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Coal Trivia Quiz with Answers

Trivia quiz about coal, a fossil fuel and major contributor to climate change and global warming.


Coal Trivia Quiz Questions and Answers

What is coal?
A: Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock.

Coal is mostly composed of what?
A: Carbon with variable amounts of other elements like hydrogen, sulfur, oxygen, and nitrogen.

The extraction and use of coal causes many what?
A: Premature deaths and much illness.

Coal industry damages the environment, including by what?
A: Climate change as it is the largest anthropogenic source of carbon dioxide.


Coal is responsible for how much of the total fossil fuel emissions?
A: 40%

As part of the worldwide energy transition many countries have stopped using or use less coal, and the UN Secretary General has asked governments to do what?
A: To stop building new coal plants by 2020.

What country is the largest consumer and importer of coal??
A: China.

China mines how much of the world's coal?
A: Almost half.

Australia accounts for how much of world coal exports?
A: About a third.

Lignite, or brown coal, the lowest rank of coal, most harmful to health, used almost exclusively as fuel for what
A: For electric power generation

Jet, a compact form of lignite, sometimes polished, has been used as what since the Upper Palaeolithic period?
A: An ornamental stone.


Sub-bituminous coal, whose properties range between those of lignite and those of bituminous coal, is used primarily as fuel for what?
A: Steam-electric power generation.

Anthracite, the highest rank of coal is a harder, glossy black coal used primarily for what?
A: Residential and commercial space heating.

The earliest recognized use of coal is from the Shenyang area of China where by 4000 BC Neolithic inhabitants had begun doing what?
A: Carving ornaments from black lignite.

Coal from the Fushun mine in northeastern China was used to smelt copper as early as when?
A: 1000 BC.

How did Marco Polo, the Italian who traveled to China in the 13th century, describe coal?
A: As "black stones ... which burn like logs".

Evidence of trade in coal, dated to about AD 200, has been found where?
A: At the Roman settlement at Heronbridge, near Chester.


What have been found in the hearths of villas and Roman forts, particularly in Northumberland, dated to around AD 400?
A: Coal cinders.

Mineral coal came to be referred to as "seacoal" in the 13th century; the wharf where the material arrived in London was known as Seacoal Lane, so identified in a charter of whom?
A:  King Henry III granted in 1253.

The development of the Industrial Revolution led to the large-scale use of coal, as took over from the water wheel?
A: The steam engine.

In 1700, where was five-sixths of the world's coal mined?
A: In Britain.

What would have run out of suitable sites for what by the 1830s if coal had not been available as a source of energy?
A: Watermills.

In 1947 there were some 750,000 miners in Britain but the last deep coal mine in the UK closed when?
A: In 2015.

Coal continues to arrive on beaches around the world from both natural erosion of exposed coal seams and what?
A: Wind swept spills from cargo ships.


Many homes in such areas gather this coal as a significant, and sometimes primary, source of what?
A: Home heating fuel.

Where is scavenging sea-borne coal for heating still commonplace?
A: On both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of the U.S.

The energy density of coal, that is its heating value, is roughly what?
A:  24 megajoules per kilogram (approximately 6.7 kilowatt-hours per kg).

For a coal power plant with a 40% efficiency, it takes an estimated 325 kg (717 lb) of coal to power a 100 Watt light bulb for how long?
A: One year.

How much of the world’s energy was supplied by coal in 2017?
A: 27.6%.


Coal can be converted directly into “what” by hydrogenation or carbonization?
A: Synthetic fuels equivalent to gasoline or diesel.

Chemicals have been produced from coal since when?
A: The 1950s.

Coal to chemical processes require substantial quantities of what?
A: Water.

Much coal to chemical production is in China where coal dependent provinces such as Shanxi are struggling to control its what?
A: Pollution.

Coal burnt as a solid fuel in coal power stations to generate electricity is called what?
A: Thermal coal.

Coal is also used to produce very high what, through combustion?
A: Temperatures.

Efforts around the world to reduce the use of coal have led some regions to switch to what?
A: Natural gas and electricity from lower carbon sources.


When coal is used for electricity generation, it is usually pulverized and then burned in a what?
A: A furnace with a boiler.

The furnace heat converts boiler water to steam, which is then used to do what?
A: Spin turbines which turn generators and create electricity.

In 2017 38% of the world's electricity came from coal, the same percentage as when?
A: 30 years previously.

In 2018 global installed capacity was how much?
A:  2TW.

What major country is the most dependent on coal with over 80% of its electricity generated by coal?
A: South Africa.

More accidents occur during underground mining than what?
A: Surface mining.

In 2017 there were 375 coal mining related deaths in what country?
A: China.


A court in Australia has cited what in ruling against a new coal mine?
A: Climate change.

China mines almost half the world's coal, followed by India with about how much?
A: A tenth.

Australia accounts for how much of world coal exports?
A: About a third.


In some countries new onshore wind or solar generation already costs less than coal power from what?
A: Existing plants.

The deadly London smog was caused primarily by what?
A: The heavy use of coal.

Globally coal is estimated to cause how many premature deaths every year, mostly in India and China?
A: 800,000.


Burning coal is a major emitter of sulfur dioxide, which creates PM2.5 particulates, which is what?
A: The most dangerous form of air pollution.

What health issues do coal smokestack emissions cause?
A: Asthma, strokes, reduced intelligence, artery blockages, heart attacks, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias, mercury poisoning, arterial occlusion, and lung cancer.