‘Energy-Coal’ Tag

Coal Power Plant

Photo Credit: Alex Mead

Seen here is a black and white picture of the B.C Cobb Generating Plant on Muskegon Lake in Muskegon, Michigan. B.C. Cobb is a 320 megawatt facility with a smoke stack over 600 feet tall. Western United States coal is the primary fuel burned at this facility, totaling a consumption of about one million tons of coal per year. The plant can also burn natural gas if it becomes economically viable. Power plants like this one are crucial to keeping the electric power grid energized 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Coal Ash Impoundment Pond

Photo Credit: Nathan Shoemaker

Pictured above is a coal ash impoundment pond. Coal ash, a result from the combustion of coal in power-plants, is typically impounded in such ponds because the ash can be mixed with water into a slurry and pumped from the power-plant to the pond for extremely convenient handling. When deposited in the pond the ash will settle to the bottom and the water will be removed from the top and treated. Coal ash, classified as fly ash, bottom ash or boiler slag, depending on what part of the process the ash comes from is frequently disposed of in impoundment ponds. Exact disposal methods, however, are ultimately dependent on the state environmental code.