From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sub-bituminous coal is a lower grade of coal that contains 35–45% carbon. The properties of this type are between those of lignite, the lowest grade of coal, and those of bituminous coal, the second-highest grade of coal. [1] Sub-bituminous coal is primarily used as a fuel for steam-electric power generation.


Sub-bituminous coals may be dull, dark brown to black, soft and crumbly at the lower end of the range, to bright jet-black, hard, and relatively strong at the upper end. They contain 15-30% inherent moisture by weight and are non- coking (undergo little swelling upon heating). [2] The heat content of sub-bituminous coals range from 8300 to 11,500 BTu/ lb or 19.3 to 26.7 M J/ kg. Their relatively low density and high water content renders some types of sub-bituminous coals susceptible to spontaneous combustion if not packed densely during storage in order to exclude free air flow.


A major source of sub-bituminous coal in the United States is the Powder River Basin in Wyoming.

Current use

Sub-bituminous coals, in the United States, typically have a sulfur content less than 1% by weight, which makes them an attractive choice for power plants to reduce SO2 emissions under the Acid Rain Program.

See also


  1. ^ "Coal explained". Energy Information Administration. Retrieved 2020-09-26.
  2. ^ The Babcock & Wilcox Company (2005). Steam: its generation and use. The Babcock & Wilcox Company. pp. 36–5. ISBN  0-9634570-1-2.