Anthracite coal is the highest-rank coal.  It forms by very low- to low-grade metamorphism of bituminous coal.  Anthracite is always black-colored, with a glassy texture, and is harder & heavier than the other coals (although it is still relatively soft & lightweight).  Unlike lignite and bituminous coal, anthracite is not sooty to the touch.  Anthracite burns hotter than other coal types, due to its high carbon content (about 90% C).  It also is the cleanest-burning of all the coals.


Anthracite is the rarest variety of coal.  The highest concentration of this rock is in Pennsylvanian-aged anthracite coal fields in eastern Pennsylvania, USA.


Anthracite coal (3.9 cm across)



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