Coal: More Than Just Energy!

Everyone knows that coal is used heavily in energy applications, but did you know that coal byproducts have a strong presence in our everyday lives? From perfume to golf balls, coal makes its mark!

1. Fly ash is a byproduct of coal burning and using it in concrete, not only makes it stronger, but it lasts longer and less likely to crack from water freezing, it is less detrimental to the environment when used in concrete. Concrete is used about twice as much as every other building material combined; woods, metals, and plastics.

Coal: More Than Just Energy!2. Coal tar which is distilled from coal, not only contains antiseptic qualities, but is it used in soap used by dermatologists. It is a favorite for skin disorders!

3. Did you know that coal can be made into a synthetic diesel fuel? The process is called Fischer-Tropsch (T-T) synthesis and it was discovered a century ago.

4. Throwing in a little “ewww” factor; Lice Shampoo can contain coal tar and is very effective in eliminating the unwanted!

5. Coking coal, which is also known as metallurgical coal, is primarily used in steel production. 70% of the world’s steel output depends on coal.

Coal: More Than Just Energy!

6. When coal is heated, the extracted tars can be used to make roofing shingles, linoleum, plastic and synthetic rubber.

7. Back in the day, coal was converted into a type of natural gas to light street lights, homes and production plants.

8. Coal is used to make perfume. It allows the smell to last longer and evaporate more slowly.

9. In a process called gasification, coal is converted to produce ammonia to make nitrogen fertilizers.

10. While it is believed that diamonds come from coal, it is widely accepted that the only thing coal and diamonds have in common is carbon.  Most diamonds predate plants and the rest are said to have come from large asteroid strikes to the earth or high-pressure volcanic activity below the earth’s mantle.

(Other sources: 1 | 2 | 3)