The History Of Coal Usage
Coal was initially used as a domestic fuel, until the industrial revolution, when coal became an integral part of manufacturing for creating electricity, transportation, heating and molding purposes. The large scale mining aspect of coal was introduced around the 18th century, and Britain was the first nation to successfully use advanced coal mining techniques, which involved underground excavation and mining.
Initially coal was scraped off the surface by different processes like drift and shaft mining. This has been done for centuries, and since the demand was quite low, these mining processes were more than enough to accommodate the demand in the market.
However, when the practical uses of using coal as fuel sparked industrial revolution, the demand for coal rose abruptly, leading to severe shortage of the coal output, gradually paving the way for new ways to extract coal from under the ground.
Coal became a popular fuel for all purposes, even to this day, due to their abundance and their ability to produce more energy per mass than other conventional solid fuels like wood. This was important as far as transportation, creating electricity and manufacturing processes are concerned, which allowed industries to use up less space and increase productivity. The usage of coal started to dwindle once alternate energies such as oil and gas began to be used in almost all processes, however, coal is still a primary fuel source for manufacturing processes to this day.
The Process Of Coal Mining
Extracting coal is a difficult and complex process. Coal is a natural resource, a fossil fuel that is a result of millions of years of decay of plants and living organisms under the ground. Some can be found on the surface, while other coal deposits are found deep underground.
Coal mining or extraction comes broadly in two different processes, surface mining, and deep excavation. The method of excavation depends on a number of different factors, such as the depth of the coal deposit below the ground, geological factors such as soil composition, topography, climate, available local resources, etc.
Surface mining is used to scrape off coal that is available on the surface, or just a few feet underground. This can even include mountains of coal deposit, which is extracted by using explosives and blowing up the mountains, later collecting the fragmented coal and process them.
Deep underground mining makes use of underground tunnels, which is built, or dug through, to reach the center of the coal deposit, from where the coal is dug out and brought to the surface by coal workers. This is perhaps the most dangerous excavation procedure, where the lives of all the miners are constantly at a risk.
Investing In Coal
Investing in coal is a safe bet. There are still large reserves of coal deposits around the world, and due to the popularity, coal will be continued to be used as fuel for manufacturing process. Every piece of investment you make in any sort of industry or a manufacturing process ultimately depends on the amount of output the industry can deliver, which is dependent on the usage of any form of fuel, and in most cases, coal.
One might argue that coal usage leads to pollution and lower standards of hygiene for coal workers. This was arguably true in former years; however, newer coal mining companies are taking steps to assure that the environmental aspects of coal mining and usage are kept minimized, all the while providing better working environment and benefits package for their workers. If you can find a mining company that promises all these, and the one that also works within the law, you can be assured safety for your investments in coal.