About This Series
I am fascinated with coal. From the mining operation to transportation to a power plant near you, I love it all. Throughout history, coal has been a useful resource. It is primarily burned for the production of electricity and/or heat, and is also used for industrial purposes, such as refining metals. A fossil fuel, coal forms when dead plant matter is converted into peat, which in turn is converted into lignite, then sub-bituminous coal, then bituminous coal, and lastly anthracite. This involves biological and geological processes that take place over a long period. Coal is extracted from the ground by coal mining, either underground by shaft mining, or at ground level by open pit mining extraction.