How Is Coal Used To Generate Electricity Bbc Bitesize

Most of the world’s electricity is generated using fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil. Fossil fuels are nonenewable resources, which means they cannot be replenished once they have been used. The need to find alternative sources of energy is becoming increasingly urgent, as climate change caused by the release of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels is a major global problem.

Coal is an important fossil fuel that is used to generate electricity. It is found in underground deposits all over the world, and is mined in many countries, including the UK. When coal is burned, it produces heat, which is used to generate steam.

The steam drives turbines, which turn generators to produce electricity.

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Coal is a black rock made up of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and small amounts of other minerals. It was formed millions of years ago from the remains of dead plants and animals. Coal is a nonenewable fossil fuel and is the biggest source of energy for producing electricity.

The majority of the world’s electricity is generated by coalired power stations. A power station burns coal to heat water in a boiler. The hot water produces steam.

The steam turns turbines in generators to produce electricity. The type of boiler and turbine used in a coalired power station are determined by the temperature and pressure of the steam they need to produce. The steam for a supercritical power station can be as hot as degrees Celsius.

This requires a very efficient boiler that is operated at very high pressures. A coalired power station releases large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO₂) when burning coal. To reduce environmental pollution, many countries have replaced coal with less carbonntensive fuels such as natural gas, nuclear power or renewables.

How Is Coal Used To Generate Electricity?

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Coal is one of the most abundant energy resources on Earth, and has been used to generate electricity for over a century. The process of coalolectricity is fairly simple: Coal is first mined from the ground. The coal is then transported to a power plant. The coal is pulverized into a fine powder.

The powder is then combusted in a boiler to produce heat. The heat is used to generate steam. The steam spins a turbine, which generates electricity. The electricity is then sent to homes and businesses via the power grid.

Despite its efficiency, coalired power plants are a major source of air pollution, including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and mercury. In an effort to reduce these emissions, many countries have adopted clean coal technologies, such as scrubbers, which remove some of the harmful pollutants before they are released into the atmosphere.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using Coal To Generate Electricity?

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There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to using coal to generate electricity. The advantages include the fact that it is readily available and has a relatively low cost. Additionally, coalired power plants are relatively efficient in terms of their fuel use. However, there are also a number of disadvantages associated with coal.

One of the most significant is its impact on the environment. Coal mining can have a detrimental effect on local ecosystems, and burning coal emits a range of pollutants into the atmosphere, including carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide. Coal is also a nonenewable resource, meaning that once it is used it cannot be replaced.

How Does A Coal Power Plant Work?

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A coal power plant produces electricity by burning coal in a boiler to heat water to produce steam. The steam turns a turbine, which spins an electric generator to produce electricity. The steam is then cooled, condensed back into water, and returned to the boiler to start the process over.

What Is The Process Of Coal Mining?

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Coal mining is the process of extracting coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its energy content and since the , has been widely used to generate electricity. Steel and cement industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from iron ore and for cement production.

In the United Kingdom and South Africa, a coal mine and its structures are a colliery, a coal mine a pit, and the aboveround structures the pit head. In Australia, “colliery” generally refers to an underground coal mine. In the United States, “colliery” has been used to describe a coal mine operation, but this usage is not common in other Englishpeaking countries.

How Is Coal Processed?

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Coal is first mined from the ground. Next, the coal is cleaned at a washing plant. Water is added to the coal to separate it from the other minerals in the rock.

The coal is then transported to a power plant where it is burned to heat water in a boiler to create steam.

Who Uses Coal To Generate Electricity?

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More than fourifths of the world’s coal reserves are located in just six countries – the USA, Russia, China, Australia, India and South Africa. Despite this concentration, coal is found in nearly every country and is mined by more than two million miners globally. The top five produces of coal are China, the United States, India, Australia and Indonesia. Who uses coal to generate electricity?In about billion tonnes of coal were produced worldwide.

of this was used by countries in Asia, while just over was used in North America and Europe combined. Around of global coal consumption is used for electricity generation. China is both the largest producer and consumer of coal in the world, accounting for of global production and of global consumption in In China consumed billion tonnes of coal – almost as much as the rest of the world combined. The USA is the second largest producer and consumer of coal.

It mined million tonnes in a figure that has remained relatively stable since In US coal consumption was million tonnes, around of the global total. India is the third largest producer of coal, with million tonnes mined in It is also the second largest consumer, with million tonnes consumed in the same year – around of the global total. Australia is the fourth largest producer of coal, mining million tonnes in While its production has been growing steadily since the early , its share of global production has fallen from in to in as production in other countries has increased at a faster rate. Indonesia is the fifth largest producer of coal, with million tonnes mined in It is also the sixth largest consumer, with million tonnes consumed in the same year.

What Are The Different Types Of Coal?

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of coal are ranked by how influential their heat content is; the highest quality of coal is anthracite, which has a heat content of to mega joules per kilogram. Anthracite is hard and brittle, making it difficult to ignite and impractical for many industrial processes. The next grade down, bituminous coal, has a heat content of to mega joules per kilogram. Bituminous coal is also hard and brittle, but it’s less so than anthracite and is therefore used in a wider range of applications.

Subbituminous coal has a heat content of to mega joules per kilogram. This type of coal is black and often powdery, and it’s sometimes called lignite. Subbituminous coal is easier to ignite than either bituminous or anthracite coal, making it a popular choice for power plants. finally, there’s peat.

Peat is a very lowuality coal with a heat content of ½ to mega joules per kilogram. It’s not actually considered to be a true coal because it doesn’t have a wide range of uses, but it is still used as a fuel in some parts of the world.

How Much Coal Is Needed To Generate Electricity?

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The amount of coal needed to generate electricity varies depending on the efficiency of the power plant as well as the fossil fuel’s quality. A typical coal fired power plant operating at efficiency will use about kg of coal to generate one MWhr (megawatt hour) of electricity. This is the same amount of energy as generated by burning kg of coal in a household stove.

More efficient plants can use as little as kg of coal to generate the same amount of electricity.

What Are The Emissions From Coal-fired Power Plants?

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In the United States, coalired power plants are the largest source of mercury emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Coalurning facilities are also responsible for percent of sulfur dioxide emissions, which contribute to acid rain, and percent of nitrogen oxide emissions, which create smog. In addition to these primary pollutants, coal combustion produces a number of other harmful chemicals, including carbon dioxide, arsenic, lead, and mercury.

How Can Coal Be Cleaned?

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Most of the world’s coal reserves are located in the United States, Russia, China, Australia, and India. Coal is mined in about states, including Kentucky, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Prior to burning, coal is cleaned of impurities like sulfur and ash.

This process can be done through washing with water and chemicals, or by separating the impurities from the coal before it is burned. Burning coal releases what are called “greenhouse gases” into Earth’s atmosphere. These gases trap heat from the sun’s rays inside the atmosphere causing Earth’s average temperature to rise.

The rise in Earth’s average temperature is what we call “global warming. ” Although coal produces the largest share of electricity in the U. S.

, it also releases more greenhouse gases than any other energy source. In fact, coal contributes to about of all carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. To address this problem, some coalired power plants capture and store the carbon dioxide emissions.

This process is called “carbon capture and storage” (CCS). CCS is a set of technologies that can greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coalired power plants. CCS can capture up to of the carbon dioxide emitted from the power plant.

The carbon dioxide is then transported through pipelines and injected deep underground into geological formations, where it will not enter the atmosphere. While CCS is not currently being used at coalired power plants in the United States, several demonstration projects are underway. In summary, coal contributes to global warming, but there are ways to clean it before it is burned.

One way is to wash it with water and chemicals. Another way is to use carbon capture and storage technology.

What Is The Future Of Coal?

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Thanks to the Clean Air Act Amendments of coal is facing an uncertain future. These amendments set new emission standards for sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, two pollutants that are linked to acid rain. In order to meet these emission standards, coalired power plants have to install scrubbers, which remove these pollutants from the air.

However, scrubbers are expensive, and many power plants cannot afford to install them. As a result, coal production has decreased in recent years, and it is expected to continue to decline in the future. This is good news for the environment, but it means that thousands of coal miners will lose their jobs.

What Are The Alternatives To Coal?

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There are many potential substitutes for coal. Solar, nuclear, and hydroower are all efficient ways to create electricity without burning coal. Wind turbines and geothermal plants are also alternative sources of energy that do not produce emissions. There are also a variety of biofuels that can be used as substitutes for coal, such as wood pellets, agricultural waste, and plant oils.

Reducing energy demand is another way to decrease the reliance on coal. Increasing energy efficiency and using less energy overall can help to phase out coal use.


Coal is a fossil fuel that is burned to generate electricity. The heat from the burning coal is used to generate steam, which drives a turbine. The turbine is connected to a generator, which produces electricity.

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