Coal Mining And Its Effects

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When asked to think of coal mining, what comes to mind? A mountain with a hole cut into the side of it with a set of railroad tracks disappearing into it? Maybe an old mine car or two full of some rocks or coal, with a pickaxe and shovel leaning against it. A few guys with hard hats covered in a black powder coming walking out of the mine pushing a car or two full of coal. The technology has advanced but the process is basically still the same as well as the outcome. Coal is retrieved from underground and taken to factories to be burnt to create electricity or to fuel the steel mills.
1 What is coal? Coal is a substance we consider today a fossil fuel, created from all the dead plants millions of years ago. Coal is formed from prehistoric plants that when they die are not able to release the energy they built up from photosynthesis Typically the plants had fallen into large swamps and bogs, and then over time the dead plants lying on the bottom of the swamps and bogs were slowly covered with other dead plants and sediment build-up. Once buried the plants were subjected to high amounts of pressure and temperatures, which over long periods of time it becomes peat then eventually creates coal. We refer to coal as a “fossil fuel” today because it is created from prehistoric plants and the coal we have today has been millions of years since it was in plant form. Today we coal is still being created we just don’t fully recognize it because how long the process actually takes.
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