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Coal Notes. Take out your notes and answer these questions….in writing!. What is a non-renewable resource? Give some examples… What is a renewable resource? Give some examples…. What are Resources?. Renewable resources - resources replaced as they used Ex. Water, plants (trees), air, sun

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Coal Notes

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Coal notes

Coal Notes

Take out your notes and answer these questions in writing

Take out your notes and answer these questions….in writing!

What is a non-renewable resource?

Give some examples…

What is a renewable resource?

Give some examples…

What are resources

What are Resources?

  • Renewable resources -resources replaced as they used

    • Ex. Water, plants (trees), air, sun

  • Nonrenewable Resources -have a limited supply

    • Ex. Minerals and Fossil fuels

What are fossil fuels

What are Fossil Fuels?

  • Fossil Fuels – Forms of stored energy that are remains of living things made primarily of carbon and hydrogen through the process of carbonization.

    • Ex. coal, oil, natural gas



Carbonization – The decomposition of plants releasing gases which change the chemical composition of the plants leaving only carbon and hydrogen.

What is coal

What is Coal?

  • Coal- formed from partially decomposed vegetation, which is turned into solid brittle rock when it is compressed over a long period of time.

Coal facts you should know

Coal Facts You Should Know!

  • The most abundant fossil fuel

  • 5-10 ft of decomposed material makes about 1 ft of coal

  • Less than half the price per million BTU than oil and natural gas.

Coal fast facts

Coal Fast Facts

  • 1 lb. of coal can power 10-100 watt light bulbs for an hour

  • Should last for about 250 years at the current rate of use

  • Use decreased during the 40’s and 50’s because oil and gas were easier to use

  • Use has been increasing since the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973

Oil embargo 1973 74

Oil Embargo- 1973-74

News Cast

More coal fast facts

More Coal Fast Facts

  • It is now used mainly for the generation of electricity

  • In 1997 it was responsible for 31% of the nation’s energy consumption

  • Mostly transported by train or barge

  • China is the major producer and the U.S. is second

Take out your notes

Take out your notes…

Try to draw a diagram of what a coal powerplant looks like…

How coal generates electricity

How Coal Generates Electricity

Coal Factory Animation

Problems with coal

Problems with Coal

In your books pg 436 describe each of the following

In your books (pg 436) describe each of the following…






Coke (on back of notes sheet)

Problems with coal1

Problems with Coal…

  • Contains sulfur causing air pollution when burned.

  • Makes acid rain!

  • High amounts of air pollution (CO2 and SO2) are given off by coal power plants.

  • Causes more air pollution when burned than any other fossil fuel

Coal mining

Coal Mining

  • Underground mining:

    • dangerous, collapsed mines, fires, gas explosions, and black lung (lungs are coated in coal dust)

  • Strip Mining - the overlying layer of rock is stripped to get to the coal from the surface.

    • this is cheaper, safer, and yields 3x’s more coal than underground mining

  • Centrailia and an explosion

    Centrailia and an Explosion

    Centralia Video

    Mine Explosion Video

    Problems with strip mining

    Problems with Strip Mining

    • Less than one-half of the mines have been reclaimed…

      • restored to their natural state

  • Acid Mine Drainage: (AMD) is when water reacts with mineral in the open mine forming highly acidic water pollution the environment killing aquatic organisms and waterfowl

  • Amd in pa

    AMD in PA


    Solutions to coal use

    Solutions to Coal Use

    • Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 requires that mined land be restored to its primary use (forest, field, etc.)

    • Clean Air Act of 1990 forces companies to reduce the emissions (release) of SO2 and NO2 when burning coal

    • More coal in this country is coming from the mid-west instead of the east because it contains less sulfur

    • New technologies are being invented to reduce air pollutants from coal (scrubber - sprays the gas with lime or calcium water binding the SO2, causing it to settle out – expensive process to install)

    • ***Using natural gas is cleaner because it releases one-half the CO2 and SO2 of coal

    Coal notes


    Synthetic fuels

    Synthetic Fuels

    • Fuels produced by chemically changing fossil fuels like coal. They are cleaner burning

    • In your books, pg 446, find the notes for…

      • Liquid Coal

      • Coal Gas

      • Oil Shale



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