Here, we will learn about the energy source, lignite coal, as well as the uses of lignite coal.
What is lignite coal?
Lignite coal is a type of low-quality, black coal that is found in the earth’s lower layers of soil. It is the lowest rank of coal and is one of the least expensive types of fuel used to produce electricity.
Coal, generally, is used to make steel, which is used to construct houses, buildings, automobiles, ships, and other items that people commonly use every day.
Because of its low cost, lignite coal is often used to power household furnaces and small industries. It can also be used as a heating fuel.
What does lignite coal look like?
When lignite is extracted from the ground, it resembles very fine mud or ash. It can have a variety of textures and colors.
It can be grey to black in color, or sometimes it has a reddish brown color. It can also have swirls and streaks of color.
Once it is burned, it produces smoke and ashes that can be harmful to the environment. It also releases a lot of carbon dioxide into the air.
For this reason, some people choose to look for other types of energy sources rather than using lignite coal to produce power.
Uses of Lignite Coal
Let us now take a close look at the uses of lignite coal worldwide:
1. Lignite coal is primarily used in residential and industrial boilers for space heating and hot water production.
2. It is also commonly used for industrial purposes such as the production of chemicals and other industrial products.
3. Lignite can also be used in steam plants to produce electric power and process heat.
4. It is a cheap source of energy that provides heat quickly and efficiently.
5. Lignite coal is also used for power generation, which includes converting steam into electrical energy through turbo-generators or reciprocating engines. As earlier mentioned in point 3 above.
Its downside majorly, is the emissions it releases into the atmosphere. We will look at that in the section below.
Downsides of using Lignite Coal
1. Producing lignite coal requires digging up large amounts of earth and digging through layers of rock to get to the lowest levels of coal in the soil.
This disturbs the ground and causes soil and water pollution as well as the loss of plant and wildlife habitats.
2. Mining also creates noise and traffic congestion in the area where the mining takes place.
3. In addition, burning lignite coal produces a significant amount of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.
With the net-zero goal being top-priority in most companies and industries, lignite coal is speedily becoming obsolete and being replaced in favor of greener alternatives such as wind and solar energy.
Countries Still Exploiting Lignite Coal as an Energy Source in 2022
According to recent reports by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), there are over 200 coal-fired power plants planned or under construction in China alone.
This means increased exploitation of lignite coal in these countries and an increased threat to the environment.
Some countries still using Lignite coal are: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Mongolia, North Korea, South Africa, Algeria, Angola, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran etcetera.
How can I make use of lignite coal domestically?
At home, you can use lignite coal by lighting a fire in your fireplace. You can also use it for grilling food outdoors on a barbecue grill.
It can also be mixed with wood or used on its own. There are a number of things you can do with lignite coal at home, including using it for heating water. It is also used to heat swimming pools.
It can also be used to cook food in a kitchen oven or on a stovetop, etcetera.
Please leave your questions in the comment section of this blog!