Uses of Coal
At one time, coal was predominantly used to heat homes and power railroad locomotives and factories. Today, however, coal serves different purposes for society. The chief use of coal is now electricity generation. More than 90 percent of the coal mined in the United States is used for electric power. Other uses include coking coal for steel manufacturing and industrial process heating. Small amounts are also used to make chemicals and specialty products, often from byproducts of other processes. More information can be found in the following sections:
Coal for Electricity Generation
Coal to Make Coke and Steel
Coal for Industry and Residential Markets
Coal for Specialty Products and Chemicals
Rare Earth Elements from Coal
General Uses of Coal References
- Energy Information Administration, 2016, Annual coal report: , http://www.eia.gov/coal/annual/ [accessed 2016].
- Energy Information Administration, 1997, Effects of Title IV of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 on utilities: An update: U.S. Department of Energy, EIA-0582, 117 p.
- Greb, S.F., Eble, C.F., Peters, D.C., and Papp, A.R., 2006, Coal and the environment: American Geological Institute, Environmental Education Series, 64 p.
- Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, 2016, Kentucky coal facts: http://energy.ky.gov/Pages/CoalFacts.aspx [accessed 2016].
- U.S. Department of Energy, 2016, A brief history of coal use: http://www.fe.doe.gov/education/energylessons/coal/coal_history.html [accessed 2016].
- World Coal Association, 2016, Uses of coal: http://www.worldcoal.org/coal/uses-coal/coal-cement [accessed 2016].