January 12, 2017 History

Coal is one of the many energy sources that exists in our world today. Coal, along with oil and gas are known as “fossil fuels”. They produce 66% of the world’s electrical power, and 95% of the world’s total energy demands, which includes heating, transportation, electricity generation and other uses (Darvill). What exactly is coal you ask? Coal is a readily combustible rock containing more than 50 percent by weight of carbonaceous material, formed from compaction and indurations of variously altered plant remains similar to those in peat. Peat is an unconsolidated deposit of plant remains from a water-saturated environment such as a bog or mire; structures of the vegetal matter can be seen, and, when dried, peat burns freely (Coal Information). .

These days coal is not as visible as it was back a century ago when it was used to power railroads, boats and fuel factories that produced products used to manufacture the world. Even though it is not as visible, it is still being used throughout the economy. Actually, we use more coal today then in any other time in our nation’s history. Coal generates 56% of the electricity consumed in America each day, which is way more than any other energy source (Coal Today). Nine out of Ten tons of coal mined in the United States today is used to generate electricity. Worldwide coal provides 40% of electricity generated. Manufacturing plants and industries use coal to make chemicals, cement, paper, ceramics, and metal products. Coal gas is also used to make methane and ethylene, which can be used to make plastics, medicines, fertilizers, and tar (Coal”s Past). .

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Coal has many advantages. One of them being that it is plentiful. There is enough .

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coal around for it to last the next 300 years at the rate we are using it now. Therefore coal has a good future being that it will be around for a long time and will have the potential for growth. It is also very cost effective.


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