is coal considered a rock

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  • What type of rock is coal?

  • Coal is a black or brownish-black sedimentary rock that can be burned for fuel and used to generate electricity. It is composed mostly of carbon and hydrocarbon s, which contain energy that can be released through combust ion (burning).

  • How is CO2 coal different from other rocks?

  • Coal differs from every other kind of rock in that it is made of organic carbon: the actual remains, not just mineralized fossils, of dead plants. Today, the vast majority of dead plant matter is consumed by fire and decay, returning its carbon to the atmosphere as the gas carbon dioxide.

  • Is coal a fossil?

  • It is made up of organic components; specifically, plant matter that has been buried in an anoxic, or non-oxygenated, environment and compressed over millions of years. Because it is organic, coal defies the normal standards of classification for rocks, minerals, and fossils: A fossil is any evidence of life that has been preserved in rock.

  • Should coal be the state mineral of the United States?

  • State legislators struggle with this topic as well: Utah and West Virginia list coal as their official state rock while Kentucky named coal its state mineral in 1998. Coal differs from every other kind of rock in that it is made of organic carbon: the actual remains, not just mineralized fossils, of dead plants.

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