ANTONIO ROMERO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANTONIO ROMERO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Light micrograph of the polished surface of durain, a lithotype of bituminous coal. This sample is rich in inertinite and liptinite groups. At lower right is a macrospore (sporinite, squashed oval), with semifusinite below it. 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: 1.49 x 2.23 millimetres.
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