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Coal and Petroleum


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Coal and Petroleum

  1. 1. Coal  Coal is one of the most commonly used by humans today. It is obtained by mining . It is black or brownish-black rock-like substance made up of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and varying amounts of sulphur.  Coal is formed by the slow decomposition of organic plant materials that have been subjected to heat and pressure in the absence of oxygen for about 300 million years. Coal primarily contains carbon. Hence, the slow process of conversion of dead vegetation into coal is called carbonization.  When heated in air, coal burns and produces mainly carbon- dioxide gas along with heat energy. Coal is mainly used to generate electricity in power stations. It is the world’s main source of energy for the production of electricity.
  2. 2. Formation Of Coal.  Millions of years ago, Earth was covered with dense swampy forests. The plants that perished fell into swamp waters while new plants grew to take their places. Overtime, the fallen plants got covered by layers of mud, sand, and dirt. The new plants that took the place of the fallen plants also perished and fell to form another layer in the swamp water. This cycle continued, and after millions of years, many layers formed one on top of the other  The weight of the top layers of plant matter together with extreme heat and pressure under the surface of the earth produced chemical and physical change to convert the plant matter into black, hard, rock-like substance coal.
  3. 3. Types Of Coal. There are four main types of coal depending on the varying percentage if carbon content – peat, lignite, bituminous, and anthracite.
  4. 4. Destructive Distillation of Coal. It is a process of heating a complex substance, such as coal, in a limited supply of air so that it breaks down to form simpler substances. In this process, coal is heated to 1000*C in the absence of air to obtain different useful components such as coke, coal tar, coal gas.
  5. 5. Coke. It is a porous, black substance that is left behind as a residue when coal is subjected to destructive distillation. It is an almost pure form of carbon, containing 90% carbon.
  6. 6. Coal Tar. It is a thick, black liquid with an unpleasant smell. It is a complex organic compound and can be separated to many important simpler compounds for further use.
  7. 7. Coal Gas. Coal gas is a mixture of hydrogen, methane, carbon monoxide, and other gases. It was earlier used as a domestic-lightning fuel before natural gas came into use. It is presently used as a fuel in some industries located near the coal processing plants.
  8. 8. Uses Of Coal.  Coal has numerous uses, some of which are listed as follows:  Coal is widely used as a fuel because it burns easily and releases high amount of heat energy.  Other fuels such as coal gas, coal tar, synthesis petrol, methane, and coke are derived from coal.  Coke is used in the manufacture of steel. It is largely used as a reducing agent in the extraction of metals from their ores.  Coke is also used as a fuel and is preferred over coal since it burns without smoke.  Coal tar is used in the manufacture of many useful organic compounds such as synthetic dyes, drugs, pesticides, naphthalene balls, explosives, perfumes, plastics, paints, photographic materials, roofing materials, and so on.
  9. 9. Petroleum.  Petrol is also an important fossil fuel. Petroleum is also called crude oil. It is found locked in impervious rocks deep below the earth’s crust. Crude oil is a smelly, dark- colored liquid, which is a mixture of various hydrocarbons (compounds made of only carbon and hydrogen) such as natural gas ,gasoline, kerosene, asphalt, and fuel oil.  Products of petroleum such as petrol, diesel, and jet fuel are used to run cars, trucks, aircrafts, ships, and other vehicles. It is hard to imagine our life without synthetic fibers, wax, plastics, fertilizers, lubricants, and many more – all of which are available to us because of petroleum.