Energy Research Essay - Coal

Energy Research Essay - Coal
First of all, coal can be classified in many different classes. One way is known as coal rank. Coal rank is a measure of degree of change (metamorphosis) from the peat stage. The ranks range from low rank to high rank. These are called lignite, subituminous, bituminous, and anthracite. Heating value and sulfur content reach maximum values at the bituminous coal rank. This stage contains very important environmental implications. Low ranking coal (eg lignite) releases a smoky flame when ignited. Ignition is also easy. High rank coal (eg antracite) has a clean flame and difficult ignition. Coal contains minerals These are organic constituents derived from different parts of plants.
An environmental analysis of coal shows it contains carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulfur, and nitrogen. The results of coal are determined by ratios of the amount of C H O and predict the heating value and ease of combustion. Sulfur and nitrogen are the pollutants in coal. A result of this is acid rain. The estimated resource of coal in the US us about 1.5 × 10^12 tonnes. If we continue to consume coal at a rate of 1000 × 10^6 tonnes per year, the resource would last an impressibly long time, 1500 yrs. However, rates do not often remain constant. ( Kraushaar, Jack J., Ristenin, Robert A. Energy and the Environment. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York, NY: 1999.) Coal utilization is defined as different ways we can use coal and how it benefits us. One way is combustion. Power plants use this process for both residential and commercial areas. Another way to utilize coal is coke-making. This results from the smelting of iron ore in a blast furnace. Still a third way is conversion. This could be conversion to gaseous or liquid fuels (synthetic fuels) or gasification and liquification. Conversion factors for fossil fuels are as follows. Bituminous coal has an atomic H/C of 0.8 and is a solid. Petroleum is a liquid with an atomic H/C of 1.3. Gasoline is a liquid with an atomic H/C of 2.0. Natural gas has a n atomic H/C of 4.0 and is a gas. As an outside source, I chose the coal industry in Canada. all information was found on the website http://www.coal.ca/coal.htm Canada?s coal industry is proud of their accomplishments. Every year the industry contributes an estimated 8.1 billion dollars to Canada?s economy. This is enough to provide with coal 116,000 average Canadian families for an entire year. The industry directly and indirectly employs over 56,000 men and women throughout the country. As a result coal is now Canada?s single largest export to Japan, and the growth of the industry has helped create major improvements to railroads and ports. This hopes to be the beginning of the future of Canada?s growing a stronger future for industry in Canada.

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