You already know that Coal Hut are the leading supplier of high-quality coals for open fires and closed appliances. But do you know how coal is actually made? In this post, we’re going to take a look at the environmental factors that cause coal formation, along with a basic overview of the coal mining process.
Around 300 million years ago, in a time period named the Carboniferous (Latin for coal), the atmospheric content of oxygen peaked at 35% - a far cry from the 21% that we are used to today. The heightened levels of oxygen meant that the landscape was teeming with trees. Because mushrooms and other microorganisms had not yet figured out how to decompose trees, leaves and bark, remains were frequently left at the bottom of swampy areas as a result of decreased sea levels. This build-up of this tree matter overtime eventually formed what we know today as peat.
During this period, the earth’s surface was in a constant state of flux, continually shifting and forming new materials such as sand, clay and sedimentary rocks which buried the peat further down into the ground. The pressure caused by the weight of these materials squeezed out any remaining moisture content whilst the high temperatures close to the earth's core transformed the peat into coal.
There are two main methods of coal mining, namely: surface mining and underground mining - both of which are highly dependant on the geographical coal deposit conditions.
Surface mining is the appropriate method for when coal is buried less than 200 feet below ground. The process involves heavy machinery removing vast amounts of top-soil and layers of rock in order to expose coal beds. After extraction has taken place, the area is replanted and can be repurposed for croplands, wildlife habitats or property.
Underground mining, also known as deep mining, is utilised when coal is buried more than 200 feet below ground. Some underground mines are known to be as deep as 1000 feet! Underground mining is a lot riskier in terms of health and safety, requiring miners to ride elevators down long mining shafts, extract the coal and operate machinery to transport the coal back to surface level.
Now that you have a better understanding of the coal production process, why not check out our extensive range of coal product options? We have fuel to suit all needs:
- Colombian Group 2 Coal is one of our star buys. It is sourced exclusively from Colombian mines and easy super to easy to light with a naturally high flame.
- Five Star Coal lives up to its name, producing a high heat output, long burn time and low ash content.
- House Coal is a great all-rounder, performing adequately in all departments, especially in terms of cost-effectiveness.
- Singles is perfect smaller fireplaces and pot-belly stoves. It can be used to extend fire life, maintain heat or tame a roaring fire.
- Surelite is a premium grade manufactured ovoid that sits neatly in the grate of your open fire or multi-fuel stove.