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Coal Energy

Coal Energy

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Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock composed mostly of carbon and hydrocarbons. It is the most abundant fossil fuel produced in the United States.

Coal is a nonrenewable energy source because it takes millions of years to create. The energy in coal comes from the energy stored by plants that lived hundreds of millions of years ago, when the earth was partly covered with swampy forests. For millions of years, a layer of dead plants at the bottom of the swamps was covered by layers of water and dirt, trapping the energy of the dead plants. The heat and pressure from the top layers helped the plant remains turn into what we today call coal.

All About Hydrates: Natural Methane Hydrate

Information about methane hydrate, a chemical substance that "may, in fact, contain more organic carbon than all the world's coal, oil, and non-hydrate natural gas combined." Provides a history of methane hydrate research, scientific background information, and discussion of methane hydrate as a potential source of energy. From the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Coalbed Methane Outreach Program (CMOP)

Information about this U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program "whose goal is to reduce methane emissions from coal mining activities." Includes background information about coalbed methane, and new technologies, EPA efforts in the United States and other countries, and related resources.

Coal Data Publications

U.S. coal industry data, including production, number of mines, consumption, reserves, imports and exports, carbon dioxide emissions, and stocks. Provides state profiles and weekly, quarterly, and annual reports. From the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Energy Information Administration

A primary source for energy statistics. Provides data and analyses about the supply, consumption, distribution, and price of energy in the United States. The weekly, monthly, and annual reports cover petroleum, natural gas, coal, electricity, and various forms of renewable energy. Also contains historical data, forecasts (both U.S. and international), and country-specific analyses.

International Energy Outlook

"This report presents international energy projections through 2025, prepared by the Energy Information Administration, including outlooks for major energy fuels and issues related to electricity and the environment." Energy sources include nuclear power, natural gas, and coal. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) is the statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Mining: Biomining and Bioprocessing

A collection of documents that shows examples of the applications of biotechnology to mining industry processes, including acid mine drainage, bioleaching of metals, use of microbes to process coal, and related technologies using microorganisms. From the Idaho National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy.

Mining Safety and Health Research

Extensive data, documents, and resources on health and safety aspects of mining. Includes statistics on mining accidents, fact sheets on minerals and coal, and materials on injury prevention, ergonomics, hearing loss, fire prevention, ventilation, explosives, dust, aging miners, and many other topics. From the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

NETL: Technologies: Oil and Natural Gas Supply

This government site focuses on innovative and ecologically sensitive methods to explore for and recover oil and natural gas. Provides project information about exploration and production technologies, future supply and emerging resources (such as coal bed natural gas), and transmission, refining, and transportation (such as inspection technologies for pipelines). From the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), U.S. Department of Energy.

Oil and Gas Resource Development

Overview of government regulations pertaining to minerals (oil, gas, coal, coalbed methane, and oil shale) that can be leased by the federal government to generate income. Explains types of mineral rights and the Stock Raising Homestead Act of 1916, which "granted surface rights to the homesteader and reserved the minerals for the federal government." From a collaboration of organizations and agencies.

Parking-Lot Sealcoat: A Major Source of PAHs in Urban and Suburban Environments

This site reports on 2005 findings that "coal-tar based sealcoat -- the black, shiny emulsion painted or sprayed on asphalt pavement such as parking lots -- has extremely elevated concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and can affect the quality of downstream water resources." Includes a FAQ covering PAHs, coal tar, and sealcoat, and links to related information. From the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Safety and Health Topics: Benzene

Workplace safety information related to benzene, an "aromatic hydrocarbon that is produced by the burning of natural products. Discusses OSHA standards and health effects from exposure to benzene, which has been shown "to be a carcinogen (cancer-causing)." From the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

Underground Coal Mining

Brief, illustrated descriptions of types of coal mines and mining techniques. Covers room and pillar mining, longwall mining, and surface mining. From the United Mine Workers of America labor union.

U.S. Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)

This U.S. government website contains background information about mine safety and health concerns, news, pages for special initiatives (such as asbestos and hearing loss), data on mining accidents and fatalities, reports on specific mine accidents, mine rescue resources, health and safety alerts, and other information on coal, metal, and nonmetal mining. Children's' section.

United Mine Workers of America (UMWA): A Brief History of the UMWA

Historical account of this labor union for coal miners founded in 1890. Includes discussion of specific events in UMWA history, profiles of UMWA presidents, and a gallery of portraits of John L. Lewis (UMWA president from 1920-1960). From the national website for the UMWA.

Uniting Europe Step by Step: The Treaties

Background about European treaties and explanations of some key treaties, starting with the "creation of the first 'Community', the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), [which] marked the point of departure of over 50 years of European treaties. 50 treaties were signed between 1951 (ECSC Treaty) and 2001 (Treaty of Nice)." Describes the Maastricht Treaty on European Union, Treaty of Amsterdam, the draft constitution, and related documents. From the European Union.

IEA Clean Coal Center

Provides a source of unbiased information on sustainable use of coal world-wide

U.S. Coal Resource Databases (USCOAL)

The location, quantity, and physical and chemical characteristics of U.S. coal and coal-related deposits have been entered into databases developed by the U.S. Geological Survey

National Coal Resources Data System (US Coal Quality Database)

Analytical data, sample locations, and descriptive information; analytical methods and sampling techniques; database perspective; and bibliographic references for selected U.S. coal samples, provided by USGS

Last modified: 2/26/2008 4:35 PM by S. Baker

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