What Do You Mean by Coal?
Coal is one of the most important and older nonrenewable energy sources in the world. It is used extensively in different applications and industrial sectors such as paper, aluminium, transportation, pharmaceutical, and mining.
Moreover, coal mining has been in existence for the last few decades and has been working hard by providing jobs to workers and miners.
The world has shifted towards cleaner energies such as wind and solar, but in recent years there is also an emphasis on creating clean coal. So, coal is extracted from mining it is cheap and easy to use. On the other hand, the burning of coal also has significant consequences to both the local and global environment.
World Largest Source of Electricity:
Apart from the emission of carbon, coal is considered one of the dirtiest forms of energy. It is a type of fossil fuel that supplies 40 per cent of the world’s electricity. To get a better understanding of this material, let’s discuss the pros and cons of coal.
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Pros of Coal:
Is coal a power resource that works as a primary source of energy? The answer to this specific question lies in the advantages of coal for our modern world.
- Variety of uses
- Give jobs to people
- An abundant source of energy
- Estimated global reserves for coal
- Full-time energy resource
- Used in combination with renewables to reduce emissions
- Converted into different formats
- Offer low capital investment
- High load factor
An Abundant Source of Energy:
Countries like United States, China, India, and Indonesia produce coal from third to first world countries as it is a popular mineral. Unlike other renewable sources of energy, coal is currently available in abundant supply.
Indeed the world has about 300 years of coal reserves while the United States has about 160 years. Moreover, it makes up about 30 per cent of the world’s total energy requirements.
Give Jobs to People:
If you want to get coal, you need to do mining. There is no doubt that coal mining is one of the most popular industries because it gives thousands of jobs to people such as truck drivers, miners, and labourers above all.
In the United States alone, 52 coal mines provide thousands of jobs to miners. In general, some manufacturers use coal for their products.
Variety of Uses:
Aside from the transportation industry, other industries rely entirely on coal. Coal is also used as a primary ingredient in making silbyproductd carbon fibre. Coal tar is a by-product of fuel used to produce clothing materials, dyes, and paper.
Converted into Different Formats:
Coal can also be converted into a gaseous or liquid state but still useable as if refined or even raw. Thus the conversion to liquid or gaseous state creates by-products burns cleaner as well which byproducts production of ash and other byproducts that are produced by the combustion process.
Full-time Energy Resource:
Unlike solar or natural gas, coal can be burnt 24/7 to produce energy. This means that it is a powerful resource that offers predictability for modern society. In the coming few decades, it will be the cheapest source of electricity due to advancements in the field of technology.
High Load Factor:
If we use coal as a fuel, it creates a society having the potential for continuous power. Many infrastructures are developed across the world to use coal while offering a reasonable utilization rate of this fossil fuel.
It also provides us with high load factor giving access to a predictable and efficient level of energy obtained through the process of combustion.
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Offer Low Capital Investment:
These days many of the power generation technologies are already designed to use coal. This limit the overall investment of capital which is used for creating a new societal resource, especially when compared to nuclear or renewable energy.
Cons of Coal:
Let discuss now the cons of coal.
- Destroys the overall environment
- Hazardous for health and society
- Contributes towards pollution
- Coal mines cause destruction and reallocation
- Emit high levels of radiations
- Not a renewable source of energy
Hazardous for Health and Society:
One of the most significant disadvantages of coal is the threat that it possesses to the health of mineworkers who inhale the fumes of coal during their job hours.
Also, these fumes are harmful to the health of people who resides near coal mines. There are many accidents reported each year stating several coal miners died while performing their duty got trapped in coal mines.
Destroys the Overall Environment:
Apart from being harmful to health, coal is also affecting our environment severely because many forests are destroyed while miners dig coal. It disturbs not only people living in the vicinity but even bird and animal species. However, plants, air, and soil all are destroyed in coal mining.
Contributes Towards Pollution:
When coal and other fossil fuels are burned, this results in the formation of waste gases that contains sulfur and nitrogen oxide. So, this brings acid rain when combined with atmospheric water and thus causes air pollution.
As the wind carries with it dust, toxic substances can be transported to great byproduct high levels of radiations:
A byproduct obtained during burning coal called coal ash emits a large amount of pollution. This ash then settles down across the surrounding areas of fuel. Hence, coal combustion can also produce mercury, nitrous oxide, heavy metals, and other dangers related to the environment.
Not a Renewable Source of Energy:
If we keep on using coal for our power and energy needs, at last, it will become depleted. As a natural fossil fuel, there is a finite supply of coal. We have a vast stock of coal available in some regions, but still not a renewable source of energy.
Coal Mines Cause Destruction and Reallocation:
Many coal mines use an open caste method which leads animal habitats towards destruction. Fires connected with coal mines cause underground burning which is challenging to remove. Established communities need to play their part to avoid air pollution of coal mines while displacing people from their homes.
Despite many disadvantages still, it is a necessity for humanity. So, the pros and cons of coal require a balance of power and also environment management.