Type of Coal Notes | EduRev

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UPSC : Type of Coal Notes | EduRev

The document Type of Coal Notes | EduRev is a part of the UPSC Course Geography for UPSC CSE.
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Coal

  • Also called black gold.
  • Found in sedimentary strata [layers of soil].
  • Contains carbon, volatile matter, moisture and ash [in some cases Sulphur and phosphorous]
  • Mostly used for power generation and metallurgy.
  • Coal reserves are six times greater than oil and petroleum reserves.

Carboniferous Coal

  • Most of the world’s coal was formed in Carboniferous age [350 million years ago][Best quality coal].
  • Carboniferous age: In terms of absolute time, the Carboniferous Period began approximately 358.9 million years ago and ended 298.9 million years ago. Its duration is approximately 60 million years.
  • The name Carboniferous refers to coal-bearing strata.

Formation of Coal

Amount of oxygen, nitrogen and moisture content decreases with time while the proportion of carbon increases [The quantity of carbon doesn’t increase, only its proportion increases due to the loss of other elements].

Capacity of coal to give energy depends upon the percentage or carbon content [Older the coal, much more is its carbon content].

Percentage of carbon in coal depends upon the duration and intensity of heat and pressure on wood. [carbon content also depends on depth of formation. More depth == more pressure and heat == better carbon content].

  • Coal formed millions of years ago when the earth was covered with huge swampy [marshy] forests where plants – giant ferns and mosses – grew.
  • As the plants grew, some died and fell into the swamp waters. New plants grew up to take their places and when these died still more grew.
  • In time, there was thick layer of dead plants rotting in the swamp. The surface of the earth changed and water and dirt washed in, stopping the decaying process.
  • More plants grew up, but they too died and fell, forming separate layers. After millions of years many layers had formed, one on top of the other.
  • The weight of the top layers and the water and dirt packed down the lower layers of plant matter.
  • Heat and pressure produced chemical and physical changes in the plant layers which forced out oxygen and left rich carbon deposits. In time, material that had been plants became coal.
  • Coals are classified into three main ranks, or types: lignite, bituminous coal, and anthracite.
  • These classifications are based on the amount of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen present in the coal.
  • Coals other constituents include hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, ash, and sulfur.
  • Some of the undesirable chemical constituents include chlorine and sodium.
  • In the process of transformation (coalification), peat is altered to lignite, lignite is altered to sub-bituminous, sub-bituminous coal is altered to bituminous coal, and bituminous coal is altered to anthracite.

Types of Coal

  • Peat, Lignite, Bituminous & Anthracite Coal.
  • This division is  based on carbon, ash and moisture content.

Peat

Type of Coal Notes | EduRev

  • First stage of transformation.
  • Contains less than 40 to 55 per cent carbon == more impurities.
  • Contains sufficient volatile matter and lot of moisture [more smoke and more pollution].
  • Left to itself, it burns like wood, gives less heat, emits more smoke and leaves a lot of ash.

Lignite

  • Brown coal.
  • Lower grade coal.
  • 40 to 55 per cent carbon.
  • Intermediate stage.
  • Dark to black brown.
  • Moisture content is high (over 35 per cent).
  • It undergoes SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION [Bad. Creates fire accidents in mines]

Type of Coal Notes | EduRev

Bituminous Coal

  • Soft coal; most widely available and used coal.
  • Derives its name after a liquid called bitumen.
  • 40 to 80 per cent carbon.
  • Moisture and volatile content (15 to 40 per cent)
  • Dense, compact, and is usually of black colour.
  • Does not have traces of original vegetable material.
  • Calorific value is very high due to high proportion of carbon and low moisture.
  • Used in production of coke and gas.

Type of Coal Notes | EduRev

Anthracite Coal

  • Best quality; hard coal.
  • 80 to 95 per cent carbon.
  • Very little volatile matter.
  • Negligibly small proportion of moisture.
  • Semi-metallic lustre.
  • Ignites slowly == less loss of heat == highly efficient.
  • Ignites slowly and burns with a nice short blue flame. [Complete combustion == Flame is BLUE == little or no pollutants. Example: LPG]
  • In India, it is found only in Jammu and Kashmir and that too in small quantity.


Type of Coal Notes | EduRev

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