My understanding is that it takes a very, very long time for coal to form. The actual process is called “coalification” — which starts with plant matter (during the time of the dinosaurs) which was absorbed the swamp, over a long period of time that plant matter is compressed and hardens.
It seems that coal takes millions of years to form. Scientists can, however, replicate coal in about a year — although the complete process to “replicate” natural coal is about eleven years.
The purest form has been found to be 360 and 290 million years old.
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