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Different Types of Coal and Uses

You may not have realised that there are different types of coal, with each kind having a different use.

What is coal?

Coal is made of old organic matter. It is a substance that has been compressed by rocks and earth over millions of years. Coal is precious as many fear it is running out – some predicting in the next thirty years. As you may know there are several types of different coal found around the world. These all differ in moisture and energy value so its type will determine its use. You can buy coal from coal merchants - buying coal from local merchants may ensure getting better deals. For example if you live in sandbach then you should try and find local sandbach coal merchants.

What happens when coal burns?

When coal is burnt it produces carbon dioxide. In fact, it produces more carbon dioxide than any other fossil fuel. Carbon dioxide leads to the growing issue of global warming.

How do you know the quality of coal?

Coal quality is determined by pressure and temperature. It is also determined by how long it has been forming under the layers of earth and rock. This means that, essentially, the oldest types of coal are also the hardest coals which makes them “more energetic” than younger coal types.

a summary of the different types of coal is below:

1.    HARDER COALS – You will know you have come across a harder coal because it is darker, drier,  and more energetic than other coals.

2.    BITUMINOUS COAL- This is a type of thermal Steam Coal which is commonly used for power generation. This is a very popular coal type which is expected to grow at a rate of 1.5 per cent a year.

3.    LOW QUALITY COALS – Low quality coals are softer, wetter and have a lower energy content.

4.    ANTHRACITE COAL – This type of coal is a relatively clean burning coal but it is also known for being very expensive.

5.    LIGNITE COALS – These types of coal are used to produce power. The demand for this kind of coal is expected to grow by 1 per cent a year.

6.    SUB-BITUMINOUS COALS – This is also used for power generation. More commonly it is used in cement making. It is used in large quantities to fire kilns as well.

7.    COKING COAL- This type of coal is used to make iron and steel. There is also expected to be a demand for this type of coal over the next few decades.

To keep coal in an optimum condition it should be kept in coal bunkers. This ensures that all you coal is kept safe, dry and clean. 

12-04-2012