Coal: The Dirtiest of Fossil Fuels

Depending on how much pressure and temperature to which it has been subject, coal is a sedimentary or metamorphic rock comprised mostly of carbon. Coal is a fossil fuel used primarily in the generation of electricity. To turn coal into electricity, the rock is pulverized then combusted in a furnace, the heat from which converts water into steam used to spin turbine blades to create electricity.

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