Coal in the 21st Century: Energy Needs, Chemicals and Environmental Controls
Coal mining is an important industry that contributes to the economic development of a country. There are two main coal mining methods: surface mining and underground mining. In the surface mining method, coal is first exposed to the surface and then mined with heavy equipment, whereas in underground mining, coal is mined in situ by accessing through shafts, slopes and tunnels, and mined coal is brought to the surface. Coal mining provides several economic benefits including employment, tax revenue, improved infrastructures, development of support industry and GDP growth. However, coal mining, transportation and consumption have serious environmental consequences ranging from nuisances in the form of dust, noise and increased traffic to greenhouse gas emissions, acidic mine drainage and subsidence.