Coal is a fossil fuel that developed naturally 300 million years ago during the Carboniferous Period. As a result of this, it is known as a non-renewable source of energy. When people think of coal, they think of the dangers of mining and the industrial revolution however this simple rock has come a long way since the early 1800’s. Read on to find out some of the things we use coal for in 2018…
Every time you turn on a light in your home, coal is how the electricity is supplied. In fact, coal fuelled power plants currently contribute to 37% of the world electricity. The main source of power is through steam coal; it is first turned into a fine powder as this increases its surface area and helps it burn quicker, then it is burned inside the combustion chamber of a boiler in order to generate enough heat so that water can be converted into steam. This high pressure steam passes via a turbine, causing it to rotate rapidly and thus, power a generator that supplies electricity.
Aside from turning on the heating in your home, coal can also be used in order to generate a fire. Whether you prefer the ambiance of an open flame or like to stick to the safety of a stove, there are dozens of different ways to heat your home using coal. In fact, there is even an environmentally friendly option known as smokeless coal which doesn’t release as many toxic gases into the atmosphere. Without coal, we will not be able to create these idyllic winter scenes.
The entire steel industry is reliant on coal. After all, steel is iron alloy and since it only occurs as iron oxide in the earth, these ores have to be reduced using carbon and we do this with coking coal. This type of coal is converted to coke by removing the impurities from coal in order to create a material that is almost pure carbon with a low sulphur and phosphorous content. This material is used in a blast furnace alongside iron ore and small qualities of minerals like limestone in order to create carbon monoxide. This dangerous gas then reacts with the iron ore, reducing it and adding carbon so it can become a steel alloy.
Whilst it is no secret that the supply of coal will not last forever, experts suggest that we still have enough to continue operating at current levels for another 150 years. Here at Pearson Fuels, we recognise the versatility of coal when it comes to how it can be used and we are proud to supply a wide variety of options for all your heat producing needs! To find out more information about our house coal or smokeless coal, get in contact with the best coal merchants around today!