What is Coal?
Coal is a sedimentary rock made predominantly of carbon that can be burned for fuel. Coal is readily combustible, black or brownish-black, and has a composition that, including inherent moisture, consists of more than 50 percent by weight and more than 70 percent by volume of carbonaceous material.
What are the Types of Coal
There are four major types (or “ranks”) of coal. Rank refers to steps in a slow, natural process called “coalification,” during which buried plant matter changes into an ever denser, drier, more carbon rich, and harder material. Supplier of all types of coal / Charcoal/dolochar / Bricks. CoalKing-There is a reason, why it turns to Diamond. The four ranks are:
- Anthracite: The highest rank of coal. It is a hard, brittle, and black lustrous coal, often referred to as hard coal, containing a high percentage of fixed carbon and a low percentage of volatile matter.
- Bituminous: Bituminous coal is a middle rank coal between subbituminous and anthracite. Bituminous usually has a high heating (Btu) value and is the most common type of coal used in electricity generation in the United States. Bituminous coal appears shiny and smooth when you first see it, but look closer and you may see it has layers.
- Sub-bituminous: Sub-bituminous coal is black in color and dull (not shiny), and has a higher heating value than lignite.
- Lignite: Lignite coal, aka brown coal, is the lowest grade coal with the least concentration of carbon.
Also, there is peat. Peat is not actually coal, but rather the precursor to coal. Peat is a soft organic material consisting of partly decayed plant and, in some cases, deposited mineral matter. When peat is placed under high pressure and heat, it becomes coal.
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Anthracite, often referred to as hard coal, is a hard, compact variety of coal that has a submetallic luster. It has the highest carbon content, the fewest impurities, and the highest energy density of all types of coal and is the highest ranking of coals.
Bituminous coal or black coal is a relatively soft coal containing a tar like substance called bitumen or asphalt. It is of higher quality than lignite coal but of poorer quality than anthracite. Formation is usually the result of high pressure being exerted on lignite.
Sub-bituminous coal is a type of coal whose properties range from those of lignite to those of bituminous coal and are used primarily as fuel for steam-electric power generation. Sub-bituminous coal is black in color.
Lignite, often referred to as brown coal, is a soft, brown, combustible, sedimentary rock formed from naturally compressed peat. It is considered the lowest rank of coal due to its relatively low heat content. It has a carbon content around 60–70 percent.