As one of the most well-known fossil fuels on the planet, coal can actually be found in more than one way. After all, everybody knows about bituminous coal but what about peat, lignite and anthracite? Here at Pearson Fuels, we have taken it upon ourselves to set the record straight. After all, coalification is a process that takes 300 million years to complete and this means that we can mine the fossil fuel in different stages of its development. Read on as we go over everything you need to know about lignite…
What is Lignite?
As coal forms, it goes through several different stages and these are often ranked by name in the following order: peat, lignite, sub-bituminous, bituminous and anthracite. Due to this, lignite is known as a younger rank of coal that hasn’t been subjected to the intense pressure and heat that older ranks of coal like anthracite have. This means that it is much softer, has a ‘crumbly’ texture and can found close to the earth’s surface.
Uses For Lignite
Despite its soft texture, lignite is a rank of coal that can be used in a few different ways. For example, it is often used for electric power generation and is sometimes used to produce soil fertilisers. With this said, it has a lower heat value than harder coals like anthracite which means that it isn’t suitable for most other coal applications.
Since it is a young form of coal, lignite can be found close to the surface of the earth and this makes it much easier to mine than the harder alternatives. In fact, an Australian coal mine in Latrobe Valley is estimated to contain around 65 million tonnes of lignite, which is thought to be a staggering 25% of the world’s reserves!
Although we tend to place our focus on home coals that have an effective heat output like bituminous coal, the team here at Pearson Fuels believe that it is our responsibility to educate our readers on everything coal related. After all, each coal rank is not created equally and early forms like lignite are simply not suitable for burning in the home. To find out more information about the coalification process, get in contact with the best coal merchants around and speak to a member of the Pearson Fuels team today!