Coal
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Coal

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Coal Coal Presentation Transcript

  • Coal
  • Coal Production
  • Coal Production
  • Coal Consumption
  • Coal Types
    • Soft Brown Coal (Lignite) inefficient compared to hard black coal.
    • Consumption of black coal has increased whilst brown coal has remained constant
  • Background Information
    • Coal provided the basis for the industrial revolution.
    • Despite 2 centuries of exploitation there is still more economically recoverable reserves than the other 2 fossil fuels.
    • Improved technology has: increased the output per worker; made deeper mining with fewer workers possible and has made electricity conversion more efficient.
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  • Factors affecting mining and production
    • Like oil, reserves vary in quality.
    • Location relative to market.
    • Strip mining is cheapest so nearest to surface is best – this destroys landscapes and in MEDCs the clean up costs imposed on strip mining make it high, it is however still cheaper than shaft mining.
    • The deeper the mine the more expensive
    • Low grade coal usually found closer to the surface.
    • Relative price of alternative fuels
    • Transport costs- 40% of world train freight is coal.
  • Factors affecting mining and production
    • Size of demand. Main markets are thermal power stations, steel and metallurgical industries.
    • Therefore demand is greater in industrialised countries and the rapidly industrialisisng countries.
    • Environmental costs and clean coal costs. Countries are looking to reduce air pollution and clean coal is more expensive than gas
  • Decline in Coal mining
    • Acute problem in Britain: 1947 958 collieries employing 718,400 miners - 1994 19 collieries employing 10,800 miners.
    • This has caused devastating social and economic problems for former mining towns and villages
  • Reasons for decline in coal in the UK
    • Most accessible deposits are used up.
    • Costs have risen due to expensive machinery.
    • Seams are dangerous to mine.
    • Decline in industrial demand e.g. steel
    • Electricity production has shifted to gas
    • Over capacity in electricity generation due to increased efficiency.
    • Political decisions: subsidies to nuclear and a greater investment in gas.
    • Environmental awareness – UK has strict carbon reduction targets and is signed up to the Kyoto agreement.
    • Undercut in price by Australian and US coal.
    • Energy needs leveling off with other fuels meeting the small increases.
  • Consequences.
    • Serious unemployment e.g. South Yorkshire where economy is dependent upon coal.
    • Negative multiplier effect exacerbates the unemployment issue.
    • Sheers speed of closures meant finding jobs impossible.
    • Alternative jobs were low paid and skilled.
    • Social stress and family and community break up as men lose role of “bread winner”
    • Rise in drugs and crime as younger generation have little work opportunities
  • On the positive side
    • Reduction of environmental damage and land reclamation led to “greening” of the area.
    • It prompted government grants which led to spending on infra structure.
    • For a minority redundancy money led to self employment and better health
    • Negative impacts of using coal as an energy source
  • In an average year a typical coal plant generates:
    • 3,700,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary human cause of global warming--as much carbon dioxide as cutting down 161 million trees.
    • 10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2), which causes acid rain that damages forests, lakes, and buildings, and forms small airborne particles that can penetrate deep into lungs.
    • 500 tons of small airborne particles, which can cause chronic bronchitis, aggravated asthma, and premature death, as well as haze obstructing visibility.
    • 10,200 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx), as much as would be emitted by half a million late-model cars. NOx leads to formation of ozone (smog) which inflames the lungs, burning through lung tissue making people more susceptible to respiratory illness.
  • In an average year a typical coal plant generates:
    • 720 tons of carbon monoxide (CO), which causes headaches and place additional stress on people with heart disease.
    • 220 tons of hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds (VOC), which form ozone.
    • 170 pounds of mercury, where just 1/70th of a teaspoon deposited on a 25-acre lake can make the fish unsafe to eat.
    • 225 pounds of arsenic, which will cause cancer in one out of 100 people who drink water containing 50 parts per billion.
    • 114 pounds of lead, 4 pounds of cadmium, other toxic heavy metals, and trace amounts of uranium.
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  • Other impacts
    • Waste products: solid waste, heat and cooling water
    • Dangerous for miners
    • Impact of transportation and storage
    • Strip mining destroys vegetation and is an eye sore
    • A typical 500-megawatt coal-fired power plant draws about 2.2 billion gallons of water each year from nearby water bodies, such as lakes, rivers, or oceans, to create steam for turning its turbines. This is enough water to support a city of approximately 250,000 people.