Coal is known as a non-renewable source of fuel which means that our supply of it is limited and it will eventually run out. Due to this, scientists and expert are looking for alternative and eco-friendly alternatives for when the big day arrives in the distant future. With this said, it is interesting to find out where exactly coal came from and why we have only just discovered its abilities in the past couple centuries. Here is how coal was made…
Coal was formed millions of years ago back when the entire planet was covered in swampy forests and the environment looked completely different to what it does now. In these swamps many plants would grow. As life dictates however, some of these plants died and they would fall into the swamps, with new plants taking their places. After a long time, the swamp water became full of thicker layers of rotting plant matter.
The process of this took thousands of years and eventually the surface of the planet changed, and the water disappeared. Despite this, the repetitive cycle of plant growth, death and decay continued and as it happened more and more layers were formed on top of one another after millions of years. The weight of this, however, meant that a lot of heat and pressure allowed for chemical and physical changes to take place to the material. For example, the oxygen was forced out of the plant layers and a rich deposit of carbon was left. This eventually became the coal we know and use today.
As the plant matter that was placed under pressure was formed million of years ago at different intervals of time, coal can be separated into three different types depending on the value of chemicals that are present in the material.
For example, lignite is the lowest rank which means that is has the lowest amount of carbon in it. Bituminous is the next rank of coal and is often called soft coal. It contains a high amount of sulphur however is used to generate electricity, concrete, food and even cars. Finally, anthracite is at the top of the coal rank which means that it has the highest carbon content out of all of them. It is characterised by is deep black and almost metallic glossy texture. This is the type of coal that is typically used to heat homes because it can burn for longer periods of times and gives off less soot.
The world of coal is quite an interesting one. After all, many people presume that coal is one single rock and that our supply of it is unlimited when it is in fact the opposite that is true.
Our range of coal here at Pearson Fuels is the best of the best, which is why we are known as the best coal merchants around! To find out more information about this interesting fossil fuel, get in contact with a member of the team today!