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Coal

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by

Sarah Ladwig

on 3 October 2016

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Transcript of Coal

How Does Coal Generate Electricity?
Thermal coal (either black or brown) that has been pulverized to a fine powder is burned
The resulting heat is used to turn water into steam
The steam at very high pressure is then used to spin a turbine, connected to an electrical generator
The spinning turbine causes large magnets to turn within copper wire coils; this is called the generator
The moving magnets cause electrons in the wires to move from one place to another, creating an electrical current and producing electricity.
Where is Coal Found?
Coal is mined in over 100 countries, and on all continents except Antarctica. The largest reserves are found in the United States, Russia, China, Australia and India.There are an estimated 892 billion tonnes of proven coal reserves worldwide. This means that there is enough coal to last us around 110 years at current rates of production.
Recovering Coal
Coal is recovered by surface mining. Surface mining is only economic when the coal seam is near the surface. This method recovers a higher proportion of the coal deposit than underground mining as all coal seams are exploited 90% or more of the coal can be recovered.
Storing Coal is Easy!
After recovery coal can be stored in a coal scuttle or bucket. Coal scuttles and buckets provide an easy and attractive way to store a small amount of coal indoors.
In a storage chest/basket. If you want to keep your coal close, but out of sight, repurpose an old storage chest or basket.
In the basement/cellar. ...
Plastic tubs.
Is Coal Renewable?
Coal is considered to be a nonrenewable energy source. Coal is considered to be a fossil fuel which is nonrenewable. Coal is a a fossil fuel because it was formed from the buried remains of plants and animals that lived millions of years ago.
History of Coal
Coal is the most plentiful fuel in the fossil family and it has the longest and varied history. Coal has been used for heating since the cave man. Archeologists have also found evidence that the Romans in England used it in the second and third centuries. In the 1700s, the English found that coal could produce a fuel that burned cleaner and hotter than wood charcoal. It wasnt until the Industrial Revolution that gave coal a real opportunity with all of the new technologies that were invented that gave coal a dominant role for supplying energy. During the first half of the 1800s, the Industrial Revolution spread to the United States. Steamships and steam-powered railroads were becoming the chief forms of transportation, and they used coal to fuel their boilers.

Coal was discovered by the Hopi Indians in North America, but then was rediscovered by explorers in 1673. In 1740 the first coal mine started operating in Virginia. The burning of coal to generate electricity is a relative newcomer in the long history of this fossil fuel. It was in the 1880s when coal was first used to generate electricity for homes and factories.Long after homes were being lighted by electricity produced by coal, many of them continued to have furnaces for heating and some had stoves for cooking that were fueled by coal.
Today we use a lot of coal, primarily because we have a lot of it and we know where it is in the United States.

Sarah Ladwig and Curtis Crowther

Do we still use coal today?
Coal has many important uses today worldwide. The most significant uses of coal are in electricity generation, steel production, cement manufacturing and as a liquid fuel. Steam coal - also known as thermal coal - is mainly used in power generation.
A major problem with coal is that its full costs are not reflected in its market price, and thus while we may seemingly purchase and burn coal cheaply, in reality we are paying a much higher cost in the long run, if we look at the big picture coals minimum cost is about 85.5 and the maximum is about 110.8.
Coal does have operating costs because it is found in coal mines.
How much does it cost?
Coal Efficiency
Of all the fossil-fuel sources, coal is the least expensive for its energy content and is a major factor in the cost of electricity in the United States. However, burning coal in electric power plants is a major source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, along with other repercussions as well.
The Advantages of Coal
1. Reliability
2. Affordability
3. Abundance
4. Known technologies
5. Safety
The Disadvantages of Coal
1.Greenhouse gas emissions
2. Mining destruction
3. Generation of millions of tons of waste
4. Emission of harmful substances
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Source Page
http://www.fossil.energy.gov/education/energylessons/coal/coal_history.html
https://www.originenergy.com.au/blog/about-energy/what-is-coal.html
http://www.worldcoal.org/coal/where-coal-found
Coal
Coal in the Economy
The economic impact coal has on America has been referenced as the “backbone” of the United States' ecomony. According to the government website of U.S. Energy Information Administration, we produced a staggering 897 million tons of coal for the year of 2015. With that being said, coal is a massive industry. Directly, coal provides jobs within: mining, transportation and many others. Not only are jobs provided specifically in the industry; but there are many other jobs that are indirectly related to coal that fuels the economy.
Environmental Impact
The environmental factors of producing and using coal as an energy source can be quite detrimental. Many laws and regulations have been set because of the damages production brings; yet, discontinuing production and usage is not an option, therefore the pollution will not cease. When coal is being mined, harsh methane gasses must be vented out of the mine in order to make it safe for miners to do their job. Along with methane gasses, aquatic life can be affected when pollutants get into runoff and ultimately move to a larger bodies of water. Chemical properties of the pollutants from coal combustion include Sulfur Dioxide, Nitrogen Oxides, particles that contribute to smog, haze and lung diseases, Carbon Dioxide, Mercury and other heavy metals along with fly ash.
Money Talks
Consumer cost of coal and coal products change rapidly, daily; for both wholesale and retail prices. Consumers consist of basically everyone. The prices of gasoline, coal, renewables, etc. According to the EIA, coal is classified into four main ranks. Subbituminous, bituminous, lignite and anthracite. These ranks represent on the amount/types of carbon it contains, along with the amount of heat energy it can produce. The higher the heat content, the higher the price. The price also varies based on the geographical location of the transaction.
Did You Know?
An interesting fact about coal is on the subject of usage in the United States of America. According to the National Mining Association, the United States of America has about a 235-year supply if it continues at the same rate as it was today. To some, this may not phase them in an emotional fashion because of the fact that they won’t live to see that day. To others that are concerned for future generations, it may startle them, or even cause them to work towards a more reliable, readily available energy source.
Based on the statistic of usage in the United States, eventually we are going to have to work together not only as a country; but as a race. We are currently constantly competing against each other for fuel sources. There have been fuel alternatives invented for the sole purpose of solving part of the epidemic of pollution and depletion. In the future, new technologies will be developed to improve the emissions of mining and combustion of coal.
The Future of Coal
Sources
http://energy.gov/public-services/energy-economy/prices-trends

https://www3.epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator/

http://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=coal_prices

http://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=coal_environment

http://teachcoal.org/fast-facts-about-coal
















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