Best answer: How does coal mining pollute water?

The resulting chemicals in the water are sulfuric acid and dissolved iron. Some or all of this iron can come out as solids to form the red, orange, or yellow sediments in the bottom of streams containing mine drainage.

How does coal mining cause pollution?

Emissions from burning coal

Sulfur dioxide (SO2), which contributes to acid rain and respiratory illnesses. Nitrogen oxides (NOx), which contribute to smog and respiratory illnesses. Particulates, which contribute to smog, haze, and respiratory illnesses and lung disease.

Can coal contaminate water?

Coal-fired power production poisons waterways with toxic metals. … Coal plants across the country dispose of heavy metals like selenium, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, thallium, and lead into our waterways, polluting our drinking water, fishing areas, and local rivers and streams.

What is the role of water in coal extraction?

Water is used to extract, wash, and sometimes transport the coal; to cool the steam used to make electricity in the power plant; and to control pollution from the plant. The acts of mining and burning coal, as well as dealing with the waste, also can have major effects on water quality.

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What are the disadvantages of coal?

The major disadvantage of coal is its negative impact on the environment. Coal-burning energy plants are a major source of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to carbon monoxide and heavy metals like mercury, the use of coal releases sulfur dioxide, a harmful substance linked to acid rain.

Why is coal so bad for the environment?

The burning of fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, increasing levels of CO2 and other gasses, trapping heat, and contributing to global climate change. Coal combustion releases the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) during combustion.

Where does coal waste go?

More than 100 million tons of coal ash and other waste products are produced by coal-fired power plants in the United States every year (see a map here). About a third of that waste is reused in some way (often in concrete); the rest is stored in landfills, abandoned mines, and hazardous, highly toxic ponds.

What happens to coal when it gets wet?

Wet coal doesn’t burn. It clogs up crushing plants, breaks conveyor belts and turns to mud-like sludge. … Once at the plant, the coal is ground into fine powder, then blown into the furnaces to burn, as this is more efficient than burning lumps of coal.

Is raw coal toxic?

Burning coal generates air pollutants that cause thousands of premature deaths and hospitalizations every year. Coal mining, especially mountaintop mining, has been linked to increased exposure to toxic pollutants, increased morbidity and mortality, and adverse impacts on mental health for people living nearby.

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Which comes from water and coal?

Coal-water slurries are also referred to as coal-water mixtures (CWM) and coal-water fuel (CWF). Both coal-oil mixtures and coal-water slurries are suitable for heating and steam-raising applications generally as an alternative to heavy fuel oil although they can be used as engine fuels.

How is coal used to produce energy?

Coal-fired plants produce electricity by burning coal in a boiler to produce steam. The steam produced, under tremendous pressure, flows into a turbine, which spins a generator to create electricity. The steam is then cooled, condensed back into water and returned to the boiler to start the process over.

How much water is used in coal mining?

653 litres per tonne

What are 2 disadvantages of coal?

Disadvantages of Coal

  • Coal is potentially radioactive. …
  • Coal destroys natural habitats. …
  • Coal creates high levels of carbon emissions. …
  • Coal is a non-renewable source of energy. …
  • Coal can be Deadly. …
  • Emission of harmful substances by coal. …
  • Coal displaces human settlements.

What are 2 advantages of coal?

Advantages of using coal to produce electricity:

  • Coal energy is an affordable energy source because of the coal’s stable price compared to other fuel sources.
  • Coal is easy to burn.
  • Coal produces high energy upon combustion.
  • Coal energy is inexpensive.
  • Coal is abundant.
  • Coal energy is a reliable energy source.

What are the pros and cons of coal?

Advantages of Coal as Power Plant Fuel

  • Reliability. One of the greatest advantages of coal fired plants is reliability. …
  • Affordability. …
  • Abundance. …
  • Known technologies. …
  • Safety. …
  • Greenhouse gas emissions. …
  • Mining destruction. …
  • Generation of millions of tons of waste.
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Coal mine