Coal geology is a branch within the field of geology which is focused on the study of coal, a tremendously economically important rock found in several regions around the world. Coal is a highly abundant fossil fuel with a number of uses, making coal geologists critical to several industries, including the electricity generation industry and the steel milling industry. The study of coal geology includes a wide variety of coal related topics, including how coal is formed, where it can be found, and how it can be used. Coal formation is of great interest because the process of formation can determine the geological composition of the coal, which in turn determines how the coal can be used and how valuable it is. Knowledge about how coal forms can help coal geologists find new deposits, determine the value of existing deposits, and contribute to general geological knowledge about the history of the Earth.
Course Content (Syllabus)
Coal is an organic sedimentary rock that forms from the accumulation and preservation of plant materials, usually in a swamp environment. Coal is a combustible rock and along with oil and natural gas it is one of the three most important fossil fuels. It has a wide range of uses; the most important use is for the generation of electricity. For a coal seam to form, perfect conditions of plant debris accumulation and perfect conditions of subsidence must occur on a landscape that maintains this perfect balance for a very long time. Peat formation and coal petrology are examined. Are also examined chemical, optical and physical properties of coals, while methods for proximate, ultimate analyses and calorific value measurements are presented. Based upon composition and properties coals are assigned to a rank progression that corresponds to their level of organic metamorphism. Lignite has a low energy and high ash content. Investigation of the microscopic texture and structure of peat and coal contributes to the understanding of the origin of coal. Greek lignite reserves and production are also discussed. Lignite is unsuitable for export and is used to generate electricity in power stations located at or near the mine.