What can we use coal for? Coal is called a fossil fuel because it is formed from the remains of plants that are as old as 400 million years. Heat and pressure produce chemical changes in the plant layers, making the oxygen come out, leaving rich carbon deposits behind. This then results in a solid material known as coal.

The Numbers

Coal is primarily used as a solid fuel to produce electricity and heat through combustion. As a whole, the world used 7.25 billion tonnes in 2010 and is expected to increase 48% to 9.05 billion tonnes by 2030; that’s a lot of digging and blowing up the ground, but we have to stay warm by the fire somehow!

China produced 3.47 billion tonnes in 2011 alone, there are also mines in India, the U.S and many other countries around the world. Coal mining is the process of taking coal from the ground. In the United Kingdom and South Africa, a coal mine and its structures are called a colliery. In Australia, “colliery” generally refers to an underground coal mine.

The Uses

Coal is valued for its energy content.  When coal is used for electricity, it is usually pulverized and then burned in a furnace with a boiler. The furnace heat turns the boiler water to steam, which is then used to spin turbines which turn generators and create electricity. Since the 1880s, coal has been widely used to generate electricity. Cement and Steel industries/companies use coal as a fuel for the separation of iron from iron ore and for cement production.

Coal can be used in many other ways, too. Whether it’s a BBQ or a warm house fire, there are a lot of pros for this material, which is why at Pearson Fuels we strive to be the best coal merchants out there. We even sell smokeless coal, just have a look through our website now!



Ever wondered what the smoke from your coal fire is doing to your body? What it might be doing to your children? There are a few health risks that can be caused by the smoke of coal. Coal that produces a large amount of smoke can give your body a lot of health risks, for example; substantial evidence shows that exposure to smoke from the use of solid fuels in the home increases the risk of acute lower respiratory infections. This can have extreme negative effects on young children, as well as many adults. Exposure to household air pollution such as coal smoke accounts for more than half of deaths to childhood pneumonia in children under five years of age.

As a lot of us already know, smoke can also lead to lung cancer. Evidence has shown that individuals exposed to smoke from coal fires in the home have an elevated risk of lung cancer.

As well as in the household, there is also the environment to consider and the pollution effects that coal will have on the atmosphere. Air pollution caused by coal combustion can act on the respiratory system, contributing to serious health effects including asthma, lung disease and lung cancer, and adversely affect normal lung development in children.

Don’t take this as we’re trying to scare you- we’re trying to help you and make your coal fire safer for you and your family.  At Pearson Fuels, we offer smokeless coals, reducing all effects of normal coal, meaning that you can enjoy the warmth of a fire without the negative impacts to your health!

There are many benefits and positives of using smokeless coals, as it can improve the effects of health and the environment. Smokeless coal was invented in the 1940’s and 50’s to tackle the problem of air pollution from the burning of normal coal. Smoky coal was leading to health issues including the premature deaths of thousands of people in the UK every year. Unlike house coal, smokeless coal is suitable for a few different appliances, due to its great heating performance and attractive flame.

Smokeless coal is also more cost effective than your normal house coal. They burn hotter for longer, meaning you need to refuel your appliance less often. Since there is less smoke it decreases many of the health risks that smoky coals increases keeping your family home healthier for you and your loved ones.

Don’t just take our word for it, try out our smokeless coal yourself. We’d love to hear what you think!


Coal ash is produced from the burning of coal- it’s basically the powder that’s left behind once the coal has finished burning. Coal ash includes several by-products produced from burning coal, including:

  • Fly Ash: a very fine, powdery material made of silica created from the burning of finely ground coal in a boiler.
  • Bottom Ash: a coarse, angular ash particle that is too large and heavy to be carried up into the smoke, so it ends up in the bottom of the coal furnace. Leaving a pile of ash coal powered.
  • Boiler Slag: molten ash that turns into pellets that have a smooth glassy appearance after it is cooled with water.

Coal ash is thrown away or used in different ways depending on the type of by-product, the processes at the plant and the regulations the power plant must follow. There aren’t many uses of coal ash as it is just grey, sooty powder. Coal ash is one of the largest types of industrial waste produced in the United States, with 130 million tons of coal ash generated in 2014 alone. Coal ash isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, either; the EPA’s recent rules still leave it up to states to manage the ash.

Coal ash can be very messy, and you can go from clean to a powdery, grey mess in just a matter of minutes. If you want to keep your fireplace as clean  as possible, we offer coal cleaning supplies on our site, such as a COMPLETE STARTER SET which includes: 4-fold Fire screen, 5-piece Companion Set and Coal Bucket, all in one box! We offer a wide range for buckets for all your ashy needs, we also offer firelighters for those tricky times of starting off your coal.

If your struggling to control your flying ash or need to get your glossy pellets out of your burner, get in contact with us for all your coal merchant needs, we’d love you to hear from you.