Coal is extracted from the ground either viasurface mining(including strip mining, open-pit mining, and mountaintop removal) or underground mining. Surface mining is done when the fossil fuel is located less than 200 feet underground.
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What happens when coal is extracted from the Earth?
However, when coal and other fossil fuels are extracted and burned, they release sequestered carbon into the atmosphere, which leads to a build-up of greenhouse gases and adversely affects climate s and ecosystems. In 2011, about 43% of the electricity in the U.S. was generated from burning coal.
What is the process of cleaning coal?
The process of cleaning coal is a wet one, using large quantities of water (i.e., thousands of gallons per minute). As a result, vast quantities of dirty (fine rock-laden) water are produced. Beneficiation processes require clean water. Consequently, dirty water is processed, solids removed, and clean water recycled for further use in the plant.
How is brown coal extracted from the ground?
Such mining is cheaper than underground mining and enables up to 90% recovery of the resource. Many brown coal beds lie close to the surface and can be hundreds of metres thick, so can be extracted easily and cheaply. Firstly the topsoil is removed and stored for use later in restoring the disturbed land.
How is coal separated from its ores?
After the coal is brought up to the surface by conveyors, it undergoes a process that removes sand and mud by immersing the coal in a solution of water and tiny magnetite particles. The different elements separate naturally. The coal floats while the other ores, called tails, sink to the bottom.