2 Formed from ancient plants. Coal beds were prehistoric swamps. Can be considered to be “stored” solar energy.Photosynthesis:CO2 + H20 + solar energy carbohydrates + O2We can also run the process backwards and burn carbs to get energy, water and carbondioxide.
3 Normally when a plant dies it decomposes. If there is not enough Oxygen, it can’t completely decompose, thus we get a slow accumulation of energy.In a swamp, the bacteria that decompose the plants also use up the Oxygen.Coal found today formed between 1 and 440 million years ago.
4 Major Coal Forming Periods Carboniferous and Permian 360 to 250 MYAHigh quality bituminous and anthraciteUpper Cretaceous to Miocene 100 to 5 MYALow quality subbituminous and lignite coalsQuaternary 2.6 MYA to presentpeat
5 Steps to becoming coal: PeatLignite (brown coal)SubbituminousBituminousAnthraciteThe major difference is the percentage of the coal that is carbon. Higher carbon concentration means better quality coal. (in general)
9 Which type of coal provides the most energy/kg? LigniteBituminousAnthracite
10 The largest amount of US coal is Bituminous. Approximately 1% is Anthracite. (Found in Pennsylvania.)Many coal veins have a high sulfur content.Significant contributor to acid rain.S+O2SO2SO2 combines with water in atmosphere to form sulfuric acid.Limits the use of those coalsCoal has uranium & thorium: radioactiveConcentrated when coal is burned
13 Coal Mining Coal veins can be 1in to 400 ft thick. Must be at least 2 ft thick to make mining profitable.According to CNN, underground mining is the most dangerous occupation in America.Bureau of Labor Statistics underground mining is the second most dangerous occupation in America (by rate).
14 Coal Mining Tunneling – 40% Surface mining – 60% Removing overburden to get to coalStrip miningMountaintop removal
31 A thick shroud of haze lingers over China, turning the sky an opaque grey. Beijing, China's capital, is situated under the densest portion of the smog layer. The aerosol pollution can be seen blowing eastward across the Bo Hai Bay and Yellow Sea reaching as far as North and South Korea and the islands of Japan. (NASA)
38 Estimated that we have enough reserves for 200-300 years at current production rates. Use may be expandedReplace aging oil/natural gas/nuclear electric plantsMore demand for electrical energyAlternative uses such as coal gasification.
39 Should the use of coal in America be expanded? YesNo