In today’s world, coal plays a significant part in several areas of our lives. It’s estimated that about 37% of the world’s electricity is powered by coal. Unlike many other natural resources coal reserves are distributed evenly across the world. This makes them cheaper alternatives to many fuels. In a world with increasing energy demands, coal serves as a viable solution to meeting the needs.
To meet this need, there are several coal suppliers working tirelessly to ensure sufficient amounts are available to meet the ever increasing demand.
Here’s how coal helps power our world
Generation of electricity
The most popular use of coal is in electricity generation. Although it accounts for about 37% of the world’s electricity, there was a time when it was the primary and only electricity generation fuel. Coal is burnt to create enough steam to power generators and turbines which produce electricity. Since there are large deposits of coal worldwide, it remains a viable solution to power generation.
Many people are unaware that coal is used in the production of some of the world’s precious metals. Metallurgical coal, which is known as coke, is an important part of steel making. Coal is first of all converted to coke. About 70% of the world’s steel production is made from coke. Coke is not just used in the production of steel, it also plays a significant part in the production of copper and aluminum.
One of the major energy sources in the production of cement is coal. When coal is combusted, one of the by-products is fly ash. This fly ash is used in cement production. It is also used in the general construction industry.
Liquefaction and gasification
Don’t get confused by the name, it only means turning something into liquid and gaseous forms. Coal is used in the production of domestic gas used for cooking. It is a technical process that involves heating coal to very high temperatures and then adding steam to it. This turns it into gas and makes it safe for cooking.
When this heated coal is liquefied, it is turned into petroleum and diesel. There are a thousand and one uses of petroleum and diesel in our world today. Some of the world’s largest coal-to-gas factories are located in some of the top nations of the world.
There’s so much to be gotten from coal than just cooking gas, diesel, and petroleum. Another by-product of the gasification of coal is syngas. This syngas undergoes further processing to produce chemicals like urea and ammonia. These are necessary chemicals in the agricultural industry for the growth of crops.
The use of coal transcends beyond these industries and has its effect on many things around us. Things like silicon metal and carbon fiber are all produced from coal. This is why there are thousands of coal suppliers in the world that ensure humans never run out of this precious natural resource. As a cheap and readily available resource, coal can be used to provide electricity to areas of the world that do not have constant electricity supply.