The Story of Coal: Where does Coal come from?
Coal is found in underground deposits all around the world. It’s made from the remains of plants that are up to 400 million years old. (That’s why it’s called a fossil fuel).
The plant matter was either rotting away in swamps, or covered by layers of rock, soil, water, and other plants. The plants began to compact, further limiting the already low air flow, and increasing the heat and pressure. This begun a series of chemical reactions, turning the plants in to rich carbon deposits, a thick liquid known as peat.
Over time, as the deposits continued to be subjected to heat and pressure, they hardened in to the coal we know today. The whole process takes millions of years.
We retrieve coal from the ground by mining. Either underground mining via a shaft, or from open pits. The majority of the Earth’s coal is buried deep, and will require underground mining. Peat is often found in marshes, ponds and bogs. The image above shows a peat bog.