars, some 2 million tons worth.
Value: $110 million. These gasses will be regulated by 2015.
Examples of non renewable resources includes any naturally occurring elements or compounds that, once mined and used, cannot be easily replaced.
This includes resources from fossil fuels to lithium for EV batteries.
For interest, while fossil fuels are only found on planet earth, some metals can be found on asteroids and other planets. People are now planning to mine them.
Coal or King Coal: Coal has been mined for centuries. It is one of the prime examples of non renewable resources. Coal is cheap and the expertise and infrastructure already in place to use it are easily available. The fact that it is perhaps the dirtiest of fossil fuels to extract and burn has not diminished its popularity. Gas can be generated from coal in a process called coal gasification.
Natural Gas: Natural gas is widely used the world over. It suffers from political problems, shortages, distribution (pipeline) problems, and environmental problems with production. Waste heat from gas powered electrical production facilities may be used to warm the buildings they are housed in. This process is called cogeneration. Natural gas may be liquified for transport.
Petroleum or Oil: Of all the examples of non renewable resources, oil is perhaps the best known these days. Oil is used in the form of diesel fuel and gasoline. Multi- megawatt diesel generators supply power to electrical generators in hospitals and other institutions worldwide. Gasoline generators are portable and can be found all over the place. Waste heat from diesel power generators may also be utilized for cogeneration.
Crude is another major resource used to generate power. The waste heat may be used to heat or desalinate water. Crude oil is the basis for a global petrochemical industry that makes everything from plastic bags to EV battery cases.
It should be noted that oil companies as a group are the largest corporations in the world, with Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon at the top.
Kerogen: There is a type of hydrocarbon similar to crude oil called kerogen. It is a sort of unfinished oil that is currently trapped in many square miles of underground shales in the western US. Exxon and other oil companies are working to free this non renewable resource for use. The effort borders on another environmental disaster, but the oil companies are well organized, heavily financed, and sufficiently short sighted. The public may protest some, but will likely cave in to low enough pump prices.
Oil Shale and Sands: The Athabaska oil/tar sands of Canada are being strip mined and turned into oil. The area is being laid to waste as this is written. Not too many people seem to mind. In the lower 48, an oil shale boom is underway in North Dakota, Texas, and Colorado to begin.
Nuclear Power: Although a little of the resource goes a long way, nuclear energy comes from radioactive minerals on the surface of the earth which are not renewable. They may have a long life, but they will run out unless some deep seated source in the mantle of the earth is mined. At present, about 100 years worth of uranium reserves have been identified.