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What is Bituminous coal?

Bituminous coal or black coal is a relatively soft coal containing a tarlike substance called bitumen. It is of higher quality than lignite coal but of poorer quality than anthracite coal.

Bituminous coal is an organic sedimentary rock formed by diagenetic and submetamorphic compression of peat bog material.                                                                


Bituminous coal has been compressed and heated so that its primary constituents are macerals vitrinite, exinite, and so on. The carbon content of bituminous coal is around 60-80%; the rest is composed of water, air, hydrogen, and sulfur, which have not been driven off from the macerals.

The heat content of bituminous coal ranges from 21 million to 30 million Btu/ton (24 to 35 MJ/kg) on a moist, mineral-matter-free basis.

Bituminous coal is usually black, sometimes dark brown, often with well-defined bands of bright and dull material. Bituminous coal seams are stratigraphically identified by the distinctive sequence of bright and dark bands and are classified accordingly as either "dull, bright-banded" or "bright, dull-banded" and so on.