Let's watch a video explaining how coal is processed into electricity since you have so many questions
How is Coal Processed into Electricity?
Isn't coal just passed through a tube and into our homes?
Why do we use coal instead of other forms?
At school, the students learn about how coal is processed into electricity but have a lot of questions so the teacher decides to show them a video explaining the process.
Coal is mined under the surface as well as above the surface. There are five steps in the production of coal-fired electricity generation. Firstly, coal is mined from the ground by coal miners using giant machines. There are two methods of mining coal from underground, surface mining and underground mining.
Surface mining is can be used when coal is less than 60m underground; underground mining is used to dig out coal buried extremely deep into the Earth. Some mines can be up to 304m deep. About two-thirds of coal production comes from surface mining. Once the coal is out of the ground, it goes on a conveyor belt to a preparation plant which is located at the mining site. The plant cleans and processes the coal to remove unwanted materials and increases the heating value of the coal.
Coal-fired electricity generation is a five-step process. Firstly, the thermal coal which has been crushed into a fine powder is burned. The heat is then used to warm the water into steam. The steam, at extreme pressure is then used to spin a turbine that is connected to an electrical generator. The spinning turbine allows large magnets to turn within copper wire coils called a generator. The moving magnets cause electrons in the wires to move from one place to another, generating an electrical current and producing electricity.
In Australia, the electricity transported along transmission and distribution power lines, through a sophisticated, connected grid, to your home work workplace.
About 92% of coal is used to generate electricity. Though we utilise coal for many products such as electricity, it is not the most efficient form of energy. Coal pollutes the Earth as when coal is burned, it emits carbon dioxide and sulfur. Sulfur and carbon dioxide make sulfur dioxide which when mixed with moisture, turns into acid rain.