POWDER RIVER COAL COMPANY
GILLETTE, WYOMING

TYPES OF COAL

This page was created by Samantha Bartow, Lakeview Elementary School.

There are many types of coal, including anthracite, bituminous, subbituminous, and lignite. Anthracite has the highest carbon content. The carbon content is anywhere between 86 and 98 percent. Anthracite produces nearly 15,000 Btu's per pound (a Btu, or British Thermal Unit, is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit). This type of coal is what you might burn in your home. There are 7.3 billion tons of anthracite reserves in the United States, mainly in Pennsylvania.

Bituminous coal is the most plentiful type of coal in the United States. It is mainly found in the eastern and middle parts of the North American continent. Bituminous coal is primarily used to generate electricity and to make coke for the steel industry. Bituminous coal has a carbon content of 45 to 86 percent and a heat value of 10,500 to 15,500 Btu's per pound. Subbituminous coal ranks just below bituminous coal with 35 to 45 percent carbon content. The heat value of subbituminous coal is between 8,300 and 13,000 Btu's per pound. This coal is found in the western states and Alaska. It is a clean burning coal. Power River Coal Company produces subbituminous coal.

Lignite has the lowest carbon content of coal, somewhere between 25 and 35 percent. The heat value of lignite ranges between 4,000 and 8,300 Btu's per pound. Sometimes lignite is known as brown coal because of its brown color. Lignite is also used to generate electricity.

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