How is Coal Formed?: Sparkle Kitten

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Coal was formed millions of years ago, and even started before the dinosaurs were here.  When the earth was covered with swamps and bogs, there were very warm and wet conditions.  Plants died in the water, and were eaten by bacteria turning them into a sludge of Peat.  Over time, this layer of Peat was covered with many, many layers of soil and rock.  The pressure from being buried squeezed out hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen to leave carbon.  Some of the material fell apart completely, some turned brown and doesn’t have as much carbon, and some turned black and has a lot of carbon remaining.  There are three grades of coal.  Bituminous is the mid rank (also known as soft coal) and is what is found in West Virginia.  It is used in energy generation, steel production, cement manufacturing, and as liquid fuel.  (Coke coal is what is used in steel production).  The waterways here made it easy to transport coal to places like Pittsburgh.