lignite (lĭgˈnĪt) [key] or brown coal, carbonaceous fuel intermediate between coal and peat, 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. It is found in the United States, Canada, Germany, and elsewhere chiefly in formations formed in the Tertiary period.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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