Coal grade: This classification refers to coal quality and use.
- Briquettes are made from compressed coal dust, with or without a binding agent such as asphalt.
- Cleaned coal or prepared coal has been processed to reduce the amount of impurities present and improve the burning characteristics.
- Compliance coal is a coal, or a blend of coal, that meets sulfur dioxide emission standards for air quality without the need for flue-gas desulfurization.
- Culm and silt are waste materials from preparation plants. In the anthracite region, culm consists of coarse rock fragments containing as much as 30 percent small-sized coal. Silt is a mixture of very fine coal particles (approximately 40 percent) and rock dust that has settled out from waste water from the plants. The terms culm and silt are sometimes used interchangeably and are sometimes called refuse. Culm and silt have a heat value ranging from 8 to 17 million Btu per ton.
- Low-sulfur coal generally contains 1 percent or less sulfur by weight. For air quality standards, "low sulfur coal" contains 0.6 pounds or less sulfur per million Btu, which is equivalent to 1.2 pounds of sulfur dioxide per million Btu.
- Metallurgical coal (or coking coal) meets the requirements for making coke. It must have a low ash and sulfur content and form a coke that is capable of supporting the charge of iron ore and limestone in a blast furnace. A blend of two or more bituminous coals is usually required to make coke.
- Pulverized coal is a coal that has been crushed to a fine dust in a grinding mill. It is blown into the combustion zone of a furnace and burns very rapidly and efficiently.
- Slack coal usually refers to bituminous coal one-half inch or smaller in size.
- Steam coal refers to coal used in boilers to generate steam to produce electricity or for other purposes.
- Stoker coal refers to coal that has been crushed to specific sizes (but not powdered) for burning on a grate in automatic firing equipment.