In this specialized use, it is sometimes known as "sea coal" in the United States. The conversion of dead vegetation into coal is called coalification. [103] Mining and processing of coal causes air and water pollution. When coal is used for electricity generation, it is usually pulverized and then burned in a furnace with a boiler. [citation needed], Thousands of coal fires are burning around the world. [66] Much coal to chemical production is in China[67][68] where coal dependent provinces such as Shanxi are struggling to control its pollution.[69]. Coal can be used as a feedstock in the production of a wide range of chemical fertilizers and other chemical products. "[115], Breathing in coal dust causes coalworker's pneumoconiosis which is known colloquially as "black lung", so-called because the coal dust literally turns the lungs black from their usual pink color. Coal mining can also cause long lasting fires, and it has been estimated that thousands of coal seam fires are burning at any given time. Attempts to extinguish the fire were unsuccessful, and it continues to burn underground to this day.

[31] Coal cinders have been found in the hearths of villas and Roman forts, particularly in Northumberland, dated to around AD 400. As of 2016, coal remains an important fuel as it supplied about a quarter of the world's primary energy and two-fifths of electricity. Maps by energy source and topic, includes forecast maps. 29: 17–45 (Volume publication date May 2001), greenhouse gas emitted over the life of a generator, Environmental impact of the coal industry, Kingston Fossil Plant coal fly ash slurry spill, continues to burn underground to this day, Learn how and when to remove this template message, United States Government Accountability Office, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, "Calculations of the Influence of Additives on Coal Combustion Deposits", "Lignite coal – health effects and recommendations from the health sector", "CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion 2018 Overview (free but requires registration)", "China's unbridled export of coal power imperils climate goals", "Dethroning King Coal – How a Once Dominant Fuel Source is Falling Rapidly from Favour", "Tax carbon, not people: UN chief issues climate plea from Pacific 'frontline, "Analysis: Why coal use must plummet this decade to keep global warming below 1.5C", 10.1130/0016-7606(1957)68[1293:ACFPUH]2.0.CO;2, "Lignite coal - health effects and recommendations from the health sector", "UK's last deep coal mine Kellingley Colliery capped off",, "How much coal is required to run a 100-watt light bulb 24 hours a day for a year?
In 2019, about 706 million short tons of coal were produced in 23 U.S. states. [88] Coal futures contracts provide coal producers and the electric power industry an important tool for hedging and risk management. China mines almost half the world's coal, followed by India with about a tenth. At Kuh i Malik in Yagnob Valley, Tajikistan, coal deposits have been burning for thousands of years, creating vast underground labyrinths full of unique minerals, some of them very beautiful. Countries with annual production higher than 300 million tonnes are shown. When coal is mined, methane is ... Email. The price of metallurgical coal is volatile[87] and much higher than the price of thermal coal because metallurgical coal must be lower in sulfur and requires more cleaning. Although they burn coal more efficiently and therefore emit less pollution, the technology has not generally proved economically viable for coal, except possibly in Japan although this is controversial. [175] Phasing out coal has short-term health and environmental benefits which exceed the costs,[176] but some countries still favor coal,[177] and there is much disagreement about how quickly it should be phased out. Shares are based on data expressed in tonnes oil equivalent. A grass fire in a coal area can set dozens of coal seams on fire. [84] Most coal mined is thermal coal (also called steam coal as it is used to make steam to generate electricity) but metallurgical coal (also called "metcoal" or "coking coal" as it is used to make coke to make iron) accounts for 10% to 15% of global coal use.[85]. [70] The goals of precombustion coal technologies are to increase efficiency and reduce emissions when the coal is burned. 3 Thermal efficiency improvements are achievable by improved pre-drying (especially relevant with high-moisture fuel such as lignite or biomass).

About 27% of the coal produced in the United States came from the Appalachian coal region.

It is the world's largest energy consumer, and coal in China supplies 60% of its primary energy. Coal seams exist on every continent. When heated, the coal decomposes and the bod becomes slightly friable, easing the process of breaking open holes for tapping the molten metal.[56]. [120] Coal ash contains the radioactive elements uranium and thorium. [28] The alternative name was "pitcoal", because it came from mines. [30] Evidence of trade in coal, dated to about AD 200, has been found at the Roman settlement at Heronbridge, near Chester; and in the Fenlands of East Anglia, where coal from the Midlands was transported via the Car Dyke for use in drying grain.

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