Coal Products: Learn its Composition, Different Products and Uses (2023)

Coal is a fossil fuel formed from the remains of plants that lived and died millions of years ago. It has been an energy source for centuries and has various associated products. Coal Products generate heat, industrial power generators, make cast iron, and more. Coke, tar, and coal gas are all byproducts of coal processing.

In this Chemistry article, learn about the different types of coal products. Also, learn about the by products of coal and their uses in different industries.

What is Coal?

Coal is a combustible rock made primarily of carbon. It is dark brown or black in appearance. Coal is a fossil fuel formed due to the processing of sedimentary rocks and their decomposition.

Therefore, coal was created after millions of years of extreme heat and pressure.

Coal Products: Learn its Composition, Different Products and Uses (1)

Also learn about the formation of fossil fuels here.

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Coal Production

Coal Production is the process of extracting coal from coal mines and deposits.

A general overview of coal production is as follows:

  • Exploration of Coal Deposits.
  • Mine Planning and Development.
  • Mining of Coal. This step is the initial step towards coal production.
  • Once the coal is extracted, it undergoes processing.
  • Coal processing involves the removal of impurities.
  • After processing, few coal products are obtained. These coal products are transferred to different industrial plants for their uses.
  • The utilisation of coal products.

Also, learn about Coal and Petroleum here.

Properties of Coal

These are the properties of coal and coal product:

  • Coal consists of high carbon content.
  • It determines the energy content and calorific value.
  • Coal is classified into different degrees due to its degree of metamorphism.
  • As the rank of metamorphism changes, the uses of coal products also differ.
  • Coal contains organic matter that is non-combustible.
  • Coal contains varying amounts of moisture.
  • The volatile matter of coal affects its explosive properties.
  • Different coal products show the properties of caking and agglutination.

Learn more about carbon compounds here.

Uses of Coal

The following are the uses of coal and by products of coal:

  • It is used for making paper in industries.
  • Cosmetics and face packs are both made with activated charcoal.
  • Steel is made with the use of coking coal.
  • Coal is used to make carbon fibre.
  • Carbon fibre is a lightweight yet incredibly strong reinforcement material used in tennis rackets, mountain bikes, and construction.
  • It is used to produce electricity.
  • Refineries for alumina are made possible by coal.
  • Filters for air and water purification, as well as kidney dialysis equipment, use activated carbon. Activated carbon is manufactured using coal.

Learn more about carbon nanotubes here.

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(Video) What is the Difference Between Coal and Charcoal Chemistry Concepts

Coal Products

Coal is used for the formation of many products. A variety of coal products are used in many industries. The use of by products of coal depend on their carbon and ash content.

Learn about Coke, Coal Tar and Coal Gas.


Coke is the solid by product of coal. It has poor combustion or destructive distillation property in an enclosed space. It is primarily made of carbon and utilised as a fuel in metallurgy to convert metallic oxides to metals.

Characteristics of Coke

  • Coke is one of the purest forms of carbon and is black.
  • It is tough and porous
  • In the absence of air, heat the coal to produce coke.

Uses of Coke

  • Coke is a by product of coal used in steel production.
  • While extracting metal, it is used as a reducing agent.
  • It is also used as a fuel.

Also, learn about the difference between Methanol and Ethanol here.

Coal Tar

Coal is a coal product used to manufacture coal gas and coke.

It is a solid fuel with a high carbon content.

To make refined chemicals and coal products like creosote and coal-tar pitch are used.

Coal tar is categorised as keratoplastic.

Coal Tar Products:

The following are the various Coal Tar Products:

  • Creosote
  • Coal Tar Pitch
  • Coal tar synthetic dyes and pigments
  • Derivatives of coal tar products are present in medicinal and herbal products
  • Derivatives of coal products are used in marine

Uses of Coal Tar

  • It is used in pavement and roofing materials.
  • Coal tar is used in the preservation of wood.
  • It is used in the manufacturing of synthetic dyes.
  • Coal tar is a type of coal in energy production.

Also, learn about Carbonate Ores here.

Coal Gas

  • A combination of gases, including hydrogen, methane, carbon monoxide, and volatile hydrocarbons.
  • The destructive distillation of coal obtains it.
  • It is a combustible gas produced from coal delivered by a piping system.
  • This coal product is produced without the presence of air.
  • It is used in lighting and heating and as an illuminant.

Also, learn about the Chemical Properties of Alkenes here.

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Petroleum and Coal Products

Petroleum and coal are fossil fuels. The following are some examples of petroleum and coal products.

  • Gasoline
  • Diesel
  • Jet Fuel
  • Coke
  • Coal Gas
  • Coal Tar
  • Activated Carbon
  • Lubricants
  • Asphalt

Learn about Grignard Reaction Mechanism here.

Coal in Steel Production

Coal in steel production plays a very important role. It is the key ingredient in the steel production process.

  • Coking coal is an important coal product.
  • It is also known as metallurgical coal. It is used as a fuel and reducing agent in steel production.
  • It is also used in blast furnaces and chemical reduction of iron during steel production.
  • It is used as an energy source in steel production.
  • The pulverised coal is injected into the blast furnace to reduce coke consumption.

Learn about the Physical Properties of Haloalkenes here.

Coal in Energy Production

Coal in energy production has been widely used. It is used as an energy source due to its carbon content.

The following are a few ways of uses of coal in energy production:

  • Power plants
  • Steam Generation
  • District Heating
  • Coal Gasification

Also, learn about the Ethyl Group function here.

(Video) Destructive Distillation of Coal | Science Experiment

Coal Waste Products

Coal mining and combustion processes generate few coal waste products.

Few coal waste products generated are as follows:

  • Coal ash
  • Fuel gas desulphurisation
  • Mine tailings
  • Coal slurry
  • Acid mine drainage

Also, learn about Homonuclear Diatomic Molecules here.

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Coal Products FAQs

Q1. What are the three coal products?

A1. Coke, Coal Tar and Coal Gas are the three products of coal.

Q2. What are the two by products of coal?

A2. Coal Tar and Coal Gas are the two by products of coal.

Q3. Which state in India is rich in Coal?

A3. Chhattisgarh has high deposits of coal.

Q4. Which is the best quality of coal?

A4. Anthracite is the best quality of coal.

Q5.What are the 4 types of coal?

A5. Lignite, Sub bituminous, bituminous and anthracite are the four types of coal.

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What is the composition and use of coal? ›

Coal is mostly carbon with variable amounts of other elements, chiefly hydrogen, sulfur, oxygen, and nitrogen. Coal is a type of fossil fuel, 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.

What is the composition of coal? ›

The organic compounds in coal are composed of the elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, and trace amounts of a variety of other elements.

What are the uses of by product of coal? ›

The following products are obtained during coal processing: Coal tar - Used for building roads, in the manufacture of synthetic drugs, explosives, perfumes, paints, plastics, etc. Coke - Used to manufacture steel and in the extraction of metals. Coal gas - Used as a fuel in industries.

How coal is formed and its products? ›

How is Coal Formed? Coal is fossil fuel or fuel that comes from the remains of prehistoric plants or animals. The formation of coal occurs over millions of years via a process known as carbonation. In this process, dead vegetation is converted into carbon-rich coal under very high temperature and pressure.


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