The future

Coal and materials of the future

materialy.jpgCarbon is an element which can be easily bonded with other elements and is capable of creating a huge number of compounds. Organic chemistry is based on this property, as well as the plastic industry, fertilizers, medicines and other substances. With the reducing stock and increasing prices of oil, it will have to be replaced by coal for these purposes. At the same time, some experts suggest that the source of carbon should be the products of coal combustion in power plants, or, that production of electricity should be combined with production of fuels and chemical materials. First tests in this direction are already under way.

 

Carbon itself has unique properties – coal virtually has the same chemical composition as diamonds. Both minerals differ only in the structure of the crystal lattice, diamond has the harder natural element.

 

Furthermore, the same composition as in coal can be found in carbon fibres used for extremely firm and light composite materials used in the aviation, astronautics, automotive and the armaments industries.


The same composition can also be found in carbon nano-fibres, which are attributed with fantastic potential by the experts, from cost-effective and efficient solar panels to cables for elevators transporting loads to the Earth’s orbit.


Therefore, many experts are of the opinion that materials containing carbon will in the future replace metals and certain other construction materials. By that time, coal will be the only source of carbon available in mass. It is expected that for these purposes too it will be obtained from combustion gasses accompanying the production of electricity.

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