Bituminous coal, light micrograph

Bituminous coal, light micrograph


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Light micrograph of the polished surface of clarain, a lithotype of bituminous coal. It shows fine lamination marked by inertinite and vitrinite group macerals (constituents) and clay. Funginite can be seen in the upper right corner, and fusinite at centre left. The rounded dark gray and black structures, are bubbles and are artifacts of slide preparation. Coal is a sedimentary rock that occurs in stratified deposits. It forms from dead vegetation that was buried deep in the Earth during the Carboniferous Period and subjected to high temperatures and pressure. Solar energy stored by the plants from photosynthesis was trapped in the coal and is released upon combustion. Coal is the largest source of energy in the production of electricity worldwide. Field of view size: 2.97 x 4.45 millimetres.

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