Coal-fired plants produce electricity by burning coal in a boiler to produce steam. The steam produced, under tremendous pressure, flows into a turbine, which spins a generator to create electricity. The steam is then cooled, condensed back into water and returned to the boiler to start the process over.
What happens to energy when coal is burned?
When coal is burned, it reacts with the oxygen in the air. This chemical reaction converts the stored solar energy into thermal energy, which is released as heat.
Does burning coal give energy?
Formed deep underground over thousands of years of heat and pressure, coal is a carbon-rich black rock that releases energy when burned. In the United States, roughly 30 percent of all electricity comes from coal: the rest comes from natural gas, nuclear, and renewables like wind and solar.
What type of energy is burning of coal?
Chemical energy is energy stored in the bonds of atoms and molecules. Batteries, biomass, petroleum, natural gas, and coal are examples of chemical energy.
Is coal a energy?
Coal takes millions of years to form
Coal is classified as a nonrenewable energy source because it takes millions of years to form. Coal contains the energy stored by plants that lived hundreds of millions of years ago in swampy forests. Layers of dirt and rock covered the plants over millions of years.
Why is coal the best energy source?
It is by far cheaper than nuclear, natural gas, oil. … Coal also provides a stable source of energy (no Arab oil embargoes, no sudden scarcity like you experience with natural gas) and there is a very plentiful supply both in the U.S. and in other foreign countries.
Why is coal used for electricity?
Thermal coal (either black or brown) that has been pulverised to a fine powder is burned. The resulting heat is used to turn water into steam. The steam at very high pressure is then used to spin a turbine, connected to an electrical generator.
How much energy can coal produce?
Only about 40 percent of the thermal energy in coal is converted to electricity. So the electricity generated per ton of coal is 0.4 x 6,150 kWh or 2,460 kWh/ton.
Does burning coal produce ozone?
Coal combustion is the leading source of US sulfur dioxide emissions. Nitrogen oxides, key contributors to ground-level ozone (smog) and respiratory illnesses.