Anthracite Coal

Anthracite Coal Anthracite coal derives its name from the Greek word ‘anthrakít?s’, literally meaning ‘coal-like’.  It is frequently being referred as hard coal and is one of the four types of coals. Other types of coals are lignite coal, sub- bituminous coal and bituminous coal. Since anthracite coal had been subjected to the intense pressure and heat, it is the most compressed and hardest coal available. Being a hard coal, it contains greater potential to produce heat energy than softer, geologically ‘newer’ coal. As per ISO 11760:2005, anthracite coal is defined as the coal, synonymous with high-rank coal, having a mean random vitrinite reflectance, equal to or greater than 2.0 % but less than 6.0 %, or, preferably, a mean maximum reflectance, , less than 8.0 % for geologically unaltered coal. Geology and mining of anthracite coal Anthracite coal was formed from bituminous coal when great pressures had developed in the folded rock. Transformation of the bituminous coal into anthracite is called ‘Anthracitization’. It was formed during the Carboniferous Age, when the dense green vegetation that thrived during the tropical climate of the time fossilized. It is the oldest and cleanest type of coal. It is the rarest and most mature coal. It is a hard, compact variety of coal. It has the highest ranking amongst all the four types of coals. It has undergone the most metamorphosis. It has the highest fixed carbon content and the least impurities. It has the highest energy density amongst all types of coal. The formation of anthracite coal is shown in Fig 1. Fig 1 Formation of anthracite coal Anthracite coal normally occurs in old geological formations which have spent the longest time underground. It is the rarest and most mature coal which accounts for only around 1 % of the world’s total coal reserves. The major reserves of the anthracite coal are...