What happens when coal is burned?
All living things—even people—are made up of carbon. But when coal burns, its carbon combines with oxygen in the air and forms carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a colorless, odorless gas, but in the atmosphere, it is one of several gases that can trap the earth’s heat.
What gases are released from burning coal?
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.
Is coal still being formed?
Coal is very old. The formation of coal spans the geologic ages and is still being formed today, just very slowly. Below, a coal slab shows the footprints of a dinosaur (the footprints where made during the peat stage but were preserved during the coalification process).
Why is coal bad for you?
Along with adding to greenhouse gas pollution, burning coal emits toxic and carcinogenic substances into our air, water and land, severely affecting the health of miners, workers and surrounding communities. … In India, coal kills about 169,000 people annually.
Does burning coal release mercury?
The burning of coal, oil and wood as fuel can cause mercury to become airborne, as can burning wastes that contain mercury.