What are the elements in coal?

2 Answers
Jun 19, 2017

To a first approximation coal is composed of carbon.......


And of course, mined coal contains a lot of other trace elements....

Jun 21, 2017

Coal is rated by its carbon concentration; yielding greater calorific content as the carbon ratio increases.


There are other elements in coal as well, as a result of the process that forms this type of rock. Coal began forming in pre-historic times when the lush forests of plant life grew and died and fell into the swamp or watershed. As the land evolved, dirt and more vegetation would fall on the dead plants below. The weight would continue to pile on until the plant life at the bottom was pressurized into rock formations we know as coal veins.

Since we know that coal was originally plant life, we can now understand the different elements in its composition. They include oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and carbon as a major ingredient. Of course due to its formation process, coal can contain many other elements, depending largely on its origin.

There are three major classifications for coal, being lignite, bitumen, and anthracite, in ascending order of quality.

There is more coal information here:

And coal types are here: