What kind of coal is found in Indiana and what makes it important?

Published 06/24/2009 07:35 AM   |    Updated 06/24/2009 07:35 AM
What kind of coal is found in Indiana and what makes it important?

There are four major coal classifications: anthracite, bituminous, sub bituminous and lignite. Indiana coal is bituminous.

Coal is generally characterized and priced based upon its different characteristics. Some of the most common are:

BTUs is a measurement of how hot coal burns. Indiana coal provides good heat value; 10,500-12,000 BTUs/lb.

Moisture Content isthe amount of water reduces the fuel or burning power, and can generate excess steam. Indiana is known for low levels of moisture ranging from 6-15 percent.

Ash is material remaining after coal is burned. These are impurities which must be collected and disposed of. Indiana coal ash content is considered moderate to low at 7 to 13 percent by weight.

Sulphur is an impurity which is removed by processing on-site and when burned at a utility. Sulphur content of Indiana coal varies widely. Some coals are very low (0.5 percent) in sulphur and considered a compliance grade. Others are generally thought of as a "high-sulfur" coal with 2-6 percent by weight.

For more information you may visit the Energy Information Administration and the Indiana Geological Survey web sites.

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