25 Examples Of Natural Resources And Their Products

Natural resources are those sources of energy available in nature without human intervention

What are natural resources?

Natural resources are all those resources that exist in nature without the need for the action or intervention of human beings. That is to say, they are all those sources of materials and energy that we can find naturally in the environment, and that in many cases serve as raw material for the production of other products.

Natural resources can be classified in different ways. However, the two most common types are:

Renewable natural resources

Some renewable natural resources are hydroelectric energy, solar energy and wind energy

They are those that nature itself replenishes at a speed fast enough to counteract their consumption.

That is, renewable natural resources are all natural resources that we consume more slowly than can be produced naturally without our intervention, so nature itself constantly renews them.

Non-renewable natural resources

This image shows the mining of many non-renewable natural resources such as metals and other minerals.

These are the opposite of renewable resources. They are all those natural resources that either nature cannot replace, or it replenishes them at a much slower rate than we consume them, so they will eventually run out.

Examples of natural resources

Below is a list of 25 examples of different natural resources highlighting their most important characteristics and the products that can be obtained from them.

1. The water

It is the vital liquid, absolutely essential for life. It is a renewable natural resource, since it evaporates and condenses continuously without our intervention, so that all the water that we consume sooner or later returns to the rivers, lakes and seas.

In addition to being a valuable resource in itself, we can store water in large reservoirs and use the stored potential energy and its kinetic energy to generate electrical energy (or, as it is often called, hydroelectric energy).

2. Oil

Oil is a mixture of organic compounds, mainly hydrocarbons, derived from the decomposition over millions of years of the chemical substances that form living beings.

It is a non-renewable natural resource that we use as raw material to obtain a large number of derivatives. Some of these derivatives are gasoline, plastics, mineral oils, etc.

3. Sea salt

Salt water or sea water contains a large number of dissolved salts, mainly sodium chloride or common table salt.

The evaporation of seawater produces sea salt, which is a natural resource that we use not only to flavor our food, but also as the main source of chlorine and alkali metals such as sodium and potassium, which are used across multiple industries.

4. The trees

The trees present in forests, as well as the other plant species that we can find in them are examples of renewable natural resources.

Humans use trees to obtain wood, which we also use as a building material for our homes and furniture, as fuel by burning them directly, or as a raw material for the production of charcoal.

5. Iron

Iron is the most abundant metal on earth, but it is also a non-renewable natural resource. This metal is used directly as a construction material, in the manufacture of a myriad of different objects, or as a raw material for the production of more resistant materials, such as different types of steel or other ferrous metals.

6. Biogas

Biogas consists mainly of methane gas, which is produced by living things after the decomposition of food. This is a renewable natural resource that we use mainly as an energy source, since we can burn it to produce heat.

7. Mineral salt

Unlike sea salt, mineral salt is one that accumulated over centuries in the form of solid minerals that ended up buried in mountains and other deposits.

This salt is also used to season food, as well as to preserve it. It is also used to melt snow and prevent its accumulation on the roads in different countries of the world.

8. Gold

This precious metal is a resource that is found in nature in limited quantities. It is a non-renewable natural resource that we have put to many uses.

Almost half of the gold produced in the world is stored as an investment medium. Most of the other half is used for making fine jewelry. What remains is shared between central banks and in the manufacture of electronic circuits.

9. Marine fauna

Throughout history, human beings have always been in contact with the sea and other bodies of water, as they provide multiple essential resources for life. One of them is the marine fauna, formed not only by fish but by all the animal species that inhabit the sea and that we use mainly as a source of food.

10. Natural gas

Natural gas is a mixture of gaseous hydrocarbons that is found naturally in oil fields. In addition to its use as a fossil fuel, it is a non-renewable natural resource that is used to manufacture polyethylene and polypropylene, two of the most widely used plastics in the world.

11. Copper

This reddish metal is one of the best electrical conductors that exist, and it is one of the most exploited metals on the planet. We use it to manufacture power cables used in all constructions and it is also the most widely used conductor in the manufacture of electronic circuits.

12. Biofuels

Biofuels are liquid fuels that, like biogas, are produced through the action of certain microorganisms. These fuels represent renewable resources that we use mainly as a source of energy.

13. The wind

Wind is another example of a renewable natural resource. We can use wind currents to generate wind energy. We can also use them in industrial refrigeration systems and for drying different industrial products.

14. Aluminum

Aluminum is a metal that is extracted from minerals such as bauxite. It is a metal as important as iron and copper, and it finds endless uses in the modern world. It is one of the metals most used in construction after iron and steel and it is the metal used as a conductor in power lines.

15. The heat of the earth

Geothermal energy is a type of thermal energy that we obtain by taking advantage of the heat of the magma that flows under the earth. It is an inexhaustible natural resource that we use to evaporate and heat water vapor, which is passed through a turbine to generate electricity.

16. Diamonds

Diamond is one of the natural forms of the element carbon. This is a non-renewable resource that takes thousands of years to form at very high pressures and very high temperatures. In addition to being used to adorn pieces of jewelry, diamonds are used as abrasives in many industries.

17. Platinum

This is a noble metal that, in addition to being an excellent electrical conductor, is also characterized by being completely stainless.

18. The tide

Tides are movements of millions of liters of water generated by the gravitational pull of the moon. These large movements of water are used to generate electricity.

19. Titanium

Titanium is a light and extremely strong metal. It is also considerably more expensive than other metals such as iron and even copper, but it does not rust and is biocompatible, so it can be used to make bone prostheses and also in the manufacture of space rockets.

20. The clay

This is a mixture of different solid minerals and oxides, which can be found naturally in many places around the world. Clay can be used to make building blocks and bricks, as well as ornamental and utilitarian ceramic and porcelain pieces.

21. Uranium

It is one of the heaviest elements in the periodic table and it is also a radioactive element. This material is a natural resource that is used as fuel to generate electricity in nuclear power plants.

22. The sun

We could say that the sun is the source of all life on planet Earth, which allows the existence of plants and all other living beings. It is also an inexhaustible source of energy both in the form of light and heat. Today, we use the light from the sun to generate electricity directly and also to heat water or other objects.

23. Ocean currents

Three-quarters of the planet is covered in water, and all this water is in constant motion. These currents represent a resource that can be used as a source of energy.

24. The earth or soil

The earth is a natural resource that contains all the necessary nutrients for plants to grow and develop in it, which allows both agriculture and livestock. In addition, in the soil we find all the minerals that we have mentioned so far.

25. Coal

Coal is an example of a fossil fuel. It comes mainly from the pyrolysis in the absence of oxygen of vegetable matter such as wood. Once formed, this carbon can be used as fuel, as a raw material for the manufacture of steel and for the manufacture of water or air filters, among other applications.

References

  1. Inexhaustible Resources (2021). Taken from examples.co.
  2. Natural Resources (2021). Taken from examples.co.
  3. Renewable Resources (2020). Taken from examples.co.

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