- Steel production – As reducing agent or reactant.
- Refining alumina – In low-temperature sintering process.
- Improvement in the speed and efficiency of combustion (compared with lumped coal).
- Low-cost energy source
Coal dust is a fine powdered form of coal, created by the crushing, grinding, or pulverizing of coal. Due to the brittle nature of coal, coal dust (fugitive dust) is common and easily created during mining, transportation and even by mechanically handling coal.
The grinding of coal to dust before combusting is generally done to improve the speed and efficiency of burning, also simplifying its handling.
It is also considered potentially hazardous, when suspended in air:
Enclosed location – an acute rapid combustion or explosion-hazard of the fine suspended particles. Inhalation – Coal dust can cause chronic pulmonary illnesses, when inhaled in excessive quantities.