Coal is not a mineral because it is organic, and minerals are inorganic. Minerals have a repeating crystalline structure and a homogeneous chemical profile. Coal has neither. It forms over millions of years from the compressed, heated remains of dead plants and animals.Know More
According to the World Coal Organization, the chemical composition of coal includes carbon, sulfur, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. The proportion of these and other elements in a coal vein depends on its location, age and the types of organic material that contributed to its formation.
The term "coal" refers to seven related substances. The deeper the coal is, the higher its quality. Peat is a popular fuel in certain European countries and has powerful absorptive ability. In that context peat is quite useful during oil spill cleanup. Lignite has a medium brown color and is only used to power electric generators. It is sometimes called "brown coal." Bituminous and sub-bituminous coals are used in steam power generators. Steam locomotives, however, are powered by steam coal, which is sometimes called "see-coal." Black, semi-shiny anthracite coal is the highest quality coal used for heat and power generation. The seventh coal type, graphite, is purer than anthracite but does not burn readily. It is used as pencil "lead" and as a powder lubricant.Learn more about Organic Chemistry
Coal is one of the three main fossil fuels. It accounts for a large percentage of energy production from fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions.Full Answer >
Coal used for home heating can be stored essentially anywhere. The most important factor in storing coal is that it is kept dry. Coal does not spoil and lasts indefinitely when properly stored.Full Answer >
Coal is cheap, making it especially useful for developing nations, but it also releases carbon dioxide and particulate matter. Coal reserves are high in many nations. Coal plants are also relatively simple and are easy to build.Full Answer >
Coal is not considered a mineral because it does not have a solid, uniform crystal structure, meaning it doesn't fit the primary definition of a mineral. Coal is primarily made of carbon, but its properties can vary even within the same deposit.Full Answer >