Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock with a high amount of carbon and hydrocarbons. Coal is formed when dead plant matter decays into peat and is converted into coal by the heat and pressure of deep burial over millions of years. This process is known as ‘Coalification’.
Coal is a nonrenewable source of energy which means it exhausts once used. While coal has been known and used for thousands of years, in recent centuries, coal has emerged as the main source of energy for mankind post-industrialization. Till today, the dependency of the Homosapien race is primarily on coal as a fuel.
Types of Coal
Much like other forms of energy, coal has a classification, which is based on the geography, scientific and properties within them. Put simply, the best coal type is ranked on the basis of the amount of carbon and the amount of heat energy it can produce. The categorization is determined by the amount of pressure and heat that acted on the plants over time.
Anthracite: It contains 86%–97% carbon and generally has the highest heating value of all ranks of coal. It is the highest rank & best variety of coal, is a harder, glossy black coal used primarily for residential and commercial space heating. It is mainly used by the metals industry. It can produce 32-33 Megajoules of heat per kilogram.
Bituminous: This coal contains 45%–86% carbon. It is usually between 100 million and 300 million years old. Bituminous coal is the most abundant type of coal found in the world. Bituminous coal is used to generate electricity and is an important fuel and raw material for making coking coal for use in the iron and steel industry. One kilogram of this coal can produce 23-33 Megajoules of heat.
Sub-bituminous: This coal typically contains 35%–45% carbon, and it has a lower heating value than bituminous coal. Most sub-bituminous coal is at least 100 million years old. It is used primarily as fuel for steam-electric power generation. It can produce 18-23 Megajoules of heat per kilogram.
Lignite: It contains 25%–35% carbon and has the lowest energy content of all coal ranks. Lignite coal deposits tend to be relatively young and are not subjected to extreme heat or pressure. Lignite has a high moisture content, which contributes to its low heating value. This brown coal is the lowest-ranked and most harmful to health. It is used almost exclusively as fuel for electric power generation. However, one kilogram of it can produce 17-18 Megajoules of heat.
Peat: It is a precursor of coal. One kilogram of this coal can produce up to 15 Megajoules of heat.
Leading Coal Producers
The world’s largest coal-producing countries have delivered a resource to global markets that have powered industries, through thermal electricity generation and as an ingredient for manufacturing processes like steelmaking. Despite the environmental debates, Coal production in the world has been constantly rising as it has no alternative.
Here are the top coal-producing countries in the world.
1. China: China dominates global coal production, and accounted for more than 40% of output. In 2019-20, it will produce close to 3.7 billion tonnes of coal. The country is also the world’s biggest consumer of coal, devouring over half of the global production.
2. India: India is second on the list of the world’s largest coal-producing countries, producing around 783 million tonnes in 2019-20, which is very much close to 10% of global production. State-owned Coal India, the world’s largest coal-mining company, accounts for around 80% of the country’s output.
Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, and Maharashtra accounted for 98.09% of the total known coal reserves in India. In 2020, the Indian government finalized plans to open up the country’s coal reserves to private-sector development, in a bid to boost domestic production and reduce the reliance on foreign imports.
3. United States: The United States produces about 640 million tonnes of coal a year. However, coal production in the worlds’ largest economy has been on a downtrend since the 1970s. Competition from cheap natural gas and increasingly low-cost renewables has lessened the demand for fossil fuel.
Five US states accounted for around 71% of the country’s coal production in 2019. They were: Wyoming (39%), West Virginia (13%), Pennsylvania (7%), Illinois (6.5%), and Kentucky (5%).
4. Indonesia: The south Asian country produces over 600 million tonnes of coal per year. The Indonesian coal production in the nation is increasing and it has established itself as one of the world’s largest thermal coal exporters of the company. India and China are its key markets.
5. Australia: The land of Kangaroos produces about 550 million tonnes of coal a year. Australian coal is mostly used for steelmaking. Queensland and New South Wales are the key states that produce most of the coal.
Why does India import Coal?
Despite being the second-largest coal producer in the world, India imports coal worth over Rs 1 lakh crore every year. According to the Ministry of Coal, India has reserved 300 billion. Even if the government of India is pushing hard to reduce the import bill for coal, the plans may likely falter.
India imports over 25 million tonnes of coal per year for thermal power production. However, a single coal miner can not produce enough to satisfy the hunger of domestic industries like power plants, steel mills, cement, and fertilizers. Since 1975, Coal India has been the sole and nationalized coal producer of India.
India does not have enough reserves of coking coal, which is heavily demanded in the ferrous and nonferrous metal industry. India does not have enough reserves for good quality coking coal and most of it is imported from Indonesia, South Africa, Russia and Australia.
Apart from that, coal mining is not very easy. It incurs a lot of costs and human labor. Being tabled into a hazardous sector, coal production requires licensing for the mines from states and various clearances from the environment and forests. Even the transportation and storage of coal are very challenging. There are some issues at the policy level.
Billionaire industrialist Gautam Adani’s Adani Enterprises captures a third of in-house coal imports. The coronavirus pandemic has been a big hit for the coal industry as rail transportation has been severely affected, along with warehouses for storage.
What is pet coke?
Petroleum coke, abbreviated as petcoke, is a final carbon-rich solid material that derives from oil refining and is one type of the group of fuels referred to as cokes. In other words, pet coke is a byproduct of the oil refining process. As the refineries, throughout the world, seek to operate more efficiently and extract more high-value fuels from each barrel of crude oil, a solid carbon material known as petcoke is produced.
The physical and chemical characteristics of petcoke are a function of the crude oil and refining technology used by the refinery. Petcoke is over 80% carbon and emits 5% to 10% more carbon dioxide than coal on a per-unit-of-energy basis when it is burned. As petcoke has a higher energy content, pet coke emits between 30 and 80 percent more CO2 than coal per unit of weight
High-grade petcoke which is low in sulphur and heavy metals can be used to make electrodes for the steel and aluminum industry. But the majority of petcoke manufactured globally is of a much lower grade, containing higher levels of sulphur and heavy metals, and is used solely as fuel.
Why US coal the best?
The United States of America produces the best quality coal in the world. It has wide acceptance globally as the majority of the nations use it for various purposes. The US has the top-notch coke coal, used for the generation of electricity. According to the data from 2019, about 92% of US coal is used to generate electricity.
The US accounts for 13% of the world’s coal production, with the country’s mines remaining profitable and productive despite increased use of natural gas and renewable energy. The United States is said to have about 225,000 million tonnes of coal reserves, with a quality of high grades.
Coal imported in India is majorly from the North Appalachian and the Illinois Basin region of the United States. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) strictly monitors the quality and supply of Coal in the United States.
The top quality coal is the utmost priority of Anmol India and that is why it imports its coal from the biggest economy of the world. The vision of the company has led to multifold progress in a short span of time. The company is known for its Bulky imports of coal from overseas and steel-grade coal procured from Coal India.
At present Anmol India is planning to give more stress to the imports of newer varieties of coal and high GCV coal from other countries so that we are in a position to satisfy the ever-increasing demands of our esteemed customers.
Why choose Anmol India?
Anmol India has been serving customers since 1988. With experience spanning about three and a half decades, the company specializes in supplying High GCV coal, USA coal, Indonesian coal, Saudi Pet Coke, and USA Pet Coke. Doing a multi-billion business of tried and tested products every year, Anmol’s sales operations cover almost half of India.
The customers can swear by the reliability, credibility, accountability, market expertise, trusted procurement sources, time-bound services, strict time-bound supplies, reasonable prices, vast network, and customers friendly ethical behavior delivery of Anmol India. Put simply, Anmol India is the one-stop solution for coal needs.
Anmol India takes orders via E-mails, telephonic conversations, and mobile apps from customers according to their needs and requirements. The company’s Mobile application “Anmol Coal” is one of its kind in the Coal industry and makes their prices easily accessible and transparent