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Chemistry > Coal and Petroleum > Coal and Coke
Coal and Petroleum

Coal and Coke

What is coke? All of us have had ‘coke’ i.e coca cola at some point or the other in our lives. But is it the same? Well no, it is actually a type of non- renewable fuel. Let’s us find out more about it.

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Introduction to Coal

Coal is a black sedimentary rock occurring in coal beds and coal mines. Coal is mined from these coal beds and mines. It takes millions of years for its formation. It occurs naturally. When plants and dead animals decay and get buried under the mud, carbon gets trapped in the sediments and carbonizations take places.

Various types of coal are used for various types of purposes. For e.g. thermal coal is used for the production of electricity or power. Steel production uses coking steel. Activated carbon is used in filters and water purification. Activated charcoal is used to make face packs and toothpaste. Coal is also used for manufacturing and in cooking, for example, barbecue. It helps to create alumina refineries. Products such as resins, lubricants,  certain hair shampoos, etc also contain coal in it.

What is Coke?

Coal has very few impurities in it known as coke and also has a high carbon content. It has a solid state of matter. Its components are the destructive distillation of low-ash, low-sulphur bituminous coal which derives from carbonaceous material and can be found in nature; usually a grey, porous and hard substance. It is also known as pet coke or petroleum coke.

It is almost the pure form of carbo and it consists of carbon similar to coal. Its calorific value (energy produced when 1 Kg of a fuel is burnt) is about 56,000 kilojoules/kilogram and is more expensive than coal. It is made in an airless furnace or oven temperatures as high as two thousand degree Celsius but usually around one thousand to one thousand one hundred degrees Celsius. This process eliminates the volatile parts of the coal, such as tar, water, and gas.

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Uses of Coke

The following are the uses of coke :

  • It is used to reduce iron oxide to produce iron.
  • It can be used in households as a clean fuel, relatively free of smoke and impurities.
  • In the past, it was often used in kitchen stoves.
  • Coke is also used to produce water gas.
  • It is used as a reducing agent in smelting iron ore.
  • Even blacksmiths use it as a fuel in blacksmithing.
  • In the sixties and seventies, it was used for house heating.
  • It was used for domestic heating following the creation of smokeless zones.
  • Some people roast malted barley for use in their Scotch Whisky burning a mixture of coke and peat.
  • NASA used it as of the materials used in the heat shielding of  Apollo Command Module.
  • It is also used as a synthetic gas.

Solved Example For You

Q. What is the calorific value (energy produced when 1 Kg of a fuel is burnt) of Coke?

  1. 65000 kilograms
  2. 56000 kilograms
  3. 560000 kilograms
  4. 650000 kilograms

Sol: The calorific value of coke is 65000 kilograms or kilojoules.

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