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Coal

TLDR: Coal is a black or brownish-black rock made up mostly of carbon. It is formed from the remains of plants that have decayed over millions of years. Coal is used as a fuel and is a major source of energy for electricity generation. However, it also has negative impacts on the environment and contributes to climate change.

Coal is a type of sedimentary rock that is primarily composed of carbon. It is formed from the remains of plants that lived millions of years ago. These plants died and their remains were buried under layers of sediment. Over time, the heat and pressure from the Earth's crust turned the plant matter into coal.

There are different types of coal, ranging from low-quality lignite to high-quality anthracite. The quality of coal depends on its carbon content and other factors like moisture, sulfur, and ash content. Bituminous coal is the most common type of coal and is used for electricity generation and industrial processes.

Coal has been used as a fuel for thousands of years, but its usage increased significantly during the Industrial Revolution with the invention of the steam engine. Today, coal is still used as a fuel for electricity generation and in industrial processes like iron and steel production.

However, the use of coal has negative impacts on the environment. Burning coal releases carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Coal mining can also cause environmental damage, such as deforestation, habitat destruction, and water pollution.

In recent years, there has been a global shift towards reducing the use of coal and transitioning to cleaner energy sources. Many countries have reduced or eliminated their use of coal power plants as part of efforts to combat climate change. The United Nations has called for a halt in the construction of new coal plants.

Despite the move away from coal, it still remains an important source of energy in many parts of the world. China is the largest consumer and importer of coal, followed by India, Indonesia, and Australia.

In summary, coal is a fossil fuel that is primarily composed of carbon. It is used as a fuel for electricity generation and industrial processes, but it also has negative impacts on the environment and contributes to climate change. Efforts are being made to reduce the use of coal and transition to cleaner energy sources.

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