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Energy / Natural Resources

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WV Energy

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“West Virginia and Its Natural Resources”

This video is from the West Virginia State Museum at the Culture Center in Charleston.

(32.26/1951/WV Museum Ed)   (YouTube connection currently required to view this video)

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources


“Our Mission

It is the statutory mission of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources to provide and administer a long-range comprehensive program for the exploration, conservation, development, protection, enjoyment and use of the natural resources of the State of West Virginia.”

Explore “WV Division of Natural Resources” Website

West Virginia Division of Energy

  “The West Virginia Division of Energy is responsible for the formulation and implementation of fossil, renewable and energy efficiency initiatives designed to advance energy resource development opportunities and provide energy services to businesses, communities and homeowners in West Virginia.”

Our Mission:

The West Virginia Division of Energy is responsible for the formulation and implementation of fossil, renewable and energy efficiency initiatives designed to advance energy resource development opportunities and provide energy services to businesses, communities and homeowners in West Virginia.

Our Role:

  • Promote the development of fossil energy, renewable energy and energy-efficient projects and programs in West Virginia
  • Attract new energy enterprises to West Virginia
  • Provide outreach and technical support

Our Programs:

  • Fossil energy
  • Renewable energy
  • Energy efficiency

Explore “WV Division of Energy” Website

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection

 dept environ protect    “The mission statement of DEP is: ‘Promoting a Healthy Environment.’ This is DEP’s mission and our commitment to the people of our state.”

Explore “WV Dept of Environmental Protection” Website

    “West Virginia Watersheds”

dept environ protect

“West Virginia has 32 watersheds divided according to the USGS (US Geological Survey) hydrologic unit codes (HUC) that contribute to the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.  The waters west of the eastern continental divide flow into the Ohio River. The Ohio joins the Mississippi River at Cairo, IL. The Mississippi flows into the Gulf of Mexico at New Orleans, LA. The eastern continental divide changes the course of five of our eastern rivers towards the Potomac River. The Potomac enters the Chesapeake Bay southeast of Washington DC.  A few streams in the southeastern corner of the state flow towards the James River.”

Explore WVDEP’s “Watersheds” Website


Explore WVDEP’s “Watersheds” Map jpg

West Virginia Geological & Economic Survey


  • “West Virginia’s center for geology, energy resources, industrial minerals, geologic hazards, ground water, topographic and geologic maps, earth science, and much more.
  • “The Survey is here to serve you–to answer your West Virginia geology-related and earth science questions, whether you are a landowner or engineer, professional or student, private citizen or company representative.”

Explore “WV Geological and Economic Survey” Website

Explore WVGES’s “WV Geology” Website

Explore WVGES’ “Maps” Website



Explore WVGES’ “Geologic Maps of West Virginia” Website


Physiographic Provinces of WV


“Most of West Virginia is a dissected, westward-tilting plateau called the Appalachian Plateau Province. In the northeast part of this province, a subprovince called the Allegheny Mountain Section combines elements of the folded mountains to the east and the dissected plateau. This western two-thirds of the state are relatively flat-lying rocks containing minable coal. The eastern third of the state is comprised of folded and faulted rocks with no minable coal. The eastern boundary of the Appalachian Plateau, the Allegheny Front, is a prominent geological feature which runs northeast-southwest across the state. East of the Allegheny Front are a series of long folded mountains and valleys defining the Valley and Ridge Province. East of the main group of folded mountains and valleys is the Great Valley subprovince. Along the eastern State boundary in Jefferson County is the Blue Ridge Province. The oldest rocks in the state are located in the extreme eastern part, and as one proceeds westward, the rocks are younger and younger  . . ”


Explore WVGES’ “Physiographic Provinces of West Virginia” Website to continue reading


    “History of West Virginia Mineral Industries” – WVGES

wv geologic



wv geologic

“Salt was the first West Virginia mineral industry to be developed. The State’s salt was being utilized long before the arrival of man.”

Explore WVGES’ “Salt” Website


“Much of the northern panhandle and north-central portion of the State are underlain by bedded salt deposits over 50-feet thick. . .”   Continue reading at WVGES’ “WV Geology-Salt” Website


wv geologic

“Iron was almost as essential to pioneer life as was salt, the first mineral resource exploited, and was needed for a variety of agricultural and household purposes. The iron industry, therefore, developed at an early stage in West Virginia’s history.”

Explore WVGES’ “Iron” Website


wv geologic

“Limestone has been a valuable resource in West Virginia since the arrival of the early settlers, who burned local limestone to produce agricultural lime.”

Explore WVGES’ “Limestone” Website


“Each year West Virginia mines and quarries produce 10 to 13 million tons of limestone and dolomite valued at between $40,000,000 and $53,000,000. These materials are used to make a wide variety of products, . . . ”   Continue reading at WVGES’ ‘WV Geology–Limestone and Dolomite” Website


          “How Lime is Made”

“See up close how limestone is quarried, crushed, sorted and burnt to temperatures up to 1400ºC to make lime.” (4:29/2012/British Lime Association)



wv geologic

Glass SandDimension StoneAbrasive Stone

Explore WVGES’ “Sandstone” Website


“Each year West Virginia quarries produce between 1,500,000 and 2,000,000 tons of sandstone. . . ”   Continue reading at WVGES’ “WV Geology-Sandstone” Website


“The State’s principal commercial sand and gravel deposits occur in and along the Ohio River. Commercial extraction is from dredging the river channel and land-based operations on the river terraces. . .”   Continue reading at WVGES’ “WV Geology-Sand and Gravel” Website


      “Clay” – WVGES

wv geologic

“Clay has been an important resource in West Virginia throughout history. It has primarily been used in the pottery and brick industries. The quality of the clay (content of fluxing impurities) is important in determining its uses.”

Explore WVGES’ “Clay” Website


“West Virginia currently has three companies which together produce between 250,000 and 350,000 tons of clay and shale each year. . . ”   Continue reading at WVGES’ “WV Geology-Clay and Shale” Website

“Industries of the Future – WV”

iof wv   “Industries of the Future – West Virginia (IOF-WV) – is West Virginia’s industrial energy efficiency program. IOF-WV was the nation’s first state-level program to help manufacturers create financial savings through energy efficiency and was the model for more than 20 other state IOF programs nationwide. IOF-WV is a partnership program with the goal to save energy, reduce waste, and improve productivity in the country’s most energy-intensive industries. IOF-WV teams work with companies to assess high priority research needs and develop projects that improve energy efficiency and environmental performance.” Includes: Crosscut Areas (Industrial Materials for the Future, Biomass / renewable energy, Combined heat and power / distributed energy, Projects with Industry program, Best Practices) Aluminum, Steel, Metalcasting, Glass, Chemicals / Polymers, Wood / Forest Products

Explore “IOF-WV” Website




    “WV Forests”

wv dept commerce

“West Virginia is the third most heavily forested state in the nation, behind only Maine and New Hampshire. Forests cover 78 percent (12 million acres) of the state’s 15.4 million acres. Almost all of the forested land (11.8 million acres or 98.3 percent) is classified as commercial forestland, which is available for timber production. Timberland accounts for a significant percentage of total land for all West Virginia counties, ranging from 43.7 percent in Berkeley and Jefferson counties to 93.5 percent in Webster County. In 2000, more than 88 percent of timberland in West Virginia was privately owned by individuals, corporate businesses, farmers and the forest products industry.  West Virginia is the second leading hardwood state in the nation with 22.3 billion cubic feet of hardwood growing stock, trailing only Pennsylvania.”

Explore WV Commerce’s “WV Forests” Website  — (note links on left side of the page)

    “West Virginia Division of Forestry”

Our Mission

The West Virginia Division of Forestry is committed to protecting, nurturing, and promoting the wise utilization and thus the sustainability of our state’s forest resources.
Our Programs

  • Fire Protection: Responsible for protecting nearly 12 million acres of state and privately owned forestland across West Virginia from wildfire.
  • Investigative Unit: Investigates all violations of the state’s fire laws and enforces violations of the Logging Sediment Control Act of 1992.
  • Water Quality: Issues licenses to anyone who buys timber or logs for resale or who harvests timber within the state, and provides training and certification for loggers in accordance with the Logging Sediment Control Act.
  • Managed Timberland: Promotes sustainable forestry within the state by providing a formula-based method of taxation for forestland.
  • Forest Management: Provides cooperative forest management programs for private nonindustrial forest landowners to promote sustainable forestry practices. Also regulates the digging of ginseng, manages seven state forests, as well as the operations of the Clements State Tree Nursery.
  • Urban and Community Forestry: Helps municipalities throughout the state establish long-term tree care programs.

Explore “WV Division of Forestry” Website

    “Logging the Forests of West Virginia” – Potomac Appalachian Trail Club

potomac appalach trail

“If you’ve ever backpacked in the West Virginia mountains, there’s one fact that becomes quickly evident. Virtually every hollow, every stream, and every mountain has a railroad grade. In some places, the railroad ties are still on the ground. In others, visitors might run across a rusting washtub in the middle of the woods, or even an occasional railroad spike or rail. Regardless of how far back you go or how deep into the wilderness, the grades are there – mute testament to the energy of man, power of the dollar, and the complete destruction of the West Virginia forest ecosystem.

“. . .The destruction of these once magnificent forests in the 1880’s and stretching over a forty year period was “complete”. Virtually every tree on every mountain was cut down and hauled out by horse, steam rigger, or train. The logging companies that swarmed over the West Virginia mountains removed these trees “with pride”. This was the age of the Industrial Revolution – man’s superiority over nature. The days of the railroad, cattle and timber barons, and industrial giants like J.P. Morgan.  ‘Progress was good.’  ‘Nature existed to serve man’s superior intellect and needs. . . ”

Continue Reading at PATC’s “Logging the Forests of West Virginia” Webpage  – Includes Multiple Photographs

Explore “Potomac Appalachian Trail Club” Website

    “Big Tree Program”

“The West Virginia Big Tree Program is an ongoing effort to locate, measure and record the largest trees in the State. Presently, there are 91 species on the West Virginia Big Tree Register and new ones are added as they are found. Nominations always are accepted, and additions are made to the register after verification by West Virginia Division of Forestry personnel.”     (3:26/2014/WV Dept. of Commerce)


      “Tree Champions of West Virginia”

“As part of West Virginia’s centennial celebration in 1963, the Division of Forestry held a big tree contest. More than 240 nominations representing 37 species were submitted. Half a century later, as the state celebrates its sesquicentennial, the West Virginia Big Tree Register boasts 124 species, including three champions from the original 1963 list and three national champions. Because trees grow in a variety of shapes and sizes, the fairest way to determine which ones make the Big Tree Register is . . .”

Explore Wonderful West Virginia Magazine’s “Tree Champions of West Virginia” article to continue reading  (pdf)

    Hardwood Alliance Zone”

https://yt3.ggpht.com/-ZYf1hHxLdnc/AAAAAAAAAAI/AAAAAAAAAAA/Y_kcY2J9Dhs/s176-c-k-no/photo.jpg “The West Virginia Hardwood Alliance consists of nine counties (Barbour, Grant, Hardy, Lewis, Preston, Randolph, Tucker, Upshur, Webster) in the heart of West Virginia’s hardwood zone. We provide a competitive advantage to the hardwood industry business in relation to relocation, expansion, and development. Three advantages set us apart from other locations: abundant natural resources located near major transportation, a highly skilled labor force available at competitive wages, and an outstanding quality of life.”

Explore “Hardwood Alliance Zone” Website

“A video produced to show the benefits and history of the West Virginia Hardwood Alliance Zone. Sustainable, Magnificent, Abundant.”     (4:01/2013/WV Hardwoods)


    “WV Forestry Association”

“The West Virginia Forestry Association is a non-profit organization funded by its membership. Our members include individuals and businesses involved in forest management, timber production, firewood production, harvesting, and wood product manufacturing. Our members are concerned with protecting the environment, as well as enhancing the future of West Virginia’s forests through multiple-use management.”

Explore “WV Forestry Association” Website


“Ideas That Keep Growing”

(7:18/2013/WVFA)  (YouTube connection currently required to view this video)


    “Farming for West Virginia Timber”

“Farmers in West Virginia grow a wide variety of crops, but a great majority of them depend on timber as well as livestock and row crops to stay profitable on the farm. Timber is an important agricultural product in the Mountain State with timber harvested in each of the state’s 55 counties providing four billion dollars a year in income to the state.”     (5:15/2008/America’s Heartland)


    “Wood Products”

wv dept commerce

“Wood is West Virginia’s greatest renewable resource, with almost 80 percent of the state covered in productive forests. With this abundance of resources, the forest products industry is well established in West Virginia, with over 500 companies directly involved in state-based forest product operations. The industry ranges from small logging companies employing three to ten people to individual handcrafters producing beautiful handmade furniture and other products.”

“West Virginia’s 12 million acres of forestland and 75 billion board feet of timber inventory form the basis of a thriving wood industry. As one of the top wood-producing states in the nation, West Virginia outputs more than 700 million board feet of lumber, 770 million square feet of OSB and 800 million square feet of veneer annually. The state ranks third nationally in percentage of forested land at 79 percent.”

Explore WV Commerce’s “Wood Products” Website — (note links on both sides of the page)

<<For examples of products made from wood, see the MH3WV  “WV Made/Grown” page.>>


     “Lab 304: Alternative Fuels – Part 1”


“To counter the increasing costs of oil and its effects on the environment, West Virginian’s are looking to alternative fuels and means of transportation. Emily Corio produced this story for WVPBS’s show ‘Outlook.’ ”   (7:05/2008/WV Public Broadcasting)


     “Lab 304: Alternative Fuels – Part 2”


(3:46/2008/WV Public Broadcasting)



     “Mountain State Science – Renewable Energy”


“Renewable energy is the topic of tonight’s Mountain State Science report. It’s an industry that’s taking off all around us. Cecelia Mason reports the Institute for Environmental Studies at Shepherd University is training students in everything from sustainable gardening to wind turbine maintenance.”    (8:09/2011/WV Public Broadcasting)  [YouTube connection currently required to watch this video.]



iof wv

“Biomass is any plant plant-derived material that can be converted to valuable fuels, chemicals, materials and power. West Virginia has promising potential in biomass with great amounts of wood residue from logging operations and mill waste and also as a site for growing plants that can be converted to fuels such as switch grass. IOF-WV is working with the forest products industry in the state to convert wood waste into biofuels.”


      “Biomass Technology Basics” – US Dept. of Energy

us dept energy Explore US DOE’s “Biomass Technology Basics” Website


         “Biopower Basics”

Explore US DOE’s “Biopower Basics” Website


Cellulosic ethanol from wood and wood residue or grasses such as switchgrass and other biofuels represent fuels that could originate in West Virginia and use West Virginia resources. Commercial cellulosic ethanol technologies will lead to increased demand for wood residue and small diameter trees as well as a new chemical industry focus in West Virginia.”

Explore WV Commerce’s “Biofuels” Website”

      “Biomass Industry Developing in West Virginia”

“Though the Environmental Protection Agency has become an enemy of many West Virginia lawmakers for perceived anti-coal policies, at least one industry developing in the state has been shown some favor from the agency.  Last month (January, 2011), the EPA announced a three-year pass on greenhouse-gas permitting requirements from the burning of biomass materials. Research into the development of biomass, or plant and animal waste, as a fuel source is under way in West Virginia. . .”

Explore Beckley Register-Herald’s “Biomass Industry Developing in West Virginia” Website


wv dept commerce

Explore WV Commerce’s “Wind Energy” Website  – (note links on right side of page)


       “How to Build a Windfarm”


“Every windmill in a huge windfarm needs to be put together piece by piece in a delicate procedure that takes the power of a machine and the precision of human hand.”    (1:50/2014/Smithsonian Channel)



       “How a Wind Turbine Works”

us dept energy 2

“Wind turbines operate on a simple principle. The energy in the wind turns two or three propeller-like blades around a rotor. The rotor is connected to the main shaft, which spins a generator to create electricity.”

Explore US DOE’s “How a Wind Turbine Works” Website for article


       “What’s Inside a Wind Turbine?”

“An overview of the layout of utility-class wind turbine generators – where are the major components, what do they do, and what differences can be found between models and size ranges.”    (3:53/2010/UVSAR)



       “Wind Turbine Tour”

“Puget Sound Energy’s Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility features 149 wind turbines. This video tour takes you inside the 351-foot-tall wind turbines, giving a first hand look at how renewable energy works.”   (2:38/2009/Puget Sound Energy)


       “Wind Projects in WV”

amer wind energy

“The U.S. wind energy industry has invested more than $1.3 billion in West Virginia wind projects. “Installed Wind Capacity: 583 megawatts (MW). “State Rank: West Virginia ranks 22nd for total MW installed. “Wind Projects : 6    Number of Wind Turbines: 327”

Explore American Wind Energy’s “Wind Projects in WV” Website   pdf


       “Map of West Virginia’s Operating and Permitted Wind Projects”

wv dept commerce


Explore WV Commerce’s “Map of West Virginia’s Operating and Permitted Wind Projects” Website   pdf

       “Power Plant and Wind Turbines – Mt. Storm, WV”






wv dept commerce

Explore WV Commerce’s “Hydro Energy” Website

[In addition to the Lake Lynn and the Hawks Nest/Glen Ferris operations, most of the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Locks and Dams as well as the Flood Control Dams have been or are being retrofitted with hydroelectric generating facilities.]

    “Energy 101: Hydroelectric Power” – US Dept. of Energy

us dept energy 2

Explore US Dept of Energy’s “Energy 101: Hydroelectric Power” Website

    “How Hydroelectricity Works”

Animation from Canada explaining how electricity is produced using a hydroelectric facility.    (2:10/2008)



    “Lake Lynn”


“Located in northeastern Monongalia County, Cheat Lake was formed in 1925 by damming the Cheat River to serve the needs of a hydroelectric generating facility, the Lake Lynn Power Station. The 13-mile lake has become a popular recreation spot and the 52-megawatt Lake Lynn Power Station remains a renewable energy source for the region.”

(Previously owned by First Energy, Lake Lynn is now owned by LS Power)

Explore LS Power’s Commercial Website


       “Lake Lynn Dam At Cheat Lake West Virginia”

“Lake Lynn Dam, just yards from the Pennsylvania / West Virginia border close to Morgantown WV, creates the reservoir now known as Cheat Lake, a popular boating and fishing spot. Cheat Lake has hiking/biking trails and recreation for everyone.” (3:49/2012/ETCruzer)


    “Hawks Nest / Glen Ferris”

<<This section does not deal with the original construction. For that information, see the MH3WV “History/Research” page>>


brookfield hawks nest“Hawks Nest tunnel and dam is a marvel of modern engineering. Completed in June, 1936, the tunnel is 16,240 feet in length and drops in elevation a total of 163 feet to a hydroelectric plant downstream near Gauley Bridge. It creates a 5.5 mile section of the river often called “The Dries” between the dam and the power plant.  Glen Ferris is a facility at Kanawha Falls.”  They both supply power to the ferro-alloy plant downriver at Alloy.

  “FERC Relicensing of Hawks Nest Project and Glen Ferris Project” — Document includes pictures, maps and data that explains the two hydro projects as part of the Federal relicensing process.

Explore Brookfield’s “Relicensing” Document pdf

Explore Brookfield Renewable’s Commercial Website


“Assessing the Significance of Hawks Nest-Glen Ferris Hydro Electric Project – Cultural Resource Analysts crai “Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc., conducted a cultural historic survey of the Hawks Nest-Glen Ferris Hydro Electric Project on the New and Kanawha Rivers in Fayette County, West Virginia. The massive Hawks Nest-Glen Ferris Hydro Electric Project was developed in its current form between 1927 and 1932 by a subsidiary of the Union Carbide & Carbon Corporation as a regional mega-project to supply power to a remote electro-metallurgical production facility.”

Explore information from CRAI’s “Assessing the Significance of Hawks Nest-Glen Ferris Hydro Electric Project” commercial website







    “History of WV Mineral Industries – Oil and Gas”

wv geologic

“The oil and gas industry in West Virginia actually began as an outgrowth of the salt industry.”

Explore WVGES’ “History of WV Mineral Industries – Oil and Gas” Website

    “Oil and natural gas: The rise of West Virginia — WVONGA celebrates 100th anniversary with book, social media campaign”

“The history of the oil and natural gas industry worldwide is closely linked to the industry’s birth, growth and expansion in West Virginia. … In fact, the world’s petroleum industry had its roots in West Virginia.”   That statement, from the foreword of “A Century of Service,” a history of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association, starts. . .”

Explore TriState Update.com’s “Oil and natural gas: The rise of West Virginia . . .” website to continue reading.


     ” ‘A Century of Service’, published for WVONGA’s 2015 anniversary celebration, highlights the events, leaders, and businesses that shaped the first 90 years of oil and natural gas in West Virginia. Filled with photographs and historical details, it is an informative and enjoyable resource.”

(WVONGA is an industry political advocacy organization)

Explore WV Oil and Natural Gas Association of WV’s Commercial Website


    “History of Oil & Gas in WV” – WV Public Broadcasting


Short excerpt from “Burning Springs” WV Public Broadcasting documentary   (2:51/2011/WV Public Broadcasting)


    “Burning Springs” – Motion Masters

motion masters    burning springs


A preview of the one hour documentary about the oil and gas industry in WV.   (1:19/2014/Motion Masters)

A longer excerpt (10:15/2014/MotionMasters)



    “The History of Union Carbide in Kanawha County, WV”

union carbide

“The first commercial ethylene plant in the world was established in Clendenin, WV in 1920 by Union Carbide, and is regarded as the origin of the petrochemical industry.”

“In 1923, Union Carbide began production of several ethylene-based chemicals in South Charleston. Under Union Carbide’s leadership, the industry fostered a world-class research technology park. Union Carbide has since merged with DOW Chemical, and the research was moved to other areas of the country.”

(10:29/@1990/MotionMasters)  (YouTube connection currently required to view this video)


<<For information about products made in WV from Oil and Gas, see MH3WV’s “Made / Grown in WV” page>>

“The liquids-rich content of West Virginia’s Marcellus and Utica shale gas has returned West Virginia to its chemical industry roots.”

    “Animation of Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking)”

“Safe, cost-effective refinements in hydraulic fracturing (also known as fracking), horizontal drilling and other innovations now allow for the production of oil and natural gas from tight shale formations that previously were inaccessible. This video introduces the proven techniques used to extract resources from shale formations in a safe, environmentally responsible manner.”     (6:36/2012/Marathon Oil)

    “Horizontal Drilling”

chesapeake energy

“After a well-site has been carefully prepared to meet environmental health and safety standards, drilling can begin. In this video, we walk you through Chesapeake Energy’s process for horizontal drilling in natural gas operations.”   (5:58/2012/Chesapeake Energy)

    “Hydraulic Fracturing”

chesapeake energy

“Following the drilling, fracturing (fracking) begins.”

[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: “A proppant is a solid material, typically treated sand or man-made ceramic materials, designed to keep an induced hydraulic fracture open, during or following a fracturing treatment. It is added to a fracking fluid which may vary in composition depending on the type of fracturing used, and can be gel, foam or slickwater-based. In addition, there may be unconventional fracking fluids. Fluids make tradeoffs in such material properties as viscosity, where more viscous fluids can carry more concentrated proppant; the energy or pressure demands to maintain a certain flux pump rate (flow velocity) that will conduct the proppant appropriately; pH, various rheological factors, among others. In addition, fluids may be used in low-volume well stimulation of high-permeability sandstone wells (20k to 80k gallons per well) to the high-volume operations such as shale gas and tight gas that use millions of gallons of water per well.”]     (3:34/2012/Chesapeake Energy)



    “Marcellus to Manufacturing”

wv dept commerce

“West Virginia Marcellus to Manufacturing (M2M), Ethane Development Conference was held in March 2014. This conference explored the impact of the Marcellus Shale on the economics and workforce in West Virginia.”      (4:12/2014/WV Commerce)




    “Hydrocarbon Cracking and Why It Is Done”

From Wikipedia: “Hydrocarbons are economically important because major fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum and natural gas, and its derivatives such as plastics, paraffin, waxes, solvents and oils are hydrocarbons. Extracted hydrocarbons in a liquid form are referred to as petroleum (literally “rock oil”) or mineral oil, whereas hydrocarbons in a gaseous form are referred to as natural gas.”

“Learn the basics about the cracking of hydrocarbons and why it is done.”  (Video can be somewhat technical–don’t worry about alkenes and alkanes, etc–just watch for the basics.)      (3:49/2013/The Fuse School-UK)

(Lorries = Trucks   Petrol = Gasoline)


    “What is Cracking?”

dow (2:23/2012/Dow Chemical)







    “History of West Virginia Mineral Industries – Coal”

wv geologic “In 1742, John Peter Salley took an exploratory trip across the Allegheny Mountains and reported an outcropping of coal along a tributary of the Kanawha River. He and his companions named this tributary the Coal River, and his report became the first reference to coal in what is today West Virginia.”

Explore WVGES’ “History of West Virginia Mineral Industries – Coal” Website


    “How Do They Do It? – Coal Mining”

 Southwestern PA and Northern WV  (5:43/2010)


    “Pioneering Underground Mining”

joy mine


Joy Mining Machinery demonstrates the “Joy Loader” and explains the difference between room and pillar and longwall mining.  

(8:48/2012/Joy Mining Machinery)   [YouTube connection currently required to watch this video.]

    “Take A Ride Into A Mine” – CBS News


“Bob Simon is reporting on the coal industry and some of the hazards miners face. As part of the report, “60 Minutes” went deep into a mine.”     (4:08/2007/CBS News)



    “Underground Mining”  


(4:33/2012/Sunrise Coal)


    “Room & Pillar Mining Process”


“When it comes to underground mining, there are different ways to approach removing coal, depending its structure and location. “Room and pillar is a non-subsidence plan for a mine, preserving the precious farmland above. It is among the safest and one of the most ecologically-friendly approaches to mining coal today, creating a non-subsidence environment (no movement of land) and maintaining clean water standards. “As the name indicates, large pillars of coal (40 feet wide) are left standing to help support the roof of the mine—more than half of the coal remains intact as supporting pillars to maintain the integrity of the surface land. The end result is a grid of open space (rooms) cleared by a continuous miner machine and separated by pillars. Once the coal is cleared and placed on a conveyor belt, roof bolters enter the new area to secure the roof, inserting fully grouted 6-foot metal rods every four feet.”    (1:38/2014/Sunrise Coal)



    “Bailey Coal Mine in Wind Ridge PA serves up 45,000 tons of coal per day”

Shows Longwall Mining in extreme southwestern PA and WV Northern Panhandle.    (1:39/2011/NewsWorks)



    “Principles of Longwall Mining”


“This video provides a basic description of the longwall mining method for extracting coal underground. It includes an explanation of the different products/key components of a longwall mining system (longwall shearer, automated plow system, AFC face conveyor, line pans, CST drive system, roof supports, longwall automation).”     (3:26/2012/CAT Mining)


    “Highwall Mining”

superior highwall    caterpillar

“The Highwall Mining system, the Terex SHM Highwall Miner is the most advanced, reliable, and efficient highwall mining system in the world. It is the first practical highwall mining system capable of mining parallel entries to predetermined depths, thus linking surface and underground operations to maximize coal recovery and profits. Terex SHM’s innovative highwall mining system and extensive customer care have kept our clients at the forefront of highwall mining technology and profitability.”

Superior Highwall Miners, originally independent, has been owned by Terex, Bucyrus, and now CAT (Caterpillar) Mining, but is still located in Beckley.      (8:51/2008/Terex SHM)    [YouTube connection currently required to watch this video.]

    “Where Does Our Coal Come From?” – Open Pit/Surface Mining

 “Did you know coal supplies nearly half of America’s electricity? Visit Black Thunder Mine in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin with Yul Kwon and discover how we mine this pivotal material.”  Shows open pit/surface mining.

(6:44/2012/PBS)   [YouTube connection currently required to watch this video.]

    “The Land of Mountaintop Removal”

“Over five hundred mountains in West Virginia have been destroyed because of new mining techniques used by coal companies in the Appalachians.”

(2:57/2013/Smithsonian Channel)

    “Coal Preparation Plant”

From Wikipedia:  “A coal preparation plant (CPP) is a facility that washes coal of soil and rock, crushes it into graded sized chunks (sorting), stockpiles grades preparing it for transport to market, and more often than not, also loads coal into rail cars, barges, or ships. A CPP may also be called a coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP), coal handling plant, prep plant, tipple or wash plant.  The more of this waste material that can be removed from coal, the lower its total ash content, the greater its market value and the lower its transportation costs.”


       “The Heart of the Mine”

“A look at the processing, cleaning and separation process of anthracite coal from inside an operational anthracite coal preparation plant.”

(14:24/2014/PAMining)   (YouTube connection currently required to view this video)

    “Coal Tipple”

From Wikipedia:  “A tipple is a structure used at a mine to load the extracted product (e.g., coal, ores) for transport, typically into railroad hopper cars. In the United States, tipples have been frequently associated with coal mines, but they have also been used for hard rock mining.


A coal tipple in Clarksburg, West Virginia, in 1908. (above)

“Basic coal tipples simply loaded coal into railroad cars. Many tipples had simple screening equipment to sort coal pieces by size before loading. Today, a coal mine facility usually includes a coal preparation plant which washes coal of soil and rock, before loading it for transport to market. The term tipple may be used interchangeably with coal prep plant.

“Tipples were initially used with minecarts, also called tubs or tram cars, or mine cars in the U.S. These were small hopper cars that carried the product on a mine railway out of the mine. When a mine car entered the upper level of the tipple, its contents were dumped through a chute leading to a railroad hopper car positioned on a track running beneath the tipple. At some facilities, each car was tipped over manually—thus the name, “tipple.”  In higher volume facilities, each car was placed in a machine called a rotary dump, which rotated the car to dump the coal.


 Tipple Rotary_dump
  Diagram of a rotary dumper (above)
Tipple rotary dump
  Rotary dump which empties coal cars into a chute which conveys the coal to railroad cars beneath. (circa.1942)

“In the early 20th century, mine operators began using conveyor belts to load coal and ores into railroad cars, eliminating the use of mine cars. At some mines the conveyor loading facility is still referred to as a tipple.”


    “Coal Loading”

“Two cars loading coal at a mine in Colorado. It’s a bit boring when you have to watch over a hundred cars load, but kinda interesting to see two… lol.”     (3:28/2011/Ken Dawg)



       “Coal Car Loading”

“This is the final phase of coal mining/processing. A look at the operators’ station inside the loading silo as a train pulling 98 bottom dump cars gets loaded with bituminous coal.”     (5:12/2011/PA Mining)


    “Unloading a CSX Aggregate Car”

Similar method for coal    (1:28/2011/daicasting’s channel)


       “Unloading a Coal Train”

“Coal is unloaded in the automatic discharge facility at a power station.”     (2:38/2008/LNERGE)


       “Unloading Coal Cars with a Rotary Dumper”





    “How a Coal Power Station Works”

“Animation of how a coal power station works.”      (2:12/2008/Robert Woodrum-Canada)


       “How Electricity is Made from Coal”

first energy

(9:27/2008/First Energy)    [YouTube connection currently required to watch this video.]

       “Coal Fired Power Plant”

“In a coal power plant, the chemical energy stored in the coal and the oxygen of the air is converted successively into thermal energy, mechanical energy and, finally, electrical energy.”    (6:04/2013)



    “Hyperbolic Stack Natural Draft Cooling Tower”

“Animation shows hyperbolic stack natural draft cooling towers that are used in nuclear, oil-fired, gas-fired, and coal-fired electricity generating plants. “Air flows into the tower through openings in the bottom. Hot water from the power plant is sprayed in the air and is cooled. The cooled water flows out the bottom and back to the power plant, while warm, moist air (steam) exits out the top.”   (1:47/2013/Chemical Engineering)    (Video ends suddenly)


       “Hyperbolic Stack Natural Draft Cooling Tower”

This video shows different aspects.     (3:44/2012/The Heritage Foundation)


       “Inside a Hyperbolic Stack Natural Draft Cooling Tower”

“Air flows into the tower through openings in the bottom. Hot water from the power plant is sprayed in the air and is cooled. The cooled water flows out the bottom and back to the power plant, while warm, moist air (steam) exits out the top.”     (3:48/2009/Vs Brar Chand Baja)




    “The Clean Coal Technology Program” – US Dept of Energy

us dept energy 2

“Coal is not a perfect fuel.  Trapped inside coal are traces of impurities like sulfur and nitrogen. When coal burns, these impurities are released into the air.  While floating in the air, these substances can combine with water vapor (for example, in clouds) and form droplets that fall to earth as weak forms of sulfuric and nitric acid – scientists call it “acid rain.” “There are also tiny specks of minerals – including common dirt – mixed in coal. These tiny particles don’t burn and . . .”

Explore US Dept of Energy’s “The Clean Coal Technology Program” Website to continue reading


    “Clean Coal Research” – US Dept of Energy

us dept energy 2

“DOE’s clean coal R&D is focused on developing and demonstrating advanced power generation and carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies for existing facilities and new fossil-fueled power plants by increasing overall system efficiencies and reducing capital costs. In the near-term, advanced technologies that increase the power generation efficiency for new plants and technologies to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from new and existing industrial and power-producing plants are being developed. In the longer term, the goal is to increase energy plant efficiencies and reduce both the energy and capital costs of CO2 capture and storage from new, advanced coal plants and existing plants. These activities will help allow coal to remain a strategic fuel for the nation while enhancing environmental protection. “The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is the lead field center for the Office of Fossil Energy’s research and development program. Scientists at its Pittsburgh, PA and Morgantown, WV campuses conduct onsite research while contract administrators oversee nearly 700 federally-sponsored projects conducted by private sector research partners”

Explore US Dept of Energy’s “Clean Coal Research” Website


    “Mountain State Science – Clean Coal Technology” – WV Public Broadcasting


“More than half of the nation’s electricity comes from coal, even as new technologies and sources of energy are being developed to move the nation away from fossil fuels.  In this Mountain State Science report, Erica Peterson reports that West Virginia scientists are studying how to make coal cleaner and more efficient.”     (8:28/2011/WV Public Broadcasting)


    “What Does a Coal Plant Scrubber Look Like?”

“Those of us who don’t work in the electric utility industry may have heard of exhaust gas scrubbers, but don’t have a clue what they look like. Duke Energy recently let us take a look at one of theirs to better get a sense of its scale. Energy Efficiency & Technology Magazine Editor Leland Teschler gives a brief run-through of how it operates and what it does to the energy efficiency of the coal plant.”    (2:40/2011/Iteschler)


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Page checked/updated March, 2017