bituminous coal

or soft coal

Most abundant form of coal. It is dark brown to black and has a relatively high heat value. Widely abundant and with the broadest range of commercial uses, it has long been used for steam generation in electric power plants and industrial boiler plants. Certain varieties are also used to make coke, a hard substance of almost pure carbon that is important for smelting iron ore. One major problem is that burning large quantities of bituminous coal that has a medium to high sulfur content contributes to air pollution and produces acid rain. Seealso subbituminous coal.

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