Training & Technology

Young Energy Alphabet Competition

James Kennedy, 10, Dallas Primary School, Moray

While electricity will power the UK’s Christmas lights this month, there will be some in third world countries who have to rely on kerosene for their lighting.

Kerosene is, in fact, the focus of the latest entry in our A-Z of energy alphabet – being written by you, our Young Energy readers.

The winning entry for this month was written by 10-year-old James Kennedy from Moray. His entry describing kerosene has won an iPad for his school, Dallas Primary School, in Moray.

Our next letter is L – for liquified natural gas, or LNG. We want you to tell us what it is, where it comes from and what it is used for – in no more than 250 words.

Because it is Christmas soon we are giving you a present too – the deadline for entries is not until January 25, giving you plenty of time to give it a go. The winning entry will be published here on February 4 and its author will have won an iPad for their school, thanks to Shell. Shell’s Inside Energy app is packed with information on energy through videos, animations and photo galleries.

E-mail your entries to and good luck.

K is for Kerosene

by James Kennedy, 10, Dallas Primary School, Moray

Kerosene is a flammable liquid and its name comes from the Greek word Keros because it becomes waxy at low temperatures.

James Young, a chemist born in Glasgow in 1811, invented the distillation of kerosene from shale rock in Bathgate, near Edinburgh.

This was the first distillation plant in the world and is regarded as the birth of the modern crude oil refining industry of which kerosene is still a highly-prized by-product when creating petrol and diesel products from crude oil.

Today, the main refinery in Scotland is located at Grangemouth not far from where James Young had his main refinery.

The main uses of kerosene are as jet aeroplane fuel as well as being the main source of domestic central heating oil.

Scotland has a wealth of crude oil production from the North Sea and the transportation of personnel to the offshore production installations is by means of helicopters which also use kerosene as their fuel.

Kerosene is a valuable commodity in many Third world Countries where people rely heavily on this fuel as their main source for both heating and lighting.

In developed countries, kerosene, as a cheaper fuel, has provided the means to sustain the aviation transport network allowing the foods and commodities from around the world to become accessible to everyone and holiday travel much more affordable.

So, kerosene is another great Scottish invention which continues to provide a wide range of services and products to make our modern everyday living more comfortable.

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