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Coal is a black or brownish-black sedimentary rock, formed from dead plant matter which decayed and fossilized over millions of years, as the heat and pressure of deep burial converts the peat into coal.


  • Anthracite: the highest rank of coal is a harder, glossy black coal used primarily for residential and commercial space heating.
  • Bituminous coal: a dense sedimentary rock, usually black, but sometimes dark brown, often with well-defined bands of bright and dull material It is used primarily as fuel in steam-electric power generation and to make coke.
  • Graphite: an allotrope form of carbon, difficult to ignite and thus not commonly used as fuel, instead it is used as lubricant or in pencils.
  • Lignite: also called brown coal, it is the lowest rank of coal, most harmful to health, used almost exclusively as fuel for electric power generation.
  • Peat: a precursor of coal, found in boglands.
  • Sub-bituminous coal: whose properties range between those of lignite and those of bituminous coal, is used primarily as fuel for steam-electric power generation.


Coal is a black or brownish solid material, insoluble in all solvents.

Coal will burn at high temperature in the presence of air/oxygen to release carbon dioxide, water vapors and leave behind lots of ash and soot, depending on the coal.


Coals are often sold in many hardware stores as fuel for ovens and other heating sources.

Can be purchased online, from eBay, Amazon or Alibaba.




Mineral coal is harmful, as it contains various heavy metals and other harmful compounds.

Coal ash, resulted from burning coal is toxic and harmful.


In closed bags, bottles or boxes.


Best to take it to waste disposal centers if the wastes are too toxic.

See also


Relevant Sciencemadness threads