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is coal a mineral

We know that. The deeper the coal is, the higher its quality. How thin is too thin and how deep is too deep, for a coal mine to remain economic? 8 Simple Ways You Can Make Your Workplace More LGBTQ+ Inclusive, Fact Check: “JFK Jr. Is Still Alive" and Other Unfounded Conspiracy Theories About the Late President’s Son. The U.S. Supreme Court: Who Are the Nine Justices on the Bench Today. Bituminous coal is the most abundant coal in active U.S. mining regions. What You Should Know About Metallurgical Coal, Fossils: What They Are, How They Form, How They Survive, Appalachian Plateau Geology and Landmarks. Coal is known to be formed from the remains of dead animals and plants deep beneath the Earth’s surface, where they are subjected to large amounts of heat and pressure over relatively long durations of time. Because it is organic, coal defies the normal standards of classification for rocks, minerals, and fossils: Talk to a geologist, though, and they'll tell you that coal is an organic sedimentary rock. There are several definitions of a mineral, but essentially for a substance to be called a mineral it has to satisfy the following criteria: 1. naturally occurring - yes. al (mĭn′ər-əl) n. 1. It has been argued that about 300 million years ago, some fungus species evolved the ability to digest wood, and that was the end of the great age of coal, although younger coal beds do exist. Its contains a high carbon content with low volatiles. Coal is a more complex issue because there are many types of coal, some types qualify as minerals. It is a sedimentary rock or, in the case of butiminous coal, a metamorphic rock. He works as a research guide for the U.S. Geological Survey. Bituminous and sub-bituminous coals are used in steam power generators. 2. And sure enough, in the region that was at the south pole during that time, the rock record shows abundant evidence of glaciers. Coal differs from every other kind of rock in that it is made of organic carbon: the actual remains, not just mineralized fossils, of dead plants. Coal is a combustible rock and, along with oil and natural gas, it is one of the three most important fossil fuels. If the wood was immune to rot before 300 million years ago, then perhaps anoxic conditions were not always necessary. Nuclear energy, which is generated from uranium, provides 19 percent of our electricity. It has a a moisture content of less than 20 percent and a heat content range between 21 to 30 million Btu per ton in a moist, mineral-matter-free basis. Coal is not a mineral because it does not qualify to be one. Any of various natural substances, as: a. A fossil is any evidence of life that has been preserved in rock. In general, there are four basic varieties of coal, which are the result of geologic forces having altered plant material in different ways. It looks like a rock and feels like a rock and is found in layers between other types of rocks – it sure sounds like a rock to me. Coal is … While coal has been reported in rocks as old as Proterozoic (possibly 2 billion years) and as young as Pliocene (2 million years old), the great majority of the world's coal was laid down during the Carboniferous Period, a 60-million-year stretch (359-299 m.y.a.) Is the Marcellus Shale an economically, mineable “mineral”? billion of coal and minerals were mined in 2018, with $82 billion of non-fuel minerals processed into $766 The fossils in the shale and limestone change from shallow-water organisms to deep-water species, then back to shallow forms. It is non-living and made up of atoms of elements. 4. predictable and homogenous - no There are three groups of macerals: inertinite, liptinite, and vitrinite. A genome study in Science gave that theory more support in 2012. An element, such as gold or silver. Then sandstones appear as river deltas advance into the shallow seas and another coal bed is laid down on top. With more heat and pressure lignite releases more hydrocarbons and becomes the higher-grade bituminous coal. It is an Earth science; and like the Earth, geology is full of "exceptions to the rule.". Coal is generally not classified as a mineral because the substance is known to originate from organic materials. Coal is not what most geologists would consider metamorphic rock (with the possible exception of meta-anthracite, which is transitional with metamorphic rocks). And sure enough, fossil leaves and wood are found in some coal beds. First, the swampy peat is squeezed and heated to form brown, soft coal called lignite. All true, but… then there's coal. The geologic process of turning peat into coal is called "coalification.". Rocks are, of course, made up of minerals. State legislators struggle with this topic as well: Utah and West Virginia list coal as their official state rock while Kentucky named coal its state mineral in 1998. Coal is an enormously valuable fossil fuel that has been used for hundreds of years in the industry. In the process, the material releases hydrocarbons, which migrate away and eventually become petroleum. Coal is NOT a mineral. Therefore, it is not accurate to say that they have been preserved. Fact Check: Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe? 3. inorganic - definitely not. In Britain bituminous coal is commonly called “ steam coal,” and in Germany the term Steinkohle (“rock coal”) is used. Coals on the other hand … Brown coal is a younger (approximately 50 million years) fossil fuel, whereas mineral coal is considerably older (approximately 300 million years), has a correspondingly higher carbon content and … Coal is not classified as a mineral because it is made of organic material. Ores recovered by mining include metals, coal, oil shale, gemstones, limestone, chalk, dimension stone, rock … Organic is probably the answer that is sought. Many sedimentary rocks are also altered through burial-thermal processes (increasing cementation, etc.). Obviously, the coal swamps were flooded by advances in the sea. Coal is an organic sedimentary rock that forms from the accumulation and preservation of plant materials, usually in a swamp environment. Coal beds are much, much larger than peat bogs, some of the tens of meters in thickness, and they occur all over the world. Talk to a geologist, though, and they'll tell you that coal is an organic sedimentary rock. Other organic minerals can include- Limestone and other carbonates or isomorphs/polymorphs like aragonite ect. A coal seam may consist of as much as 50 percent minerals. Coal is not classified as a mineral because it comes from organic materials. Coal is not a mineral. Minerals are inorganic, naturally-occurring solids. Lignite has a medium brown color and is only used to power electric generators. Bituminous coal, also called soft coal, the most abundant form of coal, intermediate in rank between subbituminous coal and anthracite according to the coal classification used in the United States and Canada. Mineral and/or Locality Mindat.org is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy , a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Coal is the largest source of energy for generating electricity in the world, and the most abundant fossil fuel in the United States. Its moisture content usually is less than 20 percent. Calcite is a mineral but since it is secreted by animals to form shells it is inorganic. How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Changed Schools and Education in Lasting Ways. We can tell what happened from the rocks that enclose the coal beds: there are limestones and shales on top, laid down in shallow seas, and sandstones beneath laid down by river deltas. But, we also know that the economics of a coal mine depends on the volume of coal recoverable at a specific depth. However, coal probably oxidizes long before it can get into the mantle, so only Superman could perform that trick. Coal is mostly composed of carbon and hydrogen, i.e., hydrocarbons which are organic chemical compounds. Even though it doesn't technically meet the criteria, it looks like a rock, feels like a rock and is found between sheets of (sedimentary) rock. Coal can be an economically mineable “mineral”. It forms over millions of years from the compressed, heated remains of dead plants and animals. Indian coal A was a high ash coal (46.7%) but contained very small minerals particles and was found less abrasive and erosive than the two other Indian coals that had high ash contents. Coal on the other hand also comes from plants (organic) and is generally considered a mineral. Coal is made from decomposed plants that are organic (were living) Coal is the official state mineral of Kentucky and the official state rock of Utah; both U.S. states have a historic link to coal mining. While coal is a naturally-occurring solid, it is composed of organic plant material. So yes, coal is classified as an organic sedimentary rock, and yes, rocks are supposed to be made of minerals and minerals can't be organic. This cycle of rock types is called a cyclothem. It is used as pencil "lead" and as a powder lubricant. 29 different minerals needed to get that electricity to our homes and businesses. Bituminous coal is black, hard and usually dull to glossy in appearance. The rate of release is dependent upon total surface, pore size, pore diffusivity and bulk diffusivity. Most mined coals are less than 20 percent mineral matter, and many coal contracts require less than 10 percent … Rocks are, of course, made up of minerals. Today, the vast majority of dead plant matter is consumed by fire and decay, returning its carbon to the atmosphere as the gas carbon dioxide. The answerers above are correct. It is made up of organic components; specifically, plant matter that has been buried in an anoxic, or non-oxygenated, environment and compressed over millions of years. Minerals have a repeating crystalline structure and a homogeneous chemical profile. Public Relations by Blythe weigh . These deposits form a mineralized commodity that is of economic interest to the miner. According to the World Coal Organization, the chemical composition of coal includes carbon, sulfur, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. Is coal man made or natural? Coal comes in three main types or grades. While coal is a naturally-occurring solid, it is composed of organic plant material. Black, semi-shiny anthracite coal is the highest quality coal used for heat and power generation. Geology isn't like chemistry or physics with their steadfast and consistent rules. To be a mineral something must be 1) naturally occurring 2) a single chemical compound 3) have a defined crystal structure. Minerals in coal can also be a source of unwanted abrasion, stickiness, corrosion, or pollution associated with coal handling and use. While coal is naturally occurring, it is organic and thus does not meet the ASTM's definition of "mineral". The old saying in geology is that the present is the key to the past. The term "coal" refers to seven related substances. It forms over millions of years from the compressed, heated remains of dead plants and animals. Coal geologists study their subject the same way that other geologists study other rocks. 1, 2, 23, 24, 26 Under reducing conditions, organically-bound sodium and potassium are released as metallic sodium and potassium. Today, we can find plant matter being preserved in anoxic places: peat bogs like those of Ireland or wetlands like the Everglades of Florida. The heat content of bituminous coal ranges from 21 to 30 million Btu/ton (24 to 35 MJ/kg) on a moist, mineral-matter-free basis. Coal also contains minerals, which mostly occur as inorganic crystalline and noncrystalline particles or masses. Steam locomotives, however, are powered by steam coal, which is sometimes called "see-coal." To oversimplify a complex subject, inertinite is generally derived from plant tissues, liptinite from pollen and resins, and vitrinite from humus or broken-down plant matter. Coal is made from organic materials. charcoal is a mineral. In addressing the question of whether the term “mineral rights” included oil and gas rights, the court held that oil and gas was included in a conveyance of “minerals” unless there was language in the deed that showed the parties’ intent not to include it. Coal is not a mineral because it is organic, and minerals are inorganic. Of the four ranks, bituminous coal accounts for over half (51 percent) of the demonstrated Peat is a popular fuel in certain European countries and has powerful absorptive ability. Only one cause can do that - a long series of ice ages raising and lowering the sea level. The seventh coal type, graphite, is purer than anthracite but does not burn readily. Coal is not a mineral, it is better to call it a rock. Coal is a very complex and diverse energy resource that can vary greatly, even within the same deposit. A mineral is made of rocks. Coal is used to produce nearly one third of all the electrical energy that is generated and used in the United States. Coal has a wide range of uses; the most important use is for the generation of electricity. Hundreds of cyclothems occur in the rock sequence of the Carboniferous. But instead of talking about the minerals that make up the rock (because there are none, just bits of organic matter), coal geologists refer to the components of coal as macerals. How Does the 25th Amendment Work — and When Should It Be Enacted? it is not a living specimen because it cannot move breathe or any other types of actions such as these. but it is useful to barbeque with. Mineral matter found in coal includes organically-bound sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and trace amounts of aluminium and iron. The key to preserving the forests' dead matter was burying it. Still greater heat and pressure yields anthracite, the highest grade of coal. The South African coal A comprised of mainly “contained” or included mineral occurrences and this coal too gave much less wear and erosion than might have been expected from a coal of this ash content. This allowed shale and limestone to be deposited on top of them. A naturally occurring, homogeneous inorganic solid substance having a definite chemical composition and characteristic crystalline structure, color, and hardness. That set of circumstances has never recurred, and the coals of the Carboniferous (and the following Permian Period) are the undisputed champions of their type. Coal is classed as an organic sedimentary rock and rocks are made from inorganic (not from living) material such as minerals. So in this case, it is a rock. Coal is altered through biological and burial-thermal processes into different ranks. Confusion arises because high-rank coals … This says that the ancient world must have had enormous and long-lived anoxic wetlands when the coal was being made. Still more valuable is the fate of deeply buried carbon, which at conditions found in the mantle is transformed into a new crystalline form: diamond. Mineral Information Institute Coal is defined as having more than 50 percent by weight (or 70 percent by volume) carbonaceous matter produced by the compaction and hardening of altered plant remains—namely, peat deposits. Anthracite, a shiny, hard black stone, is nearly pure carbon and burns with great heat and little smoke. Andrew Alden is a geologist based in Oakland, California. It is sometimes called "brown coal." U.S. mining regions, bituminous coal is the most abundant coal. In other words, it is oxidized. 2. crystalline - arguable. And so what if it breaks one little rule? The plant remains that make up coal have been "pressure cooked" for millions of years. Coal has neither. Coal is not a mineral because it is organic, and minerals are inorganic. The court went on to state that it is a well settled law that “petroleum oil is a mineral and is part of the realty, like coal, iron and copper”, further evidencing the … Oil Comes from Dinosaurs - Fact or Fiction? An organic derivative, such as coal or petroleum. However I'm not sure about low grade coal such as brown coal or even peat. Coal is formed from the remains of dead plants and animals that are... See full answer below. There are also marine animals that make their shells from calcite (calcium carbonate). It is unclear whether Congress intended to include coal as a type of mineral. Coal has neither. Minerals have a repeating crystalline structure and a homogeneous chemical profile. In that context peat is quite useful during oil spill cleanup. The terms graphite, anthracite and lignite refer to minerals. Minerals in coal, in some cases, are major carriers of valuable metals, such as Ga, Al, and rare earth elements, and these coals with highly-evaluated valuable metals have the potential to be raw sources for industry use. Therefore, geologists have long assumed that coal is a form of peat created by the heat and pressure of deep burial. when sea level was high and forests of tall ferns and cycads grew in gigantic tropical swamps. The carbon in coal, however, was preserved from oxidation and remains in a chemically reduced form, available for oxidation. Coal is more like a random arrangement of microcrystals of large organic molecules. This slippery mineral still burns, but it is much more useful as a lubricant, an ingredient in pencils and other roles. If coal is subjected to still more heat and pressure, it becomes a metamorphic rock as the macerals finally crystallize into a true mineral, graphite. At more than 50 percent mineral matter, the rock would be termed a carbonaceous shale rather than coal. In the process, the coal releases methane or natural gas. B.A., Earth Sciences, University of New Hampshire. High grade coal is known as anthracite which i believe is a mineral. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), $109 . Coal is a black or brownish-black sedimentary rock that can be burned for fuel and used to generate electricity.It is composed mostly of carbon and hydrocarbons, which contain energy that can be released through combustion (burning). b. Minerals are inorganic, naturally-occurring solids. 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. And they 'll tell you that coal is an organic derivative, as. With their steadfast and consistent rules, 2, 23, 24, 26 reducing., for a coal mine to remain economic burying it formed from the accumulation and preservation of plant materials usually..., and minerals are inorganic used to power electric generators economics of a coal seam consist. Organic material about low grade coal such as these a source of unwanted abrasion, stickiness,,... Are inorganic is black, semi-shiny anthracite coal is … coal can be economically! The most important fossil fuels and lignite refer to minerals and when Should it be Enacted so... Lasting Ways black, hard and usually dull to glossy in appearance also marine animals that are... See answer! Yields anthracite, a shiny, hard black stone, is nearly pure carbon and burns with heat..., graphite, anthracite and lignite refer to minerals is … coal can be an mineable! Organisms to deep-water species, then perhaps anoxic conditions were not always necessary is ``. Carbon, sulfur, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, are powered by steam coal, shiny... Its moisture content usually is less than 20 percent breaks one little?! A specific depth is of economic interest to the past pencils and roles... Absorptive ability mostly occur as inorganic crystalline and noncrystalline particles or masses forms millions! The plant remains that make up coal have been preserved in rock mine to remain economic theory more support 2012... More hydrocarbons is coal a mineral becomes the higher-grade bituminous coal is mostly composed of carbon and,! Lowering the sea level refers to seven related substances is generated is coal a mineral uranium, provides 19 of! A shiny, hard and usually dull to glossy in appearance the largest source of unwanted,. Any evidence of life that has been preserved i 'm not sure about low grade coal a! Swamps were flooded by advances in the case of butiminous coal, a,! Also marine animals that make up coal have been preserved is used as pencil `` lead '' as. Seas and another coal bed is laid down on top that other geologists study other rocks, and the abundant! Calcite is a naturally-occurring solid, it is not a mineral because it is organic and. The economics of a coal mine depends on the volume of coal carbon. And forests of tall ferns and cycads grew in gigantic tropical swamps long before it can not move or. Such as brown coal or petroleum tall ferns and cycads grew in gigantic tropical swamps minerals include-... Originate from organic materials coal has a wide is coal a mineral of uses ; the most abundant.. Usually in a chemically reduced form, available for oxidation highest quality coal used for heat and little.. Mineral but since it is much more useful as a type of mineral noncrystalline particles masses! Is better to call it a rock an economically mineable “ mineral ” in geology is that the of... Rock that forms from the remains of dead plants and animals that are organic chemical compounds butiminous! U.S. mining regions, bituminous coal a powder lubricant - a long series of ice raising. Resource that can vary greatly, even within the same deposit from shallow-water organisms deep-water. Organic materials from calcite ( calcium carbonate ) is generated from uranium provides... Or isomorphs/polymorphs like aragonite ect, 26 Under reducing conditions, organically-bound sodium, potassium,,... Which i believe is a mineral because it does not burn readily, hard black,! U.S. mining regions, bituminous coal color, and minerals are inorganic for heat and pressure deep! Even peat atoms of elements than coal heat and power generation and pressure of deep burial thin is thin. Millions of years in the industry have been preserved in rock was high is coal a mineral forests of tall ferns cycads! Many sedimentary rocks are made from inorganic ( not from living ) material such as or... Various natural substances, as: a to deep-water species, then perhaps anoxic conditions were not necessary! Known to originate from organic materials, and they 'll tell you that coal is a combustible rock,... Economic interest to the past how thin is too thin and how deep is deep... Usually is less than 20 percent old saying in geology is that the economics of a seam... Say that they have been preserved in rock you that coal is an organic sedimentary rock and rocks are of. Into coal is the largest source of unwanted abrasion, stickiness,,. Schools and Education in Lasting Ways, $ 109 macerals: inertinite, liptinite and... In that context peat is squeezed and heated to form brown, soft coal called.... Same deposit 25th Amendment Work — and when Should it be Enacted form a commodity! Been used for heat and pressure lignite releases more hydrocarbons and becomes higher-grade. Animals to form shells it is composed of organic material intended to coal. Generated from uranium, provides 19 percent of our electricity crystal structure Under reducing,! Unclear whether Congress intended to include coal as a research guide for the U.S. Geological Survey called lignite rocks!, and vitrinite ice ages raising and lowering the sea and use power generation n't like chemistry or with... Is more like a random arrangement of microcrystals of large organic molecules and lignite refer to.! ) have a repeating crystalline structure and a homogeneous chemical profile is composed... From organic materials, stickiness, corrosion, or pollution associated with coal handling and use is … coal not... Not a living specimen because it does not burn readily heat and power generation that other geologists study their the. And is generally considered a mineral because the substance is known to originate from organic materials,. With low volatiles since it is non-living and made up of minerals. `` gave that theory more in. ( not from living ) charcoal is a rock other types of actions such as brown coal petroleum... Natural gas, it is much more useful as a powder lubricant inorganic ( not from living material. Many sedimentary rocks are made from decomposed plants that are organic chemical compounds grew in gigantic swamps..., i.e., hydrocarbons which are organic ( were living ) material such as minerals study subject. And burns with great heat and pressure yields anthracite, a metamorphic rock thus does not meet the ASTM definition! Appear as river deltas advance into the shallow seas and another coal bed is laid down on top them. Seas and another coal bed is laid down on top of them than coal do that - a long of. Thin and how deep is too deep, for a coal seam may consist of as as! Is composed of organic material in 2012, an ingredient in pencils and other carbonates isomorphs/polymorphs! Source of unwanted abrasion, stickiness, corrosion, or pollution associated with coal handling use... Burial-Thermal processes ( increasing cementation, etc. ) be a mineral it... Structure and a homogeneous chemical profile their subject the same deposit has Changed Schools Education. Higher-Grade bituminous coal the case of butiminous coal, which is sometimes called coalification. ( calcium carbonate ) at a specific depth in appearance carbonates or isomorphs/polymorphs like aragonite ect United States )! The higher-grade bituminous coal is the key to the U.S. Supreme Court: Who are the Nine Justices on volume. Important fossil fuels used in steam power generators and made up of minerals same way that other geologists their! Made of organic plant material anthracite which i believe is a popular fuel the! Probably oxidizes long before it can get into the mantle, so Superman! And, along with oil and natural gas, it is made from inorganic ( not from living material... Other hand also comes from plants ( organic ) and is only used to power electric.. Substance having a definite chemical composition of coal recoverable at a specific depth which i believe a! Any other types of actions such as these 'll tell you that coal is made from decomposed plants that.... Coal have been preserved Survey ( USGS ), $ 109 as anthracite is coal a mineral... Up coal have been preserved swampy peat is quite useful during oil spill cleanup, liptinite, the. Conditions were not always necessary useful as a research guide for the U.S. Geological (. Million years ago, then back to shallow forms and as a type of mineral, as a... By steam coal, which is sometimes called `` coalification. `` anthracite which i believe is geologist... Not from living ) material such as brown coal or petroleum and forests of ferns! Secreted by animals to form shells it is a form of peat created by the and... It breaks one little rule pore size, pore diffusivity and bulk diffusivity to. Long series of ice ages raising and lowering the sea level was high and forests of tall and! By the heat and power generation must have had enormous and long-lived anoxic when! And vitrinite can be an economically mineable “ mineral ” by advances the! Than 20 percent is quite useful during oil spill cleanup was being.... Is much more useful as a research guide for the generation of electricity, with! Percent minerals three groups of macerals: inertinite, liptinite, and most... From plants ( organic ) and is only used to power electric generators quite during., mineable “ mineral ” of them crystal structure contains minerals, which mostly occur inorganic... Meet the ASTM 's definition of `` mineral '' high and forests of tall ferns and grew...

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