Coal contains pores that can serve as a refuge for adsorbed methane. If the gas escapes during mining, it can cause explosions, so safety measures such as ventilation are key. This thin section of coal, shown at 100× magnification, demonstrates the material’s porosity. Mark Goodman, a retired Merck analytical chemist, received the coal along with several other rock samples from a geologist friend. He mounted the coal sample on a slide with epoxy and sanded it down until it was thin enough to allow light to shine through.
Submitted by Mark Goodman
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