Analyze the significance of coal as a major fossil fuel in India. Describe the different types of coal and their geographical distribution in the country. 


Answer by Student


  • Coal is a conventional source of energy that holds significant importance as a major fossil fuel in India , serving as a vital energy resource for various sectors. India heavily relies on coal to meet its commercial energy requirements.


  • The different types of coal found in India include peat, lignite, bituminous coal, metallurgical coal, and anthracite.
    • Peat is the initial stage of coal formation and has low carbon content, high moisture content, and low heating capacity. 
    • Lignite is a low-grade brown coal with high moisture content, found in Neyveli in Tamil Nadu, primarily used for electricity generation.
    •  Bituminous coal, the most commonly used coal in commercial applications, is formed when coal is buried deep and subjected to increased temperatures.
    • Metallurgical coal, a high-grade bituminous coal, is valuable for smelting iron in blast furnaces. Anthracite, the highest quality hard coal, is also found in India.
  • Coal deposits in India are found in rock series of two main geological ages: Gondwana and Tertiary.
    •  The major reserves of Gondwana coal , including metallurgical coal, are located in the Damodar Valley in West Bengal and Jharkhand.
    • Tertiary coals occur in the northeastern states of Meghalaya, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland


  • Coal is a bulky material , and its weight reduces as it is consumed and turns into ash. Therefore, heavy industries and thermal power stations are often situated near coalfields to minimize transportation costs. 

  • The presence of coalfields has facilitated the establishment of industries such as iron and steel, cement, fertilizers, chemicals, and thermal power generation. The availability of coal has played a crucial role in the country's industrialization and energy generation.
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Davneet Singh has done his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He has been teaching from the past 14 years. He provides courses for Maths, Science, Social Science, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science at Teachoo.