Coal is classified as a fossil fuel
Coal is classified as a fossil fuel. Coal is the remains of vegetation from million and million of years ago. The vegetation was formed in swamps and bogs. Coal formed in the Carboniferous Period. The Carboniferous Period dates back to 360-290 million years ago and also known as the first coal age (World Coal Association). During this time period the earth was a vast majority of large swampy forest where plants like ferns and mosses grew. As the plants died and fell into the swamp waters new plants would grow and repeat the cycle. The dead plants in the swamp layered on top of each other slowly rotting away in the swamp. As the cycle of plants continue to grow and die the earth surface and crust began to change ‘tectonic movement’ (World Coal Association). Water and dirt was being washed into the swamps packing down the lower layers of plant matter. Heat and pressure then started to produce because of the burial causing chemical and physical changes in the plant layers (World Coal Association).. And because of this it forced out oxygen leaving carbon deposits behind. As the time progressed plant material became coal. A lot of earths energy that we get today comes from coal. This is because the energy we get from the coal, plants absorbed the energy many millions of years ago from the sun. All of earths living plants store solar energy through photosynthesis, and when the plants die the energy is then released back into the air.
Coal can be classified into three different categories: Lignite, Bituminous coal, and Anthracite (ranked from the lowest heating value to the highest heating value). Coal is classified based on the amount of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen that are present. Coal is a flammable black, brown, or a black-brownish mixture in color made out build-up sit and sedimentary rock. Coal is a carbon rich solid material that is usually stratified by sedimentary deposits. These sedimentary deposits eventually cause temperatures and pressures to elevate which is caused by igneous intrusions or deformation during orogenesis (Kopp). In this paper I will present evidence that coal is a rich and plentiful money-making resource that should be continuously used for years to come.
Coal is argued to be the cheapest most stable source of energy. Coal is way cheaper then other natural gases, oil, and nuclear energy. Coal is found to be stable because there is such a massive supply of the fossil fuel in the United States and many other countries like China, India, and Australia. And because of the massive supply in other countries there would be no sudden scarcity for coal when the demand increases like previously experienced with other forms of energy (Kentucky Coal Energy). Also compared to other forms of energy like natural gases and oils, coal offers the people a job. These jobs would consist of the people removing the coal from the earth by transporting it to the utility, burning the coal, and then finally they will appropriately dispose of the coals ashes (Kentucky Coal Energy).
The drawbacks and arguments against coal use comes from the effect of burning coal. Burning coal is not seen as being environmental friendly because it produces a large amount of harmful gases like carbon dioxide, sulfuric dioxide and ash which then pollutes the air and forms acid rain (Advantages and Disadvantages of Coal). Coal is stated to release twice as much carbon dioxide than any other fossil fuel which results in global warming and climate change. Coal is a nonrenewable resource and is quickly reducing because the way we are using it in vast amounts (Advantages and Disadvantages of Coal). The jobs that coal does create for people like coal mines risk the lives of the workers. They are being exposed to dangerous pollution gases that are leaving them open to dangerous health conditions and maybe even death (Advantages and Disadvantages of Coal).
Doing research on the web it is very clear that coal has been used by mankind of millions and millions of years ago. As the years progress we can’t deny the fact that using coal energy is going to be even more important to us. We want an affordable and reliable energy source and as of now coal is the only one who meets both being cheap and reliable. The energy made by coal is very substantial for us and living without it would become impossible because of the energy benefits we gain from it.