Wednesday, 3 February 2016


Coal :

main source of energy in the country and accounts for 67% of the commercial requirement of the country.
The coal of India may be classified under two categories: (i) Gondwana coal, and (ii) Tertiary coal. 
·         Gondwana Coal 
  1.  belongs to the carboniferous period (570 million years to 245 million years back). 
     2.found in the Damodar , Mahanadi, Godavari, and Narmada valleys. Raniganj, Jharia, Bokaro, Ramgarh, Giridih, Chandrapur, Karanpura, Tatapani, Talcher, Himgiri, Korba, Penchghati, Sarguja, Kamthi, Wardha Valley, Singreni (A.P.) and Singrauli. 
3. The Jharguda coal mine (Chhattisgarh) is the thickest coal seam 132 metres of the Gondwana Period, followed by the Kargali seam near Bokaro coalfield which is about 30 metres in thickness. 
4. Over 98 per cent of the total coal reserves of India belong to the Gondwana Period. 
5. mainly bituminous or anthracite in which the carbon content varies between 60 to 90 per cent. 
6. The bituminous coal is converted into coke before being used in the iron and steel industry.

The Tertiary: 

1.found in the rocks of the Oligocene period of the Tertiary Era. 
2.about 15 to 60 million years old. 
3.also known as the 'brown coal'. 
4.contributes only about two per cent of the total coal production of the country. inferior type of coal in which the carbon varies between 30 per cent in Gujarat and Rajasthan to 50 per cent in Assam. 
6.Lignite coal is found in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat (Kachchh) Kerala, ammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, 7.Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal (Darjeeling District). 
8.The largest lignite deposits of the country are at Neyveli in the state of Tamil Nadu.
The different types of coal and their characteristics have been given in the following


 1. contains the highest percentage of moisture, gives more smoke, has less than 40 per cent carbon and,
2. therefore, is the lowest and most inferior quality of coal. 
3. represents the first stage of coal formation. 

2.Lignite (Brown-Coal): 

a.superior to peat.
b.Under the increasing pressure and heat, with the passage of time, peat is converted into lignite. 
c. contains 40 to 60 per cent carbon. It is mainly found in Neyveli (Tamil Nadu), Palna (Rajasthan), Lakhimpur (Assam), Jaintia Hills (Meghalaya), Nagaland, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, and the union territory of Pondicherry. 
d. deposits in India estimated around 38930 million tonnes, out of which 4150 million tonnes are in Neyveli area of Tamil Nadu (2010). 
e. also found in Assam, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Rajasthan.

3.Bituminous (Black-Coal): 

a. When coal is buried very deep, the moisture gets expelled. 
b.The seam subjected to increased temperatures results into the formation of bituminous coal. 
c. dense, compact and black in colour. 
d. The traces of original vegetation from which it has been formed are found in this coal. 
e. Containing 60 to 80 per cent carbon, 
f. the most popular coal in commercial use. 
g. The name is derived after a liquid called bitumen released after heating. 
h. used in making coke (coking coal), gas coal, and steam coal. 
i. Coking coal results from the heating of coal in the absence of oxygen, which burns off volatile gases and is mainly j. j. used in iron and steel industry. 
k. found in Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh.

4.Anthracite (Hard Coal) 

a. highest quality of coal containing 80 to 90 per cent carbon. 
b. very little volatile matter and insignificant proportion of moisture. 
c. short blue flame. 
d. the most expensive.

Distribution of Coalfields in India: 
accounting for about 29 per cent, has the first rank in coal reserves and its production. 
belongs to the Gondwana period. 
Main coal mining centres are Auranga, Bokaro, Daltenganj, Dhanbad, Giridih, Hutar, Jharia, Karanpur, and Ramgarh .
(a) The Jharia: 
1. Jharia is the largest and most important coal producing mine, which sprawls over an area of about 460 sq km. 
2. contains the best metallurgical coal (bituminous). 
3. Nearly 90 per cent of the coking coal is produced from the Jharia mine. 
4. coal is mainly supplied to the iron and steel plants of Asansol, Bokaro, Durgapur, and Jamshedpur.
(b)The Bokaro Coalfield: 
1. stretches in the valley of Bokaro river in Hazaribagh district,
2. mainly supplied to the iron and steel plant of Bokaro. 
(c) The Giridih or Karharbari Coalfield: 
stretches in the district of Hazaribagh. 
coal is supplied to the Bokaro and Jamshedpur steel plants.
(d) The Karanpur Coalfield: 
(e) The Ramgarh Coalfield: 
(f) The Hutar Coalfield: 
(g) The Daltenganj Coalfield; 
(h) Deogarh Coalfields: 
mainly used in the brick kilns. 
1.The state of Orissa has more than 24 per cent of the total coal reserves and produces about 15 per cent of the total coal production of the country.
2. In Orissa most of the coal deposits are found in Dhenkanal, Sambalpur, and Sundargarh districts. 
The Talcher Coalfield: 
3. Stretching over Dhenkanal and Sambalpur districts, the Talcher coalfield covers an area of about 500 sq km. 
4. the second largest coal reserves in the country after Raniganj. . 
5. mainly utilised in the thermal power and fertiliser plants of Talcher. 

Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh:
The state of Chhattisgarh has the third largest coal reserves (about 17 per cent of all India) in the country after Jharkhand and Orissa, but it holds the first rank in its production. 
The Singrauli Coalfield: 
The Korba Coalfield: 
The Pech-Kanha-Tawa Coalfield: 
Umaria Coalfield:

West Bengal: 

1.West Bengal has about 11 per cent of the total coal reserves of India. 
2.The coal deposits of West Bengal lie in Bankura, Bardhman, Birbhum, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, and Puruliya districts. 
3. The most important of coal reserves and mining coalfield of West Bengal is Raniganj. 
Raniganj Coalfield: 
•Stretching over 185 sq km in the Bardhman and Birbhum district to the north-west of Kolkata, it is the most important coalfield of West Bengal. 
1. known for the good quality of coking coal. 
2. contains 50 to 65 per cent of carbon. 
3. used in the metallurgical industry, especially in the Durgapur iron and steel plant.
The Darjeeling Coalfield: 
powder form with coking quality. 

Madhya Pradesh: 

About 8 per cent of the coal reserves of India are found in Madhya Pradesh, 
The main coal deposits lie at Singrauli, Muhpani, Satpura, Sohagpur and Pench-Kanhan. 

Andhra Pradesh: 

About 7 per cent of the coal reserves of India are found in Andhra Pradesh. 
found in the Godavari valley. 
The Singareni coalfield lying about 185 km to the east of Hyderabad is the main mining area of coal in Andhra Pradesh. 
Another important coal producing centre is at Kottagudam. 
Its coal seam is of about 18 metres and the coal is of good quality.
lie in the Wardha valley, stretching over the Nagpur (Kampte-coalfield), and Yavatmal districts. 
utilised by the railways and the thermal power stations of Trombay, Chola (Kalyan), Khaperkheda, Paras, Ballarshah, Nasik and Koradi
Coal Deposits of the Tertiary Period 
came into existence during the Eocene, the Oligocene, and Miocene periods. 
found in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Jammu and Kashmir states. 
also known as brown coal. 
Containing more moisture, it has less carbon content. 

Tamil Nadu: 

the largest deposits of lignite at Neyveli in the South Arcot district.

Lignite deposits are found in the districts of Bikaner (Palana and Khari mines). 
It is of inferior quality and used mostly in the thermal power plants and railways.
Found in Bharauch district and Kachchh. 
poor quality with about 35 per cent carbon and more moisture.
Jammu and Kashmir: 
found at Raithan of the Shaliganga, Handwara, Baramulla, Riasi and Udhampur districts, and the karewas of Badgam and Srinagar. 
inferior quality.
West Bengal: 
lignite deposits of the Tertiary period are found in Burza Hills of Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling districts. 
Scattered deposits of lignite have also been discovered in Pondicherry. 
Problems of Coal Industry in India:
The main problems of the coal mining industry are as under:
Unequal Distribution of Coal
Poor Quality of Coal
Less Efficient Transport System
Obsolete Method of Mining.
Shortage of Power Supply
Fires and Water-logging 
Conservation of Coal 
The coking and good quality coal should be reserved only for metallurgical industry.
Low grade coal should be washed and impurities removed by modern techniques. 
Selective mining should be stopped by an act of law. All possible grades of coal should be obtained from all the mines.
Environmental safety laws should be effectively implemented. 
The thermal power plants should be located at the pit-heads to enhance power generation.
The pilferages and theft of electricity should be minimised.
New reserves should be discovered. 8. The non-conventional sources of energy should be popularised.

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