Coal, oil and natural gas are the three most important fossil fuels. Coal is an organic rock formed from plant material, usually in a swampy area. For coal to actually be created required a perfect balance of improbable events to take place over a long period of time. As a result, coal has formed in only a few places on earth.
Abundance of Pennsylvania Coal
Pennsylvania has been blessed with an abundance of coal deposits with some estimates placing recoverable reserves around 75 billion tons. The deposit is so significant that even the geologic period some 300 million years ago when this coal was deposited is referred to as the Pennsylvanian Period, named after the state. Soft coal, called bituminous coal, is located in the western area of the state, with anthracite or hard coal being more prevalent in the east.
Uses of Coal
Coal is mainly used for the production of electricity. It has many other uses, including:
• Providing the main heat source for many manufacturing processes.
• Production of coke, which is in turn used for metal processing and other uses where an extremely hot flame is needed.
• Use of gases, tars and residues in the manufacture of thousands of different products, including plastics, insecticides, paints, medicines, and synthetic fibers.
• Home heating.
Main Characteristics of Types of Coal
Bituminous or soft coal is the most abundant, and has a carbon content of between 77 and 87%. The carbon content of anthracite or hard coal is greater than 87%, and is considered the highest rank of coal. It has the highest heating value per ton, the fewest impurities, and burns cleanly with little ash or smoke.
Demand for Anthracite Coal
Global consumption of anthracite coal has grown dramatically since 2000. The biggest market is Asia, mainly China, accounting for nearly 70% of total world consumption. Anthracite coal is preferred because of its higher quality.
Asian countries seek out sources of anthracite coal for sale. The main source of anthracite coal is Pennsylvania. In fact, anthracite coal has been such an important part of life in the state that the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum is completely devoted to the subject.
Some existing mines have taken advantage of this increased global demand by redesigning existing operations to satisfy this new market. The Lehigh Anthracite Mine is good example. Its focus is the supply of anthracite coal for sale. The company website at www.lehighanthracite.com shows how products and services have been specifically designed to meet the needs of global markets.
For example, the company has the capability to produce coal in sizes to meet almost any client specifications, in ten different sizes varying from No. 5 to the largest egg size. Detail of sizes available is provided on the website. Quality is maintained by onsite testing facilities for fast turnaround of results, and reports are included with every order. New rail track moves coal efficiently to the processing plant, where 300 tons of coal can be washed and processed every hour.
The company also realizes that successful promotion of anthracite coal for sale requires timely delivery. Lehigh Anthracite has developed a system for rapid transport of coal by rail, truck or even ship to locations around the world. This innovative company is leading the way for the coal industry to meet current energy demands.
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Article written by Elliot Taplin