Coal Classification

  In the United States, coals are classified by rank progressively from lignite (least carbonaceous) to anthracite (most carbonaceous) based on the proximate analyses of various properties (fixed carbon, volatile matter, heating value, and agglomerating character), following methods prescribed by the American Society for Testing and Materials. The International Coal Classification of the Economic Commission for Europe recognizes two broad categories of coal, “brown coal” and “hard coal.” In terms of U.S. coal classification, the international classification of brown coal includes lignite and lower-ranked subbituminous coal, whereas hard coal includes all higher rank coals. See Coal Rank.
  U.S. Dept. of Energy, Energy Information Administration's Energy Glossary

Energy terms . 2014.

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