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Anthracite coal
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Anthracite coal

Anthracite is a hard, compact variety of mineral coal, of high lustre, differing from bituminous coal in containing little or no bitumen, in consequence of which it burns with an almost invisible flame. The purer specimens consist almost wholly of carbon.

Anthracite coal is a product of metamorphism and is associated with metamorphic rocks, as bituminous coal is associated with sedimentary rocks. In eastern USA layers of bituminous coal that are strip mined on the (sedimentary) Allegheny Plateau of Kentucky, and West Virginia are the same layers that are deep mined in the folded (metamorphic) Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania.

It was first experimentally burned as a fuel on February 11, 1808 by Judge Jeese Fell in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on a open grate in a fireplace.

Anthracite delivers high energy per weight and burns cleanly with little soot, making it a sought after variety of coal and hence of higher value. It is also used as a filter medium.

In the early 20th century United States, the Lackawanna Railroad started using only the more expensive anthracite coal, dubbed themselves "The Road of Anthracite," and advertised widely that thanks to this travelers on their line could make railway journeys without getting their clothing stained with soot. The advertisements featured white-clad woman named "Phoebe Snow" and poems containing lines like "My gown stays white / From morn till night / Upon the road of Anthracite".

Most anthracite coal in the United States is found in Eastern Pennsylvania where there are 7 billion tons of minable reserves. Deposits at Crested Butte, Colorado were mined historically. Anthracite deposits of 3 billion tons in Alaska have never been mined.

See also jet

External links