When is fossil fuel not fossil fuel?
Answer: When it is Coal

By Bob Hart

Having accepted from my first teaching at the age of seven the "Status Quo" on the formation of coal, and now at the age of 74 have started writing a book on my ancestry, who were 'miners' through six generations. I began to question the anomalies regarding the formation of coal. How is it so widespread across the planet both on terra-firma and under the sea? If one accepts ancient trees being pushed together by glazier movement, then this is supposed to form Lignite, not the Bitumen coal that most people know of.

It is true that tree fossils are found in bitumen coal seams, it would also be expected that humans would be found in coal too. Were they around when it happened, or unable to evacuate the area at the time it was forming? Coal is always found in strata form, and of the same brittle nature. Many seams are in excess of 30 feet thick, but not solid, there are often strata layers of "share or partings" as is described in the mining world. Has a piece of coal ever been found whereby the plant has not fully turned into coal? Bituminous coal and cannel coal, are 83% carbon, and anthracite 93% carbon, these are supposed to have formed by the decaying remains of "ancient fern and horsetail", if you excavate into the densest forest you will only ever find peat! If you compress the peat under enormous pressure I doubt it would ever turn into coal, so again I repeat why the many strata of share separating the seams of coal? If the strata deposit were laid down by ash, how come the same plant, being separated by the strata in some cases 5 feet of share, will start growing in exactly the same spot just as vigorous, and form another strata, repeating perhaps three or four times?

So where and how did it originate? My contention is it was formed by carbon monoxide, pure and simple soot. Still remaining on the planet today are many massive lakes of asphalt, tar, and bituminous, if this mineral originated from the results of shell fish, or plant life it must have been transformed by heat, converting it first into soot. It begs the argument that if it had been caused by compression and time alone, would it ever have turned into the hard black strata substance we see as coal?

It does not take too much imagination to see the effect of a molten mass of rock enveloping many of these lakes, be it through the cause of impact or volcanic. A more pollutant source would be difficult to imagine. These could have been burning for many years and the thick sooty atmosphere carried by the prevailing winds to lay the deposit across the planet, then an Ice age could complete the process. After all it did not take long for Mount Vesuvius to bury Pompeii under many metres of ash. If tar oil were to be burned in similar conditions, for example in a deep but narrow pit, being starved of oxygen the sides of the pit would rapidly form thick soot relative to the prevailing wind. In the old days when chimneys had been left un-swept, the carbon could be found actually crusting the inner lining of chimneys in a strata form, so when such a colossal burning was taking place the atmosphere would be starved of oxygen, thus exacerbating the situation. Then one could appreciate how the anthracite could be so different, 93% carbon. If one thinks the atmosphere today is polluted, what must it have been like one billion years ago?

If this theory seems unlikely, what about two huge volcanoes under the sea off the coast of Australia discovered in 2004 spewing out asphalt?

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