How are hard coal deposits formed?
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How are hard coal deposits formed?

Coal is the fuel that provides heat in the combustion process. It is also used to produce energy. It has been present in nature for millions of years. How are hard coal deposits formed? 

What geological processes influenced the formation of hard coal deposits?

Historical geology indicates two basic periods in which the processes of the formation of coal deposits took place. The first was the Palaeozoic era, especially in the Upper and Lower Carboniferous, as well as Pernu. It is dated that during this time huge deposits were formed in North America, Europe and Australia, as well as in East Asia. The second period was the Mesozoic era, the Cretaceous era, and the Cenozoic era (especially the Tertiary period).

What conditions must be met for the formation of a carbon deposit?

How are hard coal deposits formed?At the very beginning, it should be emphasized that the process of coal formation takes time. It is also a very complicated process because many chemical processes take place during it. Certain conditions must be met for it to run properly. First of all, the right geological substrate that allows the development of peatlands and the formation of paralytic and limnic deposits. Secondly, a good starting material from which deposits can be formed. The course of the chemical changes that take place in the first carbonization phase has a sequential influence. At this stage, the peat organisms are chemically decomposed. Environmental conditions are of paramount importance here, including: air, water, but also the participation of microorganisms. In the next stage, which is the carbonization stage (brown coal),changes in organic matter come to the fore. However, in the third phase, the carbonization stage (metamorphism – hard coal formation), geothermal factors (e.g. pressure, temperature) are of importance. Chemical and structural changes are equally important.

What are the phases of mine coal formation?

The formation of mine coal can be divided into two stages:
– the biochemical stage in which the organic substance is decomposed by microorganisms in the process of peat, rotting, rotting or decay,
– the geochemical stage. This is the stage where sedimentary rock covers the processed plant material. Complex chemical processes take place in the rocks, which result in the production of carbon elements.

What should you know about coal deposits?

Coal deposits have usually been built in sinkholes, areas that keep on lowering. Some theories indicate that during the period of coal formation, there were marshes in most of the territory. Their lowering resulted in an increase in sedimentation. This process was based on the deposition of sediments which were the result of the activity of microorganisms. As a result, the lagoons became shallower, which influenced the development of aquatic plants and thus the formation of peatlands. 

What are the carcinogenic plants distinguished?

Experts indicate that in the group of carbon-forming plants we distinguish: horsetail, giant club moss (carbon), seed ferns, angiosperms (Tertiary period) and gymnosperms (pernu period), cordaites. Plants settling at the bottom of the marshes turned into peat as a result of the action of microorganisms. The increasing surface of peat stopped the formation of sinkholes. Water, which formed an impermeable layer on the surface of the peat, had a huge share in the formation of hard coal. The produced precipitate activated the appropriate chemical reactions. Firstly, they accelerated the formation of carbon elements in peat, and secondly, its transformation into lignite. The subsequent chemical reactions transformed brown coal into hard coal.

What types of deposits are there?

Several types of deposits can be distinguished, depending on their location and the plant material present there. Therefore, autochthonous and allochthonous deposits are mentioned. The first is carbon deposits that occur in the area of ​​plant growth, from which a specific deposit has been formed. On the other hand, allochthonous deposits are those formed as a result of transporting carbon-forming plants through the river current. The carbon deposits are then located much further than the original place of plant occurrence.

Does the length of carbon formation affect its quality?

Experts agree that the longer the time it takes to produce coal, the better its quality. Hence, older hard coal has more pure carbon element. This, in turn, translates into the calorific value of coal and its energy. The best class of carbon is graphite, which consists entirely of the chemical element carbon. Most of this raw material is mined in Poland. Moreover, it constitutes about 60% of the total energy demand in our country. 

Geologists estimate that carbon could have formed 360 to 28 million BC. The process is completely natural and depends on many conditions and environmental factors that are not dependent on humans. We, as people, participate exclusively in its extraction and further processing in various areas of everyday life and industry.

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