Coal. Love It or Hate It, It’s Still Pretty Cool



Recently, I had the chance to tour both the Labadie coal power plant owned by Ameren and Iatan 2 coal power plant owned by KCP&L (Kansas City Power & Light for those who hate acronyms) and they were both fascinating. It is a pretty simple process of burning coal to heat water into steam to turn turbines and generate electricity. Instead of boring you with scientific jargon, I’ll share some interesting factoids that you can use to impress your friends at holiday parties. Consider me your virtual-energy-entertainment-wingman, here to make you seem worldly, interesting, and intriguing. So good luck at the holiday parties and let me know if any of these factoids got you pulled under the Mistletoe.

Did you know…

  • Quikrete is made from coal ash
  • Labadie is the largest coal power plant west of the Mississippi
  • The runways of Kansas City’s airport were made from the coal ash at Iatan coal plant
  • The inside of the boilers at the coal plants burn at 3000 degrees
  • Labadie uses 3-5 trains of coal on an average day
  • Scrubbers remove 93% of the sulfur dioxide from entering the atmosphere
  • If you run and jump in the coal pile, your clothes will basically be ruined, and your wife will think you’re an idiot for wearing a nice suit to tour a coal plant

…well, I hope that helps you understand coal power plants better. I can only hope you use this knowledge for good. On an unrelated note, does anyone know a really good dry cleaner?

Want new blog posts before they get published?
Subscribe to our awesome blog.

Blog email

7 + 8 =

Mike Brady: The Energy Efficiency Genius

12MARCH, 2019I love the Brady Bunch and have many episodes committed to memory, but it was only recently after trying to explain to my kids how much energy we use in the house, that I truly understood his genius. In the episode “Sorry, Right Number,” Mike, who was...

Are You Smarter Than a High Schooler?

Are You Smarter Than a High Schooler?

8 JANUARY, 2019 If you were like me, then you thought you knew everything when you were in high school. How the world should be run. An expert on whatever latest thing you learned about in school, and so on. However, did you know that much about energy? Let’s be...

What Pink Floyd Taught Me About Renewables and Energy Efficiency

What Pink Floyd Taught Me About Renewables and Energy Efficiency

4 JANUARY, 2019 I was at an energy conference in 2015, and a speaker, whose name I have long forgotten, uttered a comment that has stuck with me to this day. It was one of those comments that immediately sent your brain into a frenzy making connections to other...