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The Hazards of Coal Use

Decent Essays
The Hazards of Coal Use:
Coal has been combusted for fuel for thousands of years. However it was not until the last few decades that the consequences of coal use have been fully realized and effort has been taken to lessen the severe environmental harm that can come from the combustion of coal. The fact of the matter is no matter how much we may dislike coal and the detrimental effects of it we, as a nation, depend on coal to live our lives. When we flip a switch and a light turns on we don’t give it a second thought but its not always that simple. Aside from coal’s significant contribution to climate change there have been other disasters stemming from coal and specifically the storage of contaminants extracted from coal combustion. One of the biggest man made environmental disasters of the millennia occurred just outside of Kingston, Tennessee in late 2008. This disaster though not as well publicized as many other disasters has been estimated to have released over 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash several times more contaminants by volume than the Exxon Valdeez oil spill in 1989 (Initial Emergency).

“Clean Coal”
Similar to most coal fired power plants in the United Stated today the Kingston Fossil Plant in Tennessee utilized various ‘scrubbers’, which effectively separated flue-ash, also known as fly ash, a byproduct of the coal combustion process. Through the use of scrubbers fly ash is separated from the flue gases released into the atmosphere. Fly ash is
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