Coal is an essential ingredient in the production of many specialist products such as: Activated carbon (used for many kinds of filters), carbon fiber (a strong reinforcement material), and silicon metal (used to make silicones and silanes).
Did you know there is more than one type of coal? Steam coal -also known as thermal coal- is mainly used in power generation. Coking coal -aka metallurgical coal- is mainly used for steel production.
The outstanding reclamation programs that have been implemented by Colstrip MT's Westmoreland Coal have earned all kinds of awards! Check them out right here.
Ever wonder why the stacks of the Colstrip power plant appear to emmit more "smoke" when the weather is cold? That is because it ISN'T smoke at all! People refer to it as steam or smoke which is a misconception. It is actually water vapor condensation, the same as when we exhale in cold weather.
The United States has more coal than any other country in the world. The state with the most coal within it's borders is: MONTANA! The state of Montana actually holds 25% of America's coal reserves.
Did you know that it would take the coal fired power plant at Colstrip, MT 1,500 years to release the same amount of particulate emissions into the air that a Montana wildfire season can produce in just ONE year? Talk about putting things in perspective!
QUICK FACTS ABOUT COAL
770 people in Colstrip are directly involved in the responsible development of coal mining and electrical generation/transmission.
All Four of the Colstrip Power Plant Units have scrubbers that minimize emissions. Recent equipment upgrades have even reduced mercury by almost 90%.
The Colstrip Power Plant generates 2,200 Mega Watts which is enough to power 1.5 million homes. It is the 2nd largest Coal Fired Power Plant West of the Mississippi.
Montana’s permanent Coal Trust Fund holds more than a billion dollars! The interest from this money helps fund programs that are enjoyed by people in every corner of the state!