Anthracite coal, commonly known as hard coal or mineral coal with a bright, sub-metallic, iron-black luster, consists of nearly pure carbon and burning almost without flame. Anthracite represents the highest rank of coal, was formed in the coalification process when fossil sedimentation was subject to high pressures over millions of years. In fact, anthracite may contain 91% to 98% pure carbon, leaving only 2% to 9% of other elements. This makes anthracite a clean-burning and smokeless fuel source. Anthracite coal is a high-ranking coal with more fixed carbon and less volatile matter than bituminous, subbituminous, or lignite varieties. Anthracite coal is difficult to ignite and burns with a blue, smokeless flame, and has higher ignition and ash fusion temperatures. The most significant usage of anthracite lies in the production of steam and electricity.
Anthracite coal is usually used for heating purpose, such as, as a carbonizer for steel production in open-hearth and converter furnaces; as a carburizer for synthetic cast iron production in electric and inductive furnaces; and as a carbon fuel for agglomeration of ores for ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Anthracite is also used as a blast-furnace fuel for iron smelting and as a carbon regenerator for high-carbonated materials and is applied in the production of sorbent and adsorbents.
Anthracite used in waste water treatment for air purification, reduction in the level of BOD (Biological Oxidation Demand) and TSS (Total Suspended Solids).
Anthracite is mainly employed as a coke substitute in sugar industry. It is the cleanest form of coal as it produces very little pollution and does not stain skin when touched, unlike most forms of coal. It is used as a substitute in building materials production, production of thermo anthracite and electrode products for ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, ferroalloy, chemical, electric steel-smelting industries.