What is Lignite?
Wood and other vegetable matter decayed and transformed under pressure millions of years ago to form coal. Lignite has a Lower Rank in the coalification process, meaning this more recent than bituminous and anthracite coals.
Called Brown Coal, vast reserves of lignite are available in limited areas of the world. Australia, US and China have the major reserve of Lignite. Germany leads the pack with the largest number of power plants burning Lignite. In US, most of the reserves are located in the North Dakota province.
In India, the Lignite reserves are in Neyveli in the south and in Rajasthan.
Low calorific value and resulting low cost is what makes it attractive. Because of the lower energy density, transportation is not attractive. Lignite power plants are located near to the mines.
Around 17 % of the world’s coal reserves are lignite. As the world’s oil and gas reserves decline, other sources become attractive. That is why there is a sustained interest in the use of Lignite.