Experiments With Coal

Coal is a non-renewable source of energy
••• Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

Coal is a fossil fuel that takes millions of years to create. Coal is created from plants buried under water and dirt. Heat and pressure turn the plants into coal, a mineral. Coal is classified into four types; anthracite, bituminous, sub-bituminous and lignite. Bituminous coal is the most abundant from of coal in North America, according to Britannica Online (Reference 4).

Grow Colorful Moss

Sprinkle 1 tbsp. of salt over a lump of coal in a bowl covered by 1/2 cup of water. Carefully sprinkle 2 tbsp, water over the salt on the coal. Continue by adding 2 tbsp. laundry bluing and three drops of mercurochrome. Laundry bluing is a laundry whitener and can usually be found at a local grocery story. Mercurochrome is an antiseptic and is usually available in local pharmacies. For extra color add two drops of any color food coloring. Wait three days for a colorful moss to develop.

Coal as a Water Filter

Fill a glass bowl or aquarium with water. Add 1/3 cup soil and mix well until the water is murky or muddy. Add a coal packet. Coal packets are found in pet shops that sell fish. Monitor the cleanliness of the water for a period of 24 hours.

Methane Gas Collection from Coal

Hammer 1/2 cup of soft or bituminous coal into powder. Pour or scoop the coal into the large end of a funnel and place a finger over the small opening of the funnel to prevent the coal from pouring out. Carefully turn the funnel over and place the upside-down funnel filled with coal powder into a quart size mason jar. Slowly fill the jar with water, until the upside-down funnel is covered with water. Fill a test tube with water and insert it into the small end of the funnel. Avoid putting air into the test tube. Place a rubber band around the glass jar at the water level. Observe the test tube as it fills with methane gas over a three day period.

Compare the Burning Rates of Different Coal Types

Label the four different types of coal: lignite, sub-bituminous, bituminous and anthracite. Use a pair of tongs to hold each numbered sample of a type of coal over an open flame, such as a Bunsen burner. Document the speed of ignition of each sample and time the burning of each sample.

Related Articles

How to Grow Crystal "Flowers" From Coal
How to Make Crystals With Bluing
How to Polish River Rocks
How to Make a Water Filter as a Science Experiment
How to Make Colorful Smoke Bombs
What Is Metallurgical Coke?
Weathering Process of Granite
What Can We Use Instead of Liquid Bluing for Crystal...
How to Grow a Plant From a Bean as a Science Project
Measurable Science Fair Ideas
List of Natural Resources of Arkansas
How to Extract Lemon Oil
Pollution from Gas Stations
Colorado Natural Resources
How to Detect the Presence of Insecticides in Fruits...
What Type of Bean Seeds to Use for a Science Experiment
Soil Types in North Carolina
How Do I Polish Sliced Agate?
The Benefits and Effects of Limestone
Pros & Cons of Coal Energy