Go to Naturalis.nl

Search results

Record: oai:ARNO:505879

AuthorP.A. Hacquebard
TitleMicroscopic coal research in Canada
JournalLeidse Geologische Mededelingen
AbstractSince the industrial developments of Europe and North America in the nineteenth century, coal has been considered as the most important mineral wealth a country could possess. Coal was often referred to as King Coal, and it was not until around 1950 that its position as the major fuel for modern society was seriously threatened by oil, natural gas and hydro-electric power. Particularly on the North American continent the question is now raised: what will be the future of coal, and which part will it play in the ever increasing energy consumptions of modern civilization? A survey made in Canada by the Dominion Coal Board in 1953 on the future energy requirements of the country revealed some pertinent facts regarding the role that coal would play in this. After a careful evaluation of the future supply of oil, natural gas and hydro-power, it became apparent that the present coal consumption of 37,500,000 tons annually will be maintained until 1965, after which a substantial increase to 58,000,000 tons will be necessary to meet the energy demands. This conclusion, it should be pointed out, was arrived at on the basis of a population increase to 16,500,000 by 1965, an no net additions to the overall energy supply from atomic sources in that period (O’Brian, 1953). From this it may be seen that coal, although not the sole important fuel anymore, is still one of our major sources of energy, apart from being a large supplier of numerous organic compounds.
Coal is a complex substance, both in its chemical and physical composition. Although coal may truly be defined as a rock, it is a most unusual one, because it does not consist of minerals, but of a petrified mass of vegetable matter, which has been modified chemically and physically in varying degrees. This mass consists of an agglomeration of all sorts of plant components, ranging from a simple cell to such highly modified forms as cuticles, spores and pollen grains. The proportion in which these components are present, -as well as their degree of metamorphism controls the chemical and physical properties of coal. Added to this, a greatly varying amount of inorganic matter is present which immediately affects the value of coal as a solid fuel.
Document typearticle
Download paperpdf document http://www.repository.naturalis.nl/document/549629