OCCURRENCE AND RESERVES in C#

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51 OCCURRENCE AND RESERVES
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Coal is found as successive layers, or seams, sandwiched between strata of sandstone and shale Compared to other fossil fuels, coal reserves are the largest ones and are more evenly distributed worldwide With current consumption trends, the reserves-to-production (R/P) ratio of world proven reserves of coal is higher than that of world proven reserves of oil and gas 155 years versus 40 and 65 years, respectively Total recoverable reserves of coal around the world are estimated at 696 billion metric tons of carbon equivalent (Btce) or 909 billion tons Geographic distribution of coal reserves reveals that the largest deposits are located in the
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CHAPTER FIVE
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Lignite Subbituminous coal
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FIGURE 51 Coal fields of the United States
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Bituminous coal Anthracite
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United States (Fig 51) (271 percent of the world reserves), FSU (former Soviet Unoin) (250 percent), China (126 percent), India (102 percent), Australia (86 percent), and South Africa (54 percent) (Fig 52)
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Europe North America Asia Australia Africa South America
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FIGURE 52 Global distribution of coal reserves
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Recoverable reserves are those quantities of coal which geologic and engineering information indicates with reasonable certainty can be extracted in the future under existing economic and operating conditions (Balat, 2007) Global coal recoverable reserves are estimated to be on the order of 909 billion tonnes (equivalent to 11023 billion tons, where 1 tonne = 2240 lb and 1 ton = 2000 lb) that occur in the following regions: North America (280 percent), South and Central America (22 percent), Europe and Eurasia (316 percent), Africa (55 percent), and Asia Pacific
FUELS FROM COAL
Europe North America Asia Australia Africa South America
FIGURE 53 Global distribution of recoverable coal reserves
(327 percent) (Fig 53) there being a slight difference in the data when compared to global distraction of total coal resources (Fig 52) (BP, 2007) Whichever way the data are considered, the amount of coal in the world is phenomenal However, for Europe the coal currently extracted within the EU (European Union) cannot meet the demand in the long-term, which is not even possible at present levels The only European countries with important hard coal resources for economic extraction are Poland and the Czech Republic, but also those will be depleted before the end of this century at current production Germany has only resources of subbituminous coal and lignite, which will likely be depleted in about 30 years at current rate of consumption (Spohn and Ellersdorfer, 2005) Hard coal with a calorific value greater than 16,500 kJ/kg (>4000 kcal/kg) is traded globally The price is usually not significantly affected by transport costs Soft brown coal with a calorific value less than 16,500 kJ/kg is mainly used locally by power plants near the coal deposits Coal remains the most important fuel, now amounting to about 55 percent of the reserves of all nonrenewable fuels (Fig 54), followed by oil with 26 percent (conventional oil 181 percent and nonconventional oil 74 percent) and natural gas with almost 15 percent, nuclear fuels account for about 4 percent (BGR, 2007)
Coal Hydroelectric Natural gas Nuclear Petroleum
FIGURE 54 group
Coal as member of the energy-generating
The United States has the largest hard coal reserves (26 percent of global reserves), followed by Russia (12 percent), China (11 percent), India (10 percent), and Australia (9 percent) Soft brown coal reserves are 10 percent of global reserves Australia has the largest soft brown coal reserves (192 percent of global reserves), followed by India (169 percent), the United States (161 percent), China (90 percent), Serbia and Montenegro (77 percent), Russia (50 percent), and Germany (32 percent) (BGR, 2007)
CHAPTER FIVE
Thus, coal remains in adequate supply and at current rates of recovery and consumption, the world global coal reserves have been variously estimated to have an R/P ratio of at least 155 years However, as with all estimates of resource longevity, coal longevity is subject to the assumed rate of consumption remaining at the current rate of consumption and, moreover, to technologic developments that dictate the rate at which the coal can be mined And, moreover, coal is a fossil fuel and an unclean energy source that will only add to global warming In fact, the next time electricity is advertised as a clean energy source, consider the means by which the majority of electricity is produced almost 50 percent of the electricity generated in the United States is from coal (EIA, 2007) Current projections are that the use of coal as an energy source will diminish by the year 2020 (Fig 55) with natural gas use increasing as petroleum use also declines as a percent of the global energy production However, the current author is of the opinion that coal use will increase as more liquids and gas (synthesis gas) are produced from coal and as environment technologies evolve and are capable of ensuring that coal is truly a clean and nonpolluting fuel
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