Coking Coal of the United States—Modern and Historical Coking Coal Mining Locations and Chemical, Rheological, Petrographic, and Other Data from Modern Samples

Open-File Report 2020-1113
By: , and 

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Abstract

Coking coal, or metallurgical coal, has been produced in the United States for nearly 200 years. Coking coal is primarily used in the production of coke for use in the steel industry, and for other uses (for example, foundries, blacksmithing, heating buildings, and brewing). Currently, U.S. coking coal is produced in Alabama, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Virginia , and West Virginia. Historically, coking coal has also been produced in 15 other states (Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming), but currently is not. Coals from the Appalachian, Arkoma, and Illinois basins are Pennsylvanian in age, while coals in Alaska, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming range in age from Early Cretaceous through Eocene.

This Open-File Report presents the geographic locations of current and historical coking coal deposits of the United States, with additional information about recent and historical mining and exploration activities. Chemical, rheological, petrographic, and other criteria for evaluating the coking potential of coals are discussed, and historical data for coking coals in the United States are presented. In addition, new coking coal samples from Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Oklahoma were collected and analyzed for this report, and the data are presented in multiple tables, including proximate and ultimate analyses; calorific value; sulfur forms; major-, minor-, and trace-element abundances; Free-Swelling Index; Gieseler Plastometer analyses; American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) dilatation; coal petrography; and predicted values of Coal Stability Factor and Coal Strength after Reaction with CO2 (pCSF and pCSR, respectively). Data from previously analyzed coking coal samples in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia were supplied by three companies, including results from all the tests listed above, plus oxidation, Hardgrove Grindability Index, and ash fusion (in a reducing environment) temperatures are also presented in tables in the report.

Geographic Information System (GIS) data compiled for this project are available for download for public and private utilization and may be used to create maps for a variety of energy resource studies. These GIS data are in shapefile format, and metadata files are included describing all GIS processing. Additional geographic information about coking coal areas of the United States are also presented in tabular format in the report, including the following: names of coal basins, fields, regions, districts, and areas; coal beds or zones; geographic locations including States, counties, towns, rivers, mountains, etc.; stratigraphic hierarchy and age of the coal-bearing interval; coking characteristics including sulfur content, ash yield, volatile matter, moisture, calorific value, and Free-Swelling Index; coal rank; names of coal mines and coal-mining companies; current and past mining activity; and references for reports about the coal.

Suggested Citation

Trippi, M.H., Ruppert, L.F., Eble, C.F., and Hower, J.C., 2021, Coking coal of the United States—Modern and historical coking coal mining locations and chemical, rheological, petrographic, and other data from modern samples: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1113, 112 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201113.

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Coking Coal, Coke, and Steel
  • Chemical, Rheological, Petrographic, and Other Criteria for Evaluating Coking Potential of Coals
  • Coking Coal Deposits of the United States
  • Samples Collected and Analyzed for This Report
  • Sample Data from Other Sources
  • Discussion of Results
  • Conclusions
  • References Cited
  • Appendix 1. Information About Coking Coal Deposits in the United States
  • Appendix 2. Location Data for Coal Samples Analyzed for this Report and Coal Sample Data Shared by Mining Companies
  • Appendix 3. Proximate and Ultimate Analysis Data for Coal Samples Analyzed for This Report and Coal Sample Data Shared by Coal Mining Companies
  • Appendix 4. Major Element Data for Ash Samples Analyzed for This Report and Ash Sample Data Shared by Mining Companies
  • Appendix 5. Minor and Trace Element Data for Coal Samples Analyzed for This Report and Coal Sample Data Shared by Mining Companies
  • Appendix 6. Rheological Data for Coal Samples Analyzed for This Report and Coal Sample Data Shared by Mining Companies
  • Appendix 7. Petrography Data for Coal Samples Analyzed for This Report and Coal Sample Data Shared by Mining Companies
  • Appendix 8. Miscellaneous Test Data for Coal Samples Shared by Mining Companies
  • Appendix 9A. Thermal and (or) Coking Coal Production and the Number of Coal Mines by State, County, and Mine Type in 2017
  • Appendix 9B. Disposition of Thermal and (or) Coking Coal Beds by State in 2017
  • Appendix 9C. Production and Bed Thickness of Several Major Thermal and (or) Coking Coal Beds by Mine Type in 2017
  • Appendix 10A. Production of Thermal and (or) Coking Coal in Western Kentucky by County in 2018
  • Appendix 10B. Production of Thermal and (or) Coking Coal in Western Kentucky by Mine Type in 2018
  • Appendix 11A. Production of Bituminous Thermal and (or) Coking Coal in Pennsylvania by Coal Bed and County in 2017
  • Appendix 11B. Number of Bituminous Thermal and (or) Coking Coal Mines in Pennsylvania by Coal Bed and County in 2017
  • Appendix 11C. Underground Production of Bituminous Thermal and (or) Coking Coal in Pennsylvania by Coal Bed and County in 2017
  • Appendix 11D. Number of Underground Bituminous Thermal and (or) Coking Coal Mines in Pennsylvania by Coal Bed and County in 2017
  • Appendix 11E. Surface Production of Bituminous Thermal and (or) Coking Coal in Pennsylvania by Coal Bed and County in 2017
  • Appendix 11F. Number of Surface Bituminous Thermal and (or) Coking Coal Mines in Pennsylvania by Coal Bed and County in 2017
  • Appendix 12. Production of Thermal and (or) Coking Coal in Ohio by County and Coal Bed in 2017
  • Appendix 13A. Production of Thermal and (or) Coking Coal in Maryland by Coal Bed and County in 2016
  • Appendix 13B. Number of Thermal and (or) Coking Coal Mines in Maryland by Coal Bed and County in 2016
  • Appendix 13C. Production from Underground and Surface Coal Mines in Maryland by County, Coal Bed, Operator, and Mine Permit Number in 2016
  • Appendix 14A. Production of Thermal and (or) Coking Coal in West Virginia by Coal Bed and County in 2017
  • Appendix 14B. Number of Thermal and (or) Coking Coal Mines in West Virginia by Coal Bed and County in 2017
  • Appendix 15A. Original Coal Resources in Eastern Kentucky, by Bed
  • Appendix 15B. Remaining Coal Resources in Eastern Kentucky in 2012, by Bed
  • Appendix 15C. Percentage of Original Coal Resources Remaining in Eastern Kentucky in 2012
  • Appendix 16A. Production of Thermal and (or) Coking Coal in Eastern Kentucky by County in 2018
  • Appendix 16B. Production of Thermal and (or) Coking Coal in Eastern Kentucky by Mine Type in 2018
  • Appendix 17A. Production of Thermal and (or) Coking Coal in Alabama by County and Mine Type During Fiscal Year 2017 (October 2016 to September 2017)
  • Appendix 17B. Number of Thermal and (or) Coking Coal Mines in Alabama by County and Mine Type During Fiscal Year 2017 (October 2016 to September 2017)
  • Appendix 18. Historical Details of Pittsburgh Coal Bed Mining in the Connellsville and Klondike Coke Districts of Fayette County, Pennsylvania
  • Appendix 19. Historical Details of Lower Freeport Coal-Bed Mining in Indiana, Jefferson, and Fayette Counties, Pennsylvania
  • Appendix 20. Coal Purchased for Manufacturing of Coke in Pennsylvania by Coal Districts of Origin, From 1942 to 1965
  • Appendix 21. Origin of Coal Received by Oven-Coke Plants in Pennsylvania by Producing County, From 1966 to 1976
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Coking coal of the United States—Modern and historical coking coal mining locations and chemical, rheological, petrographic, and other data from modern samples
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2020-1113
DOI 10.3133/ofr20201113
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Eastern Energy Resources Science Center
Description Report: xi, 112 p.; Tables 1.1-21.1; Data Release; Metadata; Spatial Data
Country United States
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
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