Environmental Issues of Coal Mining

1728 Words Aug 7th, 2013 7 Pages
ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES OF COAL MINING

INTRODUCTION

Coal is the most abundant fuel resource in India. It is the prime source of energy and perhaps the largest contributor to the industrial growth of the country. It is a crucial and enduring element in a modern, balanced energy portfolio, providing a bridge to the future as an important low cost and secure energy solution to sustainability challenges. Some important facts about coal industry in India are as follows:

•India is the third largest producer of coal in the world
•Coal is one of the primary sources of energy
•India has some of the largest reserves of coal in the world
•Indian coal has high ash content (15-45%)and low calorific value
•With the present
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There is concern that this natural phenomenon is being altered by a greater build up of gases caused by human activity.
This is known as the enhanced greenhouse effect. The combustion of coal, like that of other fossil fuels, produces CO2, a gas that is linked to global warming through the greenhouse effect.
The combustion of coal produces gaseous emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrous oxides (NOx) that are responsible for the production of ‘acid rain’ and ‘ground level ozone’. Acid rain occurs when SO2 and NOx gases react in the atmosphere with water, oxygen and other chemicals to form acidic compounds. Ground level ozone (O3) is mainly responsible for smog that forms a brown haze over cities. Ground level ozone is formed when NOx gases react with other chemicals in the atmosphere and is enhanced by strong sunlight. Emissions of SO2 and NOx are termed trans-boundary air pollution because the environmental impacts from the production of these gases are not restricted by geographical boundaries.

(II) Impact of Coal Mine Fires

A number of coal mines in the country are affected by fires leading to steady destruction of precious energy resource. The reason for mine fires presumably involves the phenomenon of spontaneous heating through two interrelated processes viz., the oxygen coal interaction or oxidative process and
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