Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock composed mostly of carbon and hydrocarbons. It is the most abundant fossil fuel produced in the United States.
Coal is a nonrenewable energy source because it takes many years to create. The energy in coal comes from the energy stored by plants that lived a long time ago, when the earth was partly covered with swampy forests. For many years, a layer of dead plants at the bottom of the swamps was covered by layers of water and dirt, trapping the energy of the dead plants. The heat and pressure from the top layers helped the plant remains turn into what we today call coal.
Below, we will discuss the process of coal, from its mining to its usage.