Friday, March 21, 2008

Coal energy facts

Coal is non-renewable energy source.

Coal, together with oil and natural gas belongs to fossil fuels.

Coal was formed about 300 million years ago.

Coal is a combustible mostly black sedimentary rock composed mostly of carbon and hydrocarbons.

Coal takes a million years to create and therefore it belongs to non-renewable energy sources.

Coal mining uses two methods: surface or underground mining where surface mining is more dominant method because it is less expensive than the underground mining.

Coal is mostly transported by train.

Coal as the other fossil fuels as well isn't ecologically acceptable because of CO2 and global warming.

Coal is classified into four main types: lignite, subbituminous, bituminous, anthracite and the coal value is determined by the amount of the carbon it contains.

Coal is mined in 27 US states.

Coal is mainly used for generating electricity (more than 90 % of US coal).

Coal usually has a negative impact on environment, mining can damage ground and surface waters and when coal burns as the fuel it releases CO2 which is the main greenhouse gas that causes global warming.
Coal power plant in Datteln (Germany) at the Dortmund-Ems-Kanal (click on picture for full size).

Coal is so called "dirty" energy source because of its negative effect on environment.

Coal could be the world's most attractive fuel in years to come thanks to the methods of coal purification which are resulting in more cleaner coal, removing sulfur and other dangerous elements.

Coal is used on the large scale in China and USA.

Coal can be answer for future only if technology will enable "ultra-clean" coal.

Coal must be relatively dry before it can be burned successfully.

World coal consumption is more than 5.3 billion tons annually of which three quarters are used for generating electricity.

Coal was already used in the Bronze age (Britain).

Coal's share in the total world electricity production is about 40 %.

Coal reserves by country (click on picture to enlarge).

Coal deposits could be enough to satisfy current world energy needs for the next 300 years.

Coal is getting more attention because of the increased prices of oil and natural gas.

Coal can be converted like to gasoline or diesel by couple of different processes like for instance the Fischer-Tropsch process, Bergius process and Karrick process.

Coal is the official state mineral of the Kentucky and official and the official state rock of Utah.

Coal total reserves are approximately about 1 × 1015 kg or 998 billion tons.

Coal is mined in more than 100 countries.

Major coal exporter is Australia with more than 240 million tonnes annually.

Coal is the main reason for China's economic boost as for China's environmental problems.

Coal is still very "dirty" energy source and therefore rich countries are looking for alternatives (for instance highly developed Germany cut coal use by a 41 percent from 1990 to 2001).


Anonymous said...

use nulcear power plants instead, Fance gets 77% of its power from nuclear power plants.

Anonymous said...

ever think about their nuclear waste?
u can exactly leave at the tip can u?

Anonymous said...

haha i would give that a second thought if you knew how to spell france.
nuclear power is extremely dangerous

Anonymous said...

well in my opion as a teenager (yeah yeah i know you guys will probs be like what ever she doesnt know anything) but anywho i am still commenting it ; )
anywho what i was about to say was if scientist are soooo smart then why cant they find a clean way to make power? Like really i think that corporations should honestly screw off and government and scientist should start to find this stuff out, like what i say to most older people when i get into heated dissucions (i know i probs spelt that wrong) is that, if your genteration wont do this, then my generation will with my good looks and charms = P, but yeah i am just wasting time cuz i am doing homework on this stuff and wanted to take a brake,,,, aight i am done now = P

Anonymous said...

Nuclear is dangerous and unviable.
With the huge cost of building a nuclear power plant in the first place, it's not worth it. Solar is the best, as it is the most efficient of almost all the energy sources. All the other sources come from solar at one point or another in time, and the efficiency rate drastically drops. Solar can also be easily moved around, in panels and batteries, to 3rd world countries with lots of sun, but no requirements for a nuclear power plant.
btw i'm 14 (:

Anonymous said...

Coal is one of the three major forms of fossil fuels, and forms from plant remains. This resource takes a million years to create, which is why it’s considered a nonrenewable resource. This nonrenewable resource was formed around 300 million years ago. It is a black sedimentary rock made up of carbons and hydrocarbons.

Coal, natural gas, and oil are the three major forms of fossil fuels. Hydrocarbons are chemical compounds made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms, and these are what fossil fuels are made of. Fossil fuels are nonrenewable resources, so soon, they will run out, which is why we have started using renewable resources as an alternative source of energy.

We should use alternatives for energy, like biomass fuels. Biomass fuels, alternatives for energy, are renewable resources of living things. Wood, leaves, food wastes, and manure are a few examples of sources for biomass fuels. Biomass fuels can be used for fuel for cars and even more. Since biomass fuels come from living things, the sun is the source for the energy. So the sources biomass fuels are mainly found in rural locations.

However, biomass fuels have disadvantages as well as advantages. Here are some pros and cons:

PRO-You can replace any plants used for biomass fuels by replanting them.

PRO-Biomass fuels are pollution free.

PRO-Biomass fuels are easily available, since you can find the sources for these fuels easily.

CON-It takes a very long time for the trees to grow that are replacing the ones that were cut down.

CON-It is costly when extracting the biomass fuels.

CON-Biomass power plants are huge and take up a lot of space.

Even though we are thinking of solutions for wasting nonrenewable resources, such as solar energy, hydroelectric energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, and biomass fuels, each solution has some disadvantages! Conserve as much electricity as you can! Recycle! Don't waste water! And we can slowly make the world a better place.

Anonymous said...

i think that we should keep using coal cuz we hav a 300 year supply of it

Anonymous said...

This is bull, why don't we just use coal then and plant more trees so that it takes Co2 out of the air. Everyone blames fossil fuels for everything. God, it's so simple, it's like blaming the fall of the apple to the statue twenty feet away from it.

Anonymous said...

Significantly late, yes, but still... These are my thoughts on the subject from what I have gathered. (Some statements may be outdated, but this is to my knowledge as of now.)

I believe that coal will be a temporary answer to many energy issues, but not a lasting one. Personally, I believe that wind, solar, and water (tidal?) sources are the most viable, but I am also a fan of nuclear power plants.

Nuclear is more "dangerous" than other forms of energy, but simply because people are cheap and try to cut corners. A properly built nuclear facility has a very small chance of going critical, as the safeties built into the system are designed to terminate the nuclear reactor should power be lost. Once the reaction is terminated, the facility is essentially harmless, as a nuclear reaction has to be initiated; it won't simply start up on its own. Also, if the reactors are built correctly, they should designed to withstand a critical failure.

The common mindset on nuclear power has been greatly skewed by the events of history, generalizations, and assumptions. One idea is that nuclear power can be associated with the atomic bomb, and that nuclear plants could "go nuclear" and produce similar results. Also, many people will refer to Chernoble, the Long Island Incident, and now Japan as examples of the dangers produced by nuclear power. The counter to this is that these plants weren't designed properly, and corners were cut.

The downside to nuclear power is that it carries a very large start up cost. The cost is essential however, to ensure that the plant IS safe and built correctly. Another downside is the waste, but the waste is not as big of a problem as movies would have one believe. The waste produced is actually quite small, and can be stored without significant danger to the surrounding ecology.

This is my thought on the energy idea (Nuclear wise at least.) Until the renewable energy sources become more efficient and practical however, coal will fill what is needed.

Anonymous said...

Hydropower from rivers is pollution free and if they find ways to minimize the impact on ecosystems we should get to work on as many stations as possible.

Anonymous said...

Why not, on every new house built, instlall solar pannels? Coal, oil, and natural gas are running out and you get paid for the energy you don't use.Where's the problem?

Anonymous said...

There is a reason solar and wind haven't taken off yet, its inefficient and too expensive, ask the Europeans how they like their power bills... Our current administration found that out the hard way by spending millions on alternative energy projects that eventually laid employees off and went bankrupt with no product.
Someone mentioned "screwing corporations and letting the government solve the energy problems." That would be a huge mistake, not just for the job market. The gov has already proven how inefficient they are. Why waste everyone's hard-earned tax money? We should be allowing the private sector to solve this, not empowering energy-demonizing enforcers in Washington DC who regulate companies out of business or out of the USA, increase unemployment and raise energy costs.

Anonymous said...

why cant hydro-electrical energy be used??? i mean like, it is renewable, environmentally friendly and about 70% of the earth is made up of water. all the costs will be for machinery,thats all.... our environment will be safe and its another way of purifying our water.. killing two birds with one stone!! it may take time but it will all be worth it in the long run..from 13 year old South African girl.

papa rock said...

As Americans we can do a lot if we commit. Our biggest problem concerning energy is not the cost. It is that much of today's energy comes with a byproduct of
CO2 which is choking our planet. Many people want to deny the truth when the data is overwhelming. Unfortunately many folks who subscibe to bumper sticker politics choose to believe falsehood. The folks that think beyond stickers and want America and the Earth to survive will win the day even if it takes awhile and we have to drag others along for their children's good.

Some Student Procrastinating said...

So the thing is, alternative energy is a great other option however is it expensive (as stated above) but , if it became more popular and more people started to buy it, the price would consequently lower.

Additionally, yeah, coal is amazing and all that but the whole deal is that it is LIMITED. There is a finite amount of coal on the planet and it takes a couple hundred million years for it to form again. At the rate that humankind is expanding and demanding more energy, all the coal will be gone in a pretty small time.
Not only is coal in limited supply, its environmental effects (other than CO2 output) are terrible AND it has bad effects on the miners themselves and surrounding villages (lung diseases from coal dust etc)
Hydroelectric is a great idea, but it has consequences too :( The water back-flow from the dam can destroy habitats for hundreds of animals and tribes (like the Mon Santo dam).
Nuclear has nuclear waste so that is pretty terrible as well :/
In all honesty, Tidal Power and Solar power seem the most viable :)

Anonymous said...

The question of how the world's power supply will look like is still not fully answered. It is strongly connected to the certain countries/economies willingness to pay the price for the supplied electricity (which is pretty obvious). On the other hand there are still major environmental issues even with RE. PVs for example are produced with large amounts of energy and toxic waste. CSP is literary "toasting" birds flying threw the centralised sunlight. Hydro plants are usually reshaping the whole landscape they implemented in and wind power "shredders" birds. Nuclear power has large outputs but their "true destiny" of evolving to the "breeder reactor" that is nearly endlessly recycling its fuel has not been reached yet. Even less developed is nuclear fusion technology. What on the other hand is developed is gasification technology (ICCG) that enables energy generation using oil and coal nearly emission free but is wildly expensive. Their right mix and implementation is the key of future energy management.
Greedings from Germany

Krafayis said...

I would say that a big problem with what you are saying about nuclear power is that you are only referrig to nuclear FISSION power, rather than nuclear FUSION. Whilst nuclear fission produces waste, nuclear fusion does not. Now I do understand that a lot of energy is required; and that the technique is not quite perfected(there are around 35 very different ways, none perfected), but once the research is finished, nuclear fusion will be the best alternative by far. It can be fuelled with coal, or water, or maybe even air, and any waste will not be radioactive, and can be separated into it's raw elements, which should have high iron content. Until then, geothermal power plants should be made wherever possible(EVERYWHERE).

Shaydee :3 said...

Don't be stupid guys. Of course we can't depend on coal just because we have enough for 300 more years! Get real with that! That's like saying oh I have enough cake to last me a week, so let's eat the whole thing in a day! People are just pigs in human clothing! We're greedy and lazy (not athletic-wise), not wanting to do any work ourselves and instead find easier methods. I might be a 17-year old American girl, but I have a voice and I say we find any other way to stop relying on coal and other fossil fuels. Im doing a project over this right now, trust me the cons really outweigh the pros, even without environmental cons. :p