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Pure carbon materials


The Rock Cycle


Coal (Anthracite)

Firstly , coal differs from the other pure carbon materials because it is not crystalline, e.g., its carbon atoms are randomly distributed in the material. That is why you won't see a crystal structure on this page.

Anthracite has a carbon content between 92% and 98%. It has a small amount of impurities. Other types of coal (lignite, bituminous and others) have less carbon and more impurities. That means that anthracite is the coal that gives the most energy and the least pollution (it produces lots of CO2).

It is the ideal fuel for power station.

It is a bit hard to get it on fire, but once it starts it is very difficult to stop. There has been cases of mines that burnt for a long time. For instance, the mine in the town of Centralia, in the US, has burned for about 50 years. It still burns...

Anthracite is relatively heavy and it looks more like a rock. It is a bit shiny. It doesn't look like the types of coal we are used to see, for barbecues or space heating.

Anthracite is a metamorphic rock.

© Ricardo Esplugas