Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology

Living Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Coal and Peat: Global Resources and Future Supply

  • Mikael HöökEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-2493-6_161-3



Anthracite is the highest rank of coal because it has undergone the greatest degree of metamorphosis away from peat. It features low volatile matter (<10%) and high carbon, giving it the highest energy content of all coals. Semianthracite is somewhere in the middle between low volatile bituminous coal and anthracite.


Inorganic residues remaining after combustion. It is less than the initial mineral matter content because of chemical changes during combustion, i.e., the loss of water, carbon dioxide, and sulfurous compounds.

Bituminous coal

Bituminous coal lies between subbituminous coal and semianthracite in terms of rank. This rank of coal is commonly divided into additional subgroups dependent upon the content of volatile material.

Calorific value

Corresponds to the amount of heat per unit mass when combusted. Can be expressed as gross calorific value, which is the amount of heat liberated during combustion under standardized conditions at constant volume so...


United States Geological Survey Bituminous Coal Coal Production Future Production Coal Resource 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


Primary Literature

  1. 1.
    Ehrlich PR, Ehrlich AH, Holdren JP (1970) Ecoscience: population, resources, environment. W.H Freeman and Company, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cook E (1977) Energy: The ultimate resource? Resource papers for college geography, Issue 77–4, 42 pGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Simon J (1966) The ultimate resource 2. Princeton University, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bromley DA (2002) Science, technology, and politics. Technol Soc 24:9–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Einstein A (1905) Ist die Trägheit eines Körpers von seinem Energieinhalt abhängig? Ann Phys 323:639–641CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    IEA, 2015. Key world energy statistics 2015, see also: http://www.iea.org
  7. 7.
    Pimentel D, Hurd LE, Bellotti AC, Forster MJ, Oka IN, Sholes OD, Whitman RJ (1973) Food production and the energy crisis. Science 182(4111):443–449CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Green MB (1978) Eating oil: energy use in food production. Westview Press, BoulderGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pfieffer DA (2006) Eating fossil fuels: oil, food and the coming crisis in agriculture. New Society Publishers, Gabriola IslandGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pimentel D (2007) Food, energy, and society. CRC, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Akinlo AE (2002) Energy consumption and economic growth: evidence from 11 sub-Saharan African countries. Energy Econ 30:2391–2400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hondroyiannis G, Lolos S, Papapetrou E (2002) Energy consumption and economic growth: assessing the evidence from Greece. Energy Econ 24:319–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Höök M, Aleklett K (2009) Historical trends in American coal production and a possible future outlook. Int J Coal Geol 78(3):201–216. doi:10.1016/j.coal.2009.03.002Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Diessel CFK (1992) Coal-bearing depositional systems. Springer-Verlag, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Moore PD (1987) Ecological and hydrological aspects of peat formation. In: Scott AC (ed) Coal and coal-bearing strata: recent advances, vol 32. Spec. Publ. Geo. Soc, London, pp 7–15Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Nadon GC (1998) Magnitude and timing of peat-to-coal compaction. Geology 26(8):727–730. doi:10.1130/0091-7613CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mäkilä M (2006) Lot of peat deposits under 300 years old in Finland. Geological Survey of Finland, Peat Research Report 59/2006.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ryer TA, Langer AW (1980) Thickness change involved in the peat-to-coal transformation of bituminous coal of Cretaceous age in central Utah. J Sediment Petrol 50:987–992Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Dukes JS (2003) Burning buried sunshine: human consumption of ancient solar energy. Clim Chang 61(1–2):31–44. doi:10.1023/A:1026391317686CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Neuzil SG, Supardi CCB, Kane JS, Soedjono K (1993) Inorganic geochemistry of domed peat in Indonesia and its implication for the origin of mineral matter in coal. Geol Soc Am Spec Pap 286:23–44Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Cecil CB, Dulong FT, Cobb JC, Supardi K (1993) Allogenic and autogenic controls of sedimentation in the central Sumatra basin as an analogue for Pennsylvanian coal-bearing strata in the Appalachian Basin. Geol Soc Am Spec Pap 286:2–22Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Gastaldo RA, Allen GP, Huc AY (1993) Detrial peat foundation in the tropical Mahakam River Delta, Kalimantan, Eastern Borneo: sedimentation, plant composition and geochemistry. Geol Soc Am Spec Pap 286:107–118Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ruppert LF, Neuzil SG, Cecil CB, Kane JS (1993) Inorganic constituents from samples of a domed and lacustrine peat, Sumatra, Indonesia. Geol Soc Am Spec Pap 286:83–96Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Wellman CH, Osterloff PL, Mohuiddin U (2003) Fragments of the earliest land plants. Nature 425:282–285. doi:10.1038/nature01884CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Butler J, Marsh H, Goodarzi F (1988) World coals: genesis of the world’s major coal fields in relation to plate tectonics. Fuel 67(2):269–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Walker S (2000) Major coalfields of the world. IEA Coal Research, LondonGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Saus T, Schiffer HW (1999) Lignite international. Rheinbraun AG, CologneGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    American Society for Testing and Materials (2005). Standard Classification of Coals by Rank. ASTM D388–05, ASTM InternationalGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Carpenter AM (1988) Coal classification. IEA Coal Research, LondonGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Lappalainen E (1996) General review on world peatland and peat resources. In: Lappalainen E (ed) Global peat resources. International Peat Society, JyskäGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Lottes AL, Ziegler AM (1994) World peat occurrence and the seasonality of climate and vegetation. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 106(1–4):23–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Thielemann T, Schmidt S, Gerling PJ (2007) Lignite and hard coal: energy suppliers for world needs until the year 2100 – an outlook. Int J Coal Geol 72:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    van Rensburg WCJ (1982) The relationship between resources and reserves estimates for US coal. Res Policy 8(1):53–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Wood GH, Kehn TM, Carter MD, Culbertson WC (1983) Coal Resource Classification System of the U.S. Geological Survey. US Geological Survey Circular 891. http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/c891/
  35. 35.
    Eggleston JR, Carter MD, Cobb JC (1990) Coal resources available for development – a methodology and pilot study. US Geol Surv Circ 1055. http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/c1055/
  36. 36.
    Carter MD, Gardner NK (1989) An assessment of coal resources available for development, central Appalachian region. US Geol Surv Open-File Rep 89–362. http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/1989/of89-362/
  37. 37.
    Luppens JA, Rohrbacher TJ, Haacke, JE, Scott DC, Osmonson LM (2006) Status report: USGS coal assessment of the Powder River, Wyoming. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2006–1072. http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2006/1072/
  38. 38.
    American Association of Petroleum Geologists (2007) Unconventional energy resources and geospatial information: 2006 review. Nat Resour Res 16:243–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Energy Information Administration (1996) U.S. Coal Reserves, Appendix A, Specialized resource and reserve terminology. http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/ftproot/coal/052995.pdf
  40. 40.
    BP (2016) BP Statistical Review of World Energy. http://www.bp.com
  41. 41.
    World Energy Council (1924) Survey of energy resources 2013 and previous reports and statistical yearbooks from previous world power conferences. World Energy Council, London. http://www.worldenergy.org/ Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    German Federal Institute of Geology and Natural Resources (1980–2015) Reserves, resources and availability of energy resources. Various editionsGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Flores RM, Stricker GD, Kinney SA (2004) Alaska coal geology, resources, and coalbed methane potential. USGS report. http://pubs.usgs.gov/dds/dds-077/
  44. 44.
    Luppens JA, Scott DC, Haacke JE, Osmonson LM, Rohrbacher TJ, Ellis MS (2008) Assessment of coal geology, resources, and reserves in the Gillette coalfield, Powder River Basin, Wyoming. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008–1202. http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1202/
  45. 45.
    Hubbert MK (1982) Response to David Nissens remarks. http://www.hubbertpeak.com/Hubbert/to_nissen.htm
  46. 46.
    Kurleyna MV, Tanaino AS (1997) Open-pit and underground mines – energy analysis of open-pit mining. J Min Sci 33(5):453–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Rohrbacher TJ, Teeters DD, Sullivan GL, Osmonson LM (1993) Coal resource recoverability – a methodology. U.S. Bureau of Mines Circular 9368. http://pubs.usgs.gov/usbmic/ic-9368/
  48. 48.
    Watson WD, Ruppert LF, Tewalt SJ, Bragg LJ (2001) The Upper Pennsylvanian Pittsburgh Coal Bed: resources and mine models. Nat Resour Res 10:21–34. doi:10.1023/A:1011529430807Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Blackmore G, Ehrenreich SB (1987) Reserve data base report of the National Coal Council: advisory report to the U.S. Department of Energy. National Coal Council, ArlingtonGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    National Petroleum Council (2007) Facing hard truths about Energy. http://www.npchardtruthsreport.org/
  51. 51.
    U.S. National Academies (2007) Coal: research and development to support national energy policy. National Academies Press, Washington, D.CGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Storchmann K (2005) The rise and fall of German hard coal subsidies. Energ Policy 33(11):1469–1492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Frondel M, Kambeck R, Schmidt CM (2007) Hard coal subsidies: a never-ending story? Energ Policy 35(7):3807–3814CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Malyshev YN (2000) Strategy for the development of the Russian coal industry. J Min Sci 36(1):57–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Petsch G (1982) Environmental problems of coal production in the federal republic of Germany with particular reference to the Ruhr. Environ Geochem Health 4:75–80Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Tobin RJ (1984) Air quality and coal – the US experience. Energ Policy 12:342–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Yeager KE, Baruch SB (1987) Environmental issues affecting coal technology: a perspective on US trends. Annu Rev Energy 12:471–502CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    O’Brien B (1997) The effects of Title IV of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 on Electric Utilities: an Update. EIA report DOE/EIA-058297 distribution category UC-950. ftp://ftp.eia.doe.gov/pub/electricity/ef_caau1.pdf
  59. 59.
    Ackerman F, Biewald B, White D, Woolf T, Moomaw W (1999) Grandfathering and coal plant emissions: the cost of cleaning up the Clean Air Act. Energ Policy 27:929–940CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Patiño-Echeverri D, Fischbeck P, Kriegler E (2009) Economic and environmental costs of eegulatory uncertainty for coal-fired power plants. Environ Sci Technol 43:578–584CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    U.S. Geological Survey (2016) Mineral Commodity data – Peat Statistics and Information. http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/peat/
  62. 62.
    Geological Survey of Finland (2009) Peat resources of Finland. http://en.gtk.fi/Resources/peat_resources.html
  63. 63.
    World Coal Institute (2005) The coal resource – a comprehensive overview of coal. http://www.worldcoal.org/
  64. 64.
    Mitchell B (2003) International historical statistics 1750–2000. Palgrave MacMillan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Kecojevic V, Nor ZD (2008) Hazard identification for equipment-related fatal incidents in the U.S. underground coal mining. J Coal Sci Eng (China) 15(1):1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Grayson RL (2008) Improving mine safety technology and training in the U.S. recommendations of the mine safety technology and training commission. J Coal Sci Eng (China) 14(3):425–431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Szwilski AB (1988) Significance and measurement of coal mine productivity. Min Sci Technol 6(3):221–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Kulshreshtha M, Parikh JK (2002) Study of efficiency and productivity growth in opencast and underground coal mining in India: a DEA analysis. Energy Econ 24(5):439–453CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Tilton JE (2003) Assessing the threat of mineral depletion. Miner Energy 18:33–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Rodríguez XA, Arias C (2008) The effects of resource depletion on coal mining productivity. Energy Econ 30:397–408. doi:10.1016/j.eneco.2007.10.007Google Scholar
  71. 71.
    Topp V, Soames L, Parham D, Bloch H (2008) Productivity in the mining industry: measurement and interpretation. Productivity Commission, MelbourneGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Adelman MA (1990) Mineral depletion, with special reference to petroleum. Rev Econ Stat 72:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    Hubbert MK (1956) Nuclear energy and the fossil fuels. Shell Development Company, HoustonGoogle Scholar
  74. 74.
    Hubbert MK (1959) Techniques of prediction with application to the petroleum industry. Shell Development Company, DallasGoogle Scholar
  75. 75.
    van Rensburg WCJ (1975) ‘Reserves’ as a leading indicator to future mineral production. Res Policy 1:343–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. 76.
    Milici RC, Campbell EVM (1997) A predictive production rate life-cycle model for southwestern Virginia coalfields. Geol Sur Circ 1147 http://pubs.usgs.gov/circular/c1147/
  77. 77.
    Ion DC (1979) World energy supplies. Proc Geol Assoc 90:193–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. 78.
    Mohr SH, Evans GM (2009) Forecasting coal production until 2100. Fuel 88:2059–2067CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. 79.
    Moriatry P, Honnery D (2009) What energy levels can the Earth sustain? Energ Policy 37:2469–2474CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Books and Reviews

  1. 80.
    Thomas L (2002) Coal geology. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. 81.
    Cobb CJ (1994) Modern and ancient coal-forming environments. Geological Society of America Special PaperGoogle Scholar
  3. 82.
    Lappalainen E (1996) Global peat resources. International Peat Society; Geological Survey of Finland, cop. 359 sGoogle Scholar
  4. 83.
    Yudovich YE, Ketris MP (2005) Arsenic in coal: a review. Int J Coal Geol 61(3–4):141–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 84.
    Seredin VV, Finkelman RB (2008) Metalliferous coals: a review of the main genetic and geochemical types. Int J Coal Geol 76(4):253–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 85.
    Schissler AP (2004) Coal mining, design and methods of. In: Cleveland CJ (ed) Encyclopedia of energy. Elsevier Academic, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  7. 86.
    Schilstra AJ, Gerding MAW (2004) Peat resources. In: Cleveland CJ (ed) Encyclopedia of energy. Elsevier Academic, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  8. 87.
    George H, Meech J, Workman L (1986) Towards reducing the physical environmental impact of North American surface coal mines; a review of potential selective overburden handling techniques. Min Sci Technol 3(2):81–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 88.
    Suárez-Ruiz I, Crelling JC (2008) Applied coal petrology: the role of petrology in coal utilization. Academic, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden