COAL LAB EXERCISE

Assignment Sheet (MS Word)

Assignment Sheet (PDF)

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This lab exercise is worth 10 points.

Be sure to add the proper number of zeros after each of the statistics on the pages below.

thousands = 3 zeros

millions = 6 zeros

billions = 9 zeros

trillions = 12 zeros

Also, there is a difference between a short ton and a metric ton. A metric ton is 1000 kilograms (or 2200 pounds). A short ton is simply 2000 pounds (a regular ton). In many countries, a "ton" is automatically assumed to be a metric ton. Referring to a "short ton" limits this confusion.

ST = short ton

A. The top eight countries with the most coal reserves are listed here. The U.S. Department of Energy has reported the estimated amount of coal still in the ground for each country based on individual coal mine statistics. You are welcome to click on the link below to verify this list. These are 2019 statistics (the most recent available).

1. United States with 252,057,000,000 short tons of coal still in the ground.

2. Russia with 178,757,000,000 short tons of coal in the ground.

3. Australia with 164,331,000,000 short tons of coal still in the ground.

4. China with 156,082,000,000 short tons of coal in the ground.

5. India with 116,769,000,000 short tons of coal in the ground.

6. Indonesia with 43,972,000,000 short tons of coal in the ground.

7. Germany with 39,573,000,000 short tons of coal in the ground.

8. Ukraine with 37,892,000,000 short tons of coal still in the ground.

World Coal Reserves = 1,156,060,000,000 short tons

Note: Even though Russia has coal, it is located in very remote areas with poor transportation networks. Trying to retrieve this coal would be cost-prohibitive (i.e., they would lose money by mining this coal). Therefore, Russia's coal is really not considered a big part of the solution today.

Coal Reserves U.S. Department of Energy

B. The top eight countries that consume the most coal are listed here. This is not based upon population. It's the total amount of coal consumed by a given country in a year. You are welcome to click on the link below to verify this list. These are 2019 statistics as well.

1. China consumed 4,603,771,000 short tons of coal in a year (if I could add dramatic music here, I would-- that's a HUGE amount of coal).

2. India consumed 978,482,000 short tons of coal in a year.

3. United States consumed 588,415,000 short tons of coal in a year.

4. Russia consumed 242,157,000 short tons of coal in a year.

5. South Africa consumed 208,987,000 short tons of coal in a year.

6. Japan consumed 206,517,000 short tons of coal in a year.

7. Germany consumed 188,825,000 short tons of coal in a year.

8. Indonesia consumed 152,580,000 short tons of coal in a year.

The entire world consumed 8,639,675,000 short tons of coal in a year.

Note 1: China consumed more than half of the coal consumed in the world in 2019.

Note 2: Click on the link below and scroll left in the table to see all the way back to 1980 and see how little coal China consumed then. Move the date up to 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010 to see how rapidly China started consuming coal. Keep an eye on the United States during these years to see how consistent they have been. China's coal consumption increase has been a game-changer ove the last decade or two (for everyone worldwide). Such an increase will likely happen in India as well.

Coal Consumption Ranking U.S. Department of Energy

C. (see assignment sheet)

D. (see assignment sheet)

E. (see assignment sheet)

F. This is how much coal each U.S. citizen uses in a year (see assignment sheet).

G. This is how much coal each Chinese citizen uses in a year (see assignment sheet).

H. This is how much coal each Indian citizen uses in a year (see assignment sheet).

I. The sum of coal reserves from China, India and the U.S. (see assignment sheet).

J. The total consumption per year from China, India and the U.S. (see assignment sheet).

K. (see assignment sheet)

Play around with the controls at the links above and see what interesting statistics you can come up with. There are a million ways to state it. Coal is not something we should plan on in the future!