Coal Is A Fossil Fuel

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Coal is a fossil fuel that provides energy to be used for multiple purposes, provides many jobs, and supplies the U.S. with a strong export. People in America are unaware of what coal actually is, what it is used for, and what kind of jobs it supplies in the United States. Carbon gives coal most of its energy. Coal is made from peat, which is material that is formed from plants that have accumulated at the bottom of swampy areas. As peat is buried by sedimentary rock and sandstone, moisture is squeezed out of it, and as it heats up, coal is formed. Most of the coal that is mined today is about 300 million years old, and the newest coal is about one million years old. Formation of coal is a continuing process. Swamps today will…show more content…
The reserves for subbitumious coal are located in six western states and in Alaska. Lignite coal is “young” coal. It is the lowest ranked coal because it doesn’t burn well. It is typically called brown coal because it is a soft brown sedimentary rock that is compressed peat. It is often burned in power stations close to the mines instead of being transported. Lignite coal has the lowest carbon content of about 25% to 35%. (http://www.ket.org/, Kentucky Educational Television) Coal is produced in a few different ways. If it is found closest to the surface, it can be removed by large machines. This is called surface mining, and in the 1970’s, this became the most common type of mining. It accounts for 60% of coal in the extracted in the United States, mostly occurring in the western states. When mining, topsoil and subsoil are removed and put aside to be used for reclaiming the land. Machines then go in and remove rock and overburden to expose the coal. Shovels load the coal into large trucks to remove the coal from the pit. After the coal is removed, the area is reclaimed. The overburden is first put back, and then the soils are replaced to nearly the same as before. Plants are planted to anchor soil and returns the land back to its natural state. This land is valuable to supporting farm crops, new habitats, and even sites for commercial development. Underground mining now accounts for only 40% of coal that is
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