Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black semidentary rock, composed primarily of carbon along with variable quantities of other elements, such as hydrogen, sulfur, oxygen, and nitrogen. Coal is extracted from the ground by coal mining and has been used as energy resource. Here is some unique facts about coal.
- Do you know Titanic? Yes, the British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in 1912 and was main idea of the famous American epic romance-disaster film by James Cameron. The ship’s coal stores had been burning for weeks before set sail which damaging the starboard side of the ship where the iceberg hit. The fire damaged the hull enough to be a large contributing factor to why the iceberg caused so big damage.
- Kentucky Coal Mining Museum is powered by solar energy, not coal energy. This museum is located in Benham and owned by the Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College.
- When a coal mine catches fire, it burns for decades or centuries until the fuel source is exhausted, a permanent groundwater table is encountered, the depth of the burn becomes greater than the ground’s capacity to subside and vent, or humans intervene. Coal fires affect the environment’s health, because they release toxic fumes, reigniting grass, brush or forest fires, also causing subsidence of surface infrastructure such as roads, pipelines, electric lines, bridge supports, buildings, and homes. The fire can be started by humans or natural causes.
- La Marquise, the world’s oldest running car built in 1884 and made by Frenchmen De Dion, Bouton and Trépardoux. The car was sold in 2011 for $4.6 million. With 38 mph top speed, it runs on coal, wood, and bits of paper, which takes 30-40 minutes to build up enough steam to drive.
- Mount Storm (Thermal) Lake, a 1200 acre lake that is super heated by a 1.6 GigaWatt coal burning power plant which is owned and operated by Dominion Virginia Power. Even in zero degree temperature, the water of the lake never dips below 50 degrees.