Coal has differing physical and chemical characteristics, which vary depending upon where it is found. It is second only to oil as an energy source used by the world. Coal is also one of the largest commodities transported by ship or rail line worldwide.
Metallurgical coal, also known as coking coal, supplies the heat and carbon used in the steel mill process to make steel products. The high temperatures created from the use of coke gives steel it’s strength and flexibility, so it can be used in bridges, buildings, and automobiles.
While metallurgical coal is primarily used by steel companies, it is also used by a variety of other industrial users to heat and power foundries, cement plants, paper mills, chemical plants and other manufacturing and processing facilities.Metallurgical coal is less abundant than steam coal and can be used either for making coke or as a replacement for steam coal.
Steam coal, also known as thermal coal, is the world’s most abundant fossil fuel and is found in many parts of the world. It is generally lower in carbon content and higher in moisture content than metallurgical coal. Steam coal is used primarily as fuel by utilities to generate electrical power. It is also used by industrial facilities to produce steam, electricity or both.