What are the different types of coal? Coals are plant materials that are fossilized. It is a widely known fact that there are no two coals that are exactly identical. There are many different types of coal as there are different ways to make them. There are also many different properties that should be considered when making coal. There are four main types of coal. These types are also known as ranks. The four main types of coal are lignite coal, subbituminous coal, bituminous coal, and anthracite coal.
The lignite types of coal are those that are used for generation of electric power. These are known to be very young types of coal. These types of coal are colored brown to black. They are known to have a moisture content that is high as well. This moisture content can sometimes by 45% high. But the carbon content of these types is low, somewhere around 35%. Also, these types of coal are known to have high sulphur content. Lignite types of coal are also called brown coal because of their color. They are known to disintegrate when they are exposed to weather.
The subbituminous coals are types of coal that are also called black lignite. These are, well, black in color. When it comes to moisture, these contain somewhere around 20% to 30%. They are known to have a carbon content of around 45%. They have very low sulfur contents, too. They are most of the time used in space heating. Also, these are the types that are mostly used in generating electricity. These types are mostly gotten from Alaska and other western states.
Next, we have the bituminous coal. These are the types that are most common in the entire US and the world. These are used mostly in generating electricity as well, much like the lignite coal and the subbituminous coal. Another common use of this type is found in the steel industry as it is normally used in making coke. In the industrial process, these types are also used. The carbon content of the bituminous coal is somewhere between 45%-85%. The moisture content of these types are less than 20%. They are known to be the softest of the four kinds. They are also colored black, like the subbituminous, but they sometimes have a dull and bright material in them.
Lastly, we have the anthracite coal. These are also known and called hard coal. As the name implies, these coals are known to be very hard. They are also known to be lustrous. When it comes to the composition, an anthracite coal is known to have low sulphur content. It is known to have high carbon content, too. The carbon content of these types can range from 85% to 86%. Compared to the others, these are the types that are known to be the highest kind. The moisture content of the anthracite is customarily lesser than 15%. These are common in the US, as there are reserves of more than 7 billion tons of these in the US alone.