Chapter 4. Coal Combustion

4.1. Introduction

Combustion to produce steam for electricity generation represents the principal use of coal at the present time and in the immediately foreseeable future. Coal provides 25% of global primary energy needs and currently generates 40% of the world's electricity—more than twice the individual contributions from natural gas, nuclear, and hydroelectric sources (World Coal Institute, 2006a; International Energy Agency, 2007). In the United States, coal accounted for slightly less than 50% of electricity production in 2004 (1.977 PWh of 3.97 PWh from all sources) (Energy Information Administration [EIA], 2005). Worldwide, the United States is responsible for over 27% of the electric power generated by combustible ...

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