What are the disadvantages of coal?

  • Burning coal emits harmful waste such as carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulphuric acids, arsenic and ash. It also emits twice as much carbon dioxide when compared with natural gas to produce the same level of heat, which increased the levels of harmful greenhouse gases emitted into the earth's atmosphere. Carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels now account for about 65 per cent of the extra carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.
  • The burning of coal by large-scale factories to power industry has led to acid rain in some regions
  • Coal can be cleaned and/or turned into a liquid of gas but this technology has yet to be fully developed and adds to the expense of creating fuel via coal
  • Coal mining can scar the landscape and the equipment used for mining is large and noisy which may affect local wildlife
  • Transporting coal can be problematic because it requires an extensive transportation system and can also cause additional pollution in the form of emissions from transportation vehicles such as lorries, etc
  • There are limited stocks of coal remaining - they will be entirely depleted this millennium if we continue to burn coal in the future at the same rate we are today coal can be considered as a non-renewable energy source
  • The mining industry can cause health difficulties for miners and fatalities due to the potentially dangerous nature of the work
  • Burning dirty coal can create significant pollution problems

The disadvantages of coal are high levels of pollution & greenhouse gas emissions it produces.