The Black Gold Inc. and Corporation

Madeline Pullen, Alysa Pham, and Rebecca Wiley

What is Coal?

Coal is a fossil fuel that formed from the remains of plants that lived and died millions of years ago.

The energy that we get from coal today came from the energy that plants absorbed from the sun millions of years ago. Coal formation began when thin layers of silt (fine sand and/or clay) covers plant material that died and fell into a swamp or bog. Plants that fell to the bottom of the swamp began to decay as layers of dirt and water were piled on top. Each year new layers of plant material fall into the swamp until the weight of the overlying sediments drives the water out forming peat (An accumulation of decayed vegetation matter). As the heat and pressure increased due to overlying sediment, a chemical change occurred, and the peat turned into coal.

The Advantages of Coal

  • Coal is mined in half of the U.S.'s states
  • Coal provides one-fifth of America's energy needs; almost half of America's electricity comes from coal-fired plants.
  • Critical to electricity production not in many other countries as well
  • Almost ninety-two percent of the coal mined in the U.S. today is used to make electricity
  • Other industries use coal as well. Paper, brick, limestone, and cement industries use coal to create products
  • Coal is used to build power stations in different parts of the world since it is a fossil fuel as long as there are huge amounts of it.
  • Coal is so precious that removing it would be felt nationally, regionally, and in nearly every state, even after acknowledging the positive impacts if renewable energy sources
  • Cheap, affordable and plentiful

Why the U.S. is not using and developing our energy on a large scale

  • Coal energy is a nonrenewable form of energy
  • Coal energy is producing large amounts of carbon emissions and greenhouse gases that result in climate changes and global warming.
  • Coal burning is considered not environmental friendly due to the production of harmful by-products such as nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide.
  • Burning coal can cause pollution such as acid rain to the environment
  • Coal energy is energy is depleting quickly because many people consume a large amount of it inefficiently
  • Underground mining is very hazardous because cave-ins and explosions are common

Extra Information About Coal

  • Subbituminous Coal

It has an energy content of approximately eighteen million BTU per ton and is used mostly in coal fired power plants.

  • Bituminous Coal
Dates from the carboniferous era (About three hundred million years ago) and is high in energy content, averaging of twenty four million BTU per ton.

Bituminous and Subbituminous Coal account for the most coal use in America.

  • Anthracite Coal
The energy content is about twenty three million BTU per ton but it tends to have a sigh sulfur content. It is more than 90% carbon