Coal is a fossil fuel and is the altered vestiges of prehistoric vegetation that originally accumulated in swamps & peat bogs. Today’s energy we obtain from coal appears to come from the energy which plants consumed from the sun millions of years ago.
Formation of coal
- Coal formation takes millions of years; that is why it is a natural resource that is exhaustive and non-renewable.
- It was produced approximately 300 million years ago when swampy forests surrounded the earth.
- As plants died in these forests-mostly trees, mosses, ferns, and reeds-they fell into the swamps.
- So a dense layer of dead vegetation was created in the swamp.
- As years passed, more and more plants died and several layers of this sort were created, one above another.
- The layers at the top compressed the layers beneath. Heat and pressure caused some physical and chemical changes and some carbon-rich deposits were formed.