22 Little Known Coal Facts

Marco Polo, a famous Italian explorer described coal as "black stones ... which burn like logs". Coal is one of the oldest sources of energy for civilizations. It is a black or brownish-black sedimentary rock. Coal is made of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. The amount of these elements varies in different types of these sedimentary rocks. Most coals are mined. It takes millions of years to form the substance. It is basically planetary fossils that are used as an unrenewable energy source.

Coalification is the process of the formation of coals. In the geological past, the Earth was covered with forests and swamps. Dead plants from that ancient forests got covered with dust and rocks millions of years ago. This process kept them safe from oxidation and biodegradation. Then these dead woods become the substance today we call coal with the immense pressure and heat of burial for millions of years. This happened because of the loss of water and carbon dioxide and the increment of carbon. The harsh the condition the hard and black the coal forms. Bituminous coal is the most available type of substance. These are almost around 300 million years old. China is far ahead of any other country on the planet in terms of coal production. The country alone produces over 45% of all production. Around 27.4% of all energy in the world is generated with coal.

Coal is known to all of us. We are using them for thousands of years. Mining and production of the substance are major businesses in many parts of the world. There are some fascinating facts about them. Today we have gathered some of the most interesting little known facts about coals.

A 306 million years old fossil of a Carbonodraco lundi is considered the oldest piece of coal ever found. The fossil animal is also considered the oldest parareptile ever found.

Coal mining is pretty ancient. Evidence found in China suggests that surface mining of the substance may have started around 3490 BC. Modern mining started as early as the 15th century.

North Antelope Rochelle Coal Mine is known as the largest coal mine in the world. The mine is owned by Peabody Energy and covers an area of 5,344 acres.

The coal reserve around the world totals 734,903 million tonnes. The United States has the largest share of the reserve at 220,167 million tonnes.

China alone consumes around 50.5% of the world's yearly consumption of coals. The country uses 3,055.00 cubic feet of the substance per capita.

Tuoketuo Power Station in China is the largest coal-fired power station in the world. The massive power plant has the capacity of producing 6,720 MW of electricity.

There are 6 major types of coals. They are Peat, Lignite, Sub-bituminous, Bituminous, Anthracite, Graphite. Temperature, pressure, and oxygen supply determines the quality and the type of the coals.

They are largely made of carbons. But the ratio of carbon and other substance is different in different types. For example, Lignin has about 54% carbon, 6% hydrogen, and 30% oxygen and Bituminous coal has a composition of about 84.4% carbon, 5.4% hydrogen, 6.7% oxygen, 1.7% nitrogen, and 1.8% sulfur.

Coal is a major energy source of electricity production. Currently, 37% of global electricity is generated with it.

There are two major types of coal mining, Surface mining and Underground mining (Deep mining).

There are three main types of surface mining. They are Strip Mining, Open-Pit Mining, and MTR (mountaintop removal mining). In a mountainous area Strip Mining is called contour mining.

There are three main types of Underground mining, They are Longwall, Room and Pillar, and Retreat mining. Retreat mining is known as the most dangerous way of coal mining.

Domestic usage of the substance is ancient. Roman baths and Aztec Empire used them to heat baths. Aztecs also used them to make ornaments.

The industrial revolution was fueled by this brownish-black sedimentary rock. The invention of the steam engine increased the need for coals around the world.

The substance is also an important raw material for the Steel industry. Coke which is a more pure form of coal is used in the industrial production of steel.

Mount Wingen, of Australia is burning for 5,500 years. The mountain is commonly known as the Burning Mountain. The steam has covered a total area of 6.5 km in its history. It is the oldest continuous coal fire in the world.

There are some advantages of coals. The substance can be mined in any weather. Byproducts of them such as syngas is used to make transportation fuels.

Coal India Limited is the largest mining company in the world in terms of the number of employees in 2020. The company employs over 2,85,000 thousand people.

Coal is directly responsible for global warming and climate change. Some technologies are trying to create more environmentally friendly versions of the substance.

Carbon fiber is used in the production of lightweight products. Carbon fiber has many advantages including high stiffness, high tensile strength, low weight, high chemical resistance, high-temperature tolerance, and low thermal expansion. It is a type of graphite which is the highest quality of coals.

There are coal museums around the world. Kentucky Coal Museum in the USA and National Coal Mining Museum in England is notable of them.

Coal is the official state mineral of The state of Kentucky. It is also the official state rock of Utah state.

Coal definitely has a non-positive effect on our climate and nature. But for thousands of years, it shaped the course of human civilization. These are all we have on coals for now. Thanks for reading.