Uses of coal
Coal is mainly used as fuel to generate electricity through combustion. Thermal coal is used in power stations to generate electricity.
The steel industry is the second largest user of coal. Coal and iron are essential raw materials used in the production of steel, which is one the most useful metals products known to man.
Coking coal is used as a fuel to melt iron in furnaces to produce cast iron which in turn is further refined to produce steel. Coking coal is a solid carbonaceous residue derived from low-ash, low-sulphur bituminous coal.
Coal is used as an energy source in the cement industry given that the production of cement is extremely energy-intensive. By-products generated from burning coal are also used in concrete production.
Paper and aluminium industries
Both of these industries are energy-intensive. Given that coal is currently the most cost-effective source of energy, it is an essential input.
Chemical and pharmaceutical industries
Many chemical products are manufactured from the by-products of coal. Refined coal tar is used to make chemicals such as creosote oil, naphthalene, phenol and benzene.
Coal gas and coal liquid as transportation fuel
Coal can be converted into gas and liquid which can be used to fuel cars, motorcycles and ships.
Coal can be turned into ammonia fertiliser by breaking it into carbon monoxide and hydrogen gas. The hydrogen mixes with nitrogen to make ammonia.