Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Wikipedia.


(lĭg`nīt) or

brown coal,

carbonaceous fuel intermediate between coalcoal,
fuel substance of plant origin, largely or almost entirely composed of carbon with varying amounts of mineral matter. Types

There is a complete series of carbonaceous fuels, which differ from each other in the relative amounts of moisture, volatile matter,
..... Click the link for more information.
 and peatpeat,
soil material consisting of partially decomposed organic matter, found mainly in swamps and bogs in various parts of the northern temperate zone but also in some semitropical and tropical regions.
..... Click the link for more information.
, brown or yellowish in color and woody in texture. It contains more moisture than coal and tends to dry and crumble when exposed to the air; the flame is long and smoky and the heating power low. The burning of lignite produces more pollution and greenhouse gases than coal. It is found in the United States, Canada, Germany, and elsewhere chiefly in formations formed in the Tertiary period.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a fossil, slightly carbonized wood of a brown color which has preserved the anatomical structure of the tissues and is externally similar to unaltered wood, as well as the brown coal formed entirely or partly from such wood.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Coal of relatively recent origin, intermediate between peat and bituminous coal; often contains patterns from the wood from which it formed. Also known as brown coal; earth coal.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


a brown carbonaceous sedimentary rock with woody texture that consists of accumulated layers of partially decomposed vegetation: used as a fuel. Fixed carbon content: 46--60 per cent; calorific value: 1.28 × 107 to 1.93 × 107 J/kg (5500 to 8300 Btu/lb)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The coal, lignite, and anthracite mining market consists of sales of coal, lignite, and anthracite by entities (organizations, sole traders and partnerships) that mine bituminous, anthracite, and lignite coal by underground mining, strip mining, culm bank mining, and other surface mining techniques.
(1) The effect of the solid/liquid ratio (S/L ratio), C[O.sub.3.sup.2- ]/HC[O.sub.3.sup.-] ratio, the leaching reagent concentration, and oxidants on the uranium leaching efficiency of the lignite
Mohsin Babbar, media and communication incharge at SECMC, in a detailed presentation said there is around 175 billion tons of lignite in Thar Coal Reserves spanning over around 9,000km areas.
The company has moved from an only lignite mining and power generation company to become an energy company.
As the country's first project firing Pakistani Thar lignite, the plant will help reduce the pressure on foreign exchange reserves, support Pakistan's energy independence and promote the country's goal under Vision 2025 to increase the percentage of indigenous sources of power generation to over 50 percent.
"No other country in the world uses as much lignite as we use in Germany," Uwe Leprich, head of the climate protection and energy department at the German Federal Environment Agency, or UBA, told DW.
The current study is focused on the co-combustion of lignite coal and biomass in different ratios of both the components to optimize the process.
About 40% of Turkey's lignite is in the Afsin-Elbistan basin of south-eastern Anatolia, while hard coal is mined only in the Zonguldak basin of north-western Turkey.
The plant is supposed to turn soft lignite coal into a gas, burn the gas to generate power and extract chemicals to reduce pollution.
According to Eurocoal, as cited by, Bulgaria produced 26.4 million tonnes of lignite and 2.1 million tones of anthracite in 2013.
PGE is trying to obtain the extraction license for the Gubin lignite deposits and might consider building a power plant there, Bloomberg reports, citing Jacek Kaczorowski, the CEO of the gencoaACAOs mining and conventional power unit.