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INDUSTRY AND USES

Pennsylvania Pennsylvanian Anthracite Fields Investors Investors

Anthracite is a very versatile product with a number of qualities which make it suitable for both domestic and commercial use.

The most common misconception of anthracite is due to the fact that it is classified as a coal, so it is often assumed to be just another fuel source. However, anthracite should not be confused with ‘ordinary’ bituminous coal, as its primary value is as a component in the steel and ferrous industries. It is therefore not vulnerable to the same market shifts as bituminous coal, and can easily command double the price per ton of, for example, Appalachian bituminous coal.

Domestic

Anthracite is a very economical fuel for heating homes and business buildings across America. It is a very efficient fuel, providing a high heat value, as it burns consistently and slowly. Aside from how cost-effective it is, anthracite is a clean-burning natural fuel source, providing little or no smoke or sooty residue build-up. This makes it safe to use, environmentally friendly, and convenient with relatively little maintenance or cleaning needed.
Commercial

The industry most commonly associated with anthracite is steelmaking, and it can be used in a number of different processes.

  • In Basic Oxygen Steelmaking (BOF), replacing small amounts of met coke with anthracite as a reducing agent saves up to 30% in costs.
  • In Electric Arc Furnaces, anthracite is sought after due to its low cost per lb of fixed carbon, and the low sulphur content, and is again used as a reducing agent, added to the furnace with the charged material.
  • In Pulverised Coal Injection, anthracite is the most popular choice of injection carbon due to its low sulphur content, as the closest alternative, met coal, is too abrasive. This process dramatically increases the efficiency of steelmaking.

Other industrial uses include:

  • Sugar production
  • Water purification and filtration
  • Process carbon in the manufacture of bricks, wire, silicon and glass
  • As fuel in the Blast Furnace process for coke manufacture