1a Coal -- Intro

What is Coal?
A block of anthracite coal. From mii.org.

The Definition of Coal
  • Coal is a fossil feul formed by the remains of dead plants. The word coal comes from an old English cognat spelled col. Coal comes from plant energy from the sun.

The Formation of Coal
  • There are several steps to form coal.

1. The energy for the coal comes from the sun's energy for the plants.

2.The plants die and over time, they release their energy.

3.The dead plant matter lies under swampy water. It lies there and decays for the next few thousand years.
4.Some water and dirt wash in over the stopping decay.

5.The weight of the top layers of dirt and water pack down on the lower layers.

6.The layers push out oxygen and leave the hydrocarbon under heat to make coal.

  • Coal can only go through this cycle with a steady temperature, pressure, the right plants, and time. It will go through this cycle whenever wet conditions occur.
An environment where coal would form. From google images.

The Forming Periods of Coal

  • Coal was also formed at different time periods.

  • The time periods start around 360 million years ago. In order, they are...

  • the Carboniferous period (360-286 million years ago)

  • the Permian (286-250 million years ago)

  • the Triassic (250-206 million years ago)

  • the Jurassic (206-144 million years ago)

  • the Cretaceous (144-65 million years ago)

  • the Tertiary (65-2 million years ago).

  • The Carboniferous period is where today's coal comes from.

A block of bituminous coal. From mii.org.

The Different Types of Coal

  • Coal from different time periods can result in ditterent types of coal. There are four types of coal.

  • Lignite is the softest coal then there's bituminous, then sub bituminous, and then anthracite
  • Anthracite is the hardest type of coal. This is because it has the most carbon in it.

Coal's way of formation is a very long proccess.
Click here to go to mii.org

Click here to go to coal's history page.