Classification of Coal

Classification of coal based on volatile matter and cooking power of clean material
Sponsored Links Coal is a readily combustible rock containing more than 50 percent by weight of carbonaceous material formed from compaction and indurations of variously altered plant remains similar to those in peat. After a considerable amount of time, heat, and burial pressure, it is metamorphosed from peat to lignite. Lignite is considered to be "immature" coal at this stage of development because it is still somewhat light in color and it remains soft.




Lignite increases in maturity by becoming darker and harder and is then classified as sub-bituminous coal. After a continuous process of burial and alteration, chemical and physical changes occur until the coal is classified as bituminous - dark and hard coal. Bituminous coal ignites easily and burns long with a relatively long flame. If improperly fired bituminous coal is characterized with excess smoke and soot. Anthracite coal is the last classification, the ultimate maturation. Anthracite coal is very hard and shiny.


Volatile matter1) (weight %) < 6.1

General description

101 102 201 202 203 204

Anthracites 3.1 - 9.0 9.1 - 13.5 13.6 - 15.0 15.1 - 17.0 17.1 - 19.5 Heat altered low volatile steam coals Cooking steams coals Low volatile steam coals Dry steam coals


19.1 - 19.5

0 Volatile matter . those products. Typical Sulfur Content in Coal .dry mineral matter free basis.1 . exclusive of moisture.0 High volatile coals 32.6 .301 305 306 401 402 501 502 601 602 701 702 801 802 901 902 1) 19.1 .1 . Furthermore it burn longer with more heat than the other types.0 32.0 32.0 Strongly coking coals > 36.0 Very strongly coking coals > 36.0 Medium coking coals > 36.0 32. Anthracite coal creates a steady and clean flame and is preferred for domestic heating.36.1 . In coal. given off as gas and vapor determined analytically.36.0 Non-coking coals > 36.0 32.32.0 Prime cooking coals Medium volatile coals Mainly heat altered coals 19.36.6 .1 Weakly coking coals > 19.0 Very weakly coking coals > 36.6 .1 .32.32.0 32.

7 weight % Bituminous Coal : 44.5 .2 weight % Sponsored Links Related Topics y y Combustion .9 weight % Lignite Coal : 39 weight % Typical Fixed Carbon Content in Coal y y y Anthracite Coal : 80.fuels like oil.combustion efficiency Heating . expansion systems and more Sponsored Links Coal Classification Coals are classified upon the ratios which the volatile materials or hydro-carbons bear to fixed carbon.7 .0 weight % Lignite Coal : 0. pipelines.2 .865 (kg/m3) Typical Ash Content in Coal y y y Anthracite Coal : 9. heat exchangers.3-11.15.y y y Anthracite Coal : 0.16.capacity and design of boilers.7 weight % Lignite Coal : 4.4 weight % Typical Bulk Density of Coal y y y Anthracite Coal : 50 .Heating systems .57 (lb/ft3). 800 .77 weight % Bituminous Coal : 0. 673 .85. wood chimneys.913 (kg/m3) Lignite Coal : 40 .7 .58 (lb/ft3). coal.20.0. safety valves. Soft coals are high in volatile matter and low in carbon. The percentage of coal in volatile hydrocarbons runs as follows: . tanks .3 weight % Bituminous Coal : 2.8 .54 (lb/ft3).4. gas.2 weight % Bituminous Coal : 3.2 weight % Lignite Coal : 31. Anthracite coal is low in volatile material and high in fixed carbon. 641 .6 .9-78.929 (kg/m3) Bituminous Coal : 42 .4 weight % Typical Moisture Content in Coal y y y Anthracite Coal : 2.Boiler house topics .

they are characterised by high moisture levels and a low carbon content. such as lignite and sub-bituminous coals. and is referred to as the 'rank' of the coal.Anthracite 3. The ash in a first class coal should not be above 8 per cent. Power for Progress World Coal Institute Low rank coals.12 Semi-bituminous 12. earthy appearance.50 The remaining components of the coals are absorbed moisture. . has an important bearing on its physical and chemical properties. friable materials with a dull. and hence a low energy content. Source: Coal.6 Semi-anthracite 6.18 Bituminous 18. fixed carbon and ash. are typically softer. There are two main ways for classifying coal . as it matures from peat to anthracite. Coal Rank The degree of 'metamorphisrn' or coalification undergone by a rank and by type.

.5 to 7 percent. NSW. Brown coals or lignites have a high oxygen content (up to 30 percent). and a high moisture content (30-70 percent). Bituminous coals are dense black solids. Non-coking bituminous coals are used for power generation. Between anthracites and peat there are three broad coal rankings. The carbon content of these coals ranges from 78 to 91 percent and the water content from 1. They have a carbon content between 71 and 77 percent and a moisture content of up to 10 percent and are used for electricity generation or can be converted to liquid and gaseous fuels. South Australia and Western Australia have deposits of sub-bituminous coals. Tasmania. a relatively low carbon content (60-75 percent on a dry basis). The major NSW and Queensland deposits are bituminous and many are suited to the production of metallurgical coke. Queensland. Increasing rank is accompanied by a rise in the carbon and energy contents and a decrease in the moisture content of the coal. The lower ranked coals are browner and softer. Anthracite is at the top of the rank scale and has a correspondingly higher carbon and energy content and a lower level of moisture. cement making and to provide heat and steam in industry. frequently containing bands with a brilliant lustre.Higher rank coals are typically harder and stronger and often have a black vitreous lustre. Sub-bituminous coals usually appear dull black and waxy.

The mineral or inorganic content of coal is another significant factor affecting end use. called macerals. There is a finite supply of the resource and. found in Australia in Victoria's Latrobe Valley. The purpose of classifying coal in this way is to determine its best uses. referred to as the ash content of coal.Brown coals. Mineral content is assessed by burning coal and measuring the amount of incombustible material remaining. Classification and Rank of Coal .the reflective or translucent properties of the coal indicating the individual component macerals and the way they have combined to form the coal. are used for power generation but generally are uneconomic to transport because of their high moisture content. Macerals are identified (microscopically) by reflected light . These coals are also susceptible to spontaneous combustion. type and chemical composition must be matched to the most suitable end use. Coal Types Geologists also classify coal types according to the organic debris. from which the coal is formed. therefore.

They are lighter (earthier) and have higher moisture levels. heat. Anthracite coal is very hard and shiny. As this process of burial and alteration continues. lignite increases in maturity by becoming darker and harder and is then classified as subbituminous coal. contain more carbon than lower-rank coals which results in a much higher energy content. and this terminology is used when the coal has reached ultimate maturation. and anthracite (mature).The kinds of coal. are lignite (brown coal--immature). more chemical and physical changes occur and a the coal is classified as bituminous. and burial pressure. High-rank coals. After a considerable amount of time. As time. including bituminous and anthracite coals. Coal starts off as peat. the rank does as well. The degree of alteration (or metamorphism) that occurs as a coal matures from peat to anthracite is referred to as the "rank" of the coal. Low-rank coals include lignite and subbituminous coals. bituminous. in increasing order of alteration. As time passes. it is metamorphosed from peat to lignite. They have a more vitreous (shiny) appearance and lower moisture content then lower-rank coals. and burial pressure all increase. At this point the coal is dark and hard. These coals have a lower energy content because they have a low carbon content. sub-bituminous. Lignite is considered to be "immature" coal at this stage of development because it is still somewhat light in color and it remains soft. heat. Anthracite is the last of the classifications. .