The amount of fixed carbon in lignite varies from 35 to 40% Lignite is used for thermal power generation as industrial and domestic fuel, and besides it can also be used for carbonisation and fertilizer production.
The importance of lignite fuel is greater on account of the fact that most of the deposits are located in areas at considerable distance from the coal deposits of the north-eastern parts of the peninsula. The use of lignite in these areas can save the expenditure on long distance freight on coal transport.
Production and Distribution:
The reserves of lignite have been estimated as a litle over 3, 9897.58 million tonnes as on 2010 out of which the major contributor is the lignite basin of Tamil Nadu. 4,150 million tonnes in Neyveli area of Cuddalore district in Tamil Nadu of which about 2,360 million tonnes have been proved.
Geological reserves of about 1,206 million tonnes of lignite have been identified in Jayam Kondacholapuram of Trichy district in Tamil Nadu. Lignite reserves have been identified in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir and Kerala to the extent of 32,392 million tonnes, 4, 80,402 million tonnes, 2662.75 million tonnes and 27.5 million tonnes respectively. Lignite reserves at Neyveli are exploited by Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited (CNLC).
Lignite occurs at Umarsar, Lefsi, Jhulrai and Baranda except Umarsar, the lignite of other places are of poor quality.
Jammu and Kashmir:
The lignite deposits belonging to Pliocene and even a Newer Age have been found in considerable quantity. Two horizons have been recognized in the Shaliganga River, Ferozepur Nala sector. Lignite is also found in the Nichahom area near Handwara in Baramula district, Chokibal area in the Kanahom Nar at Honginkut.
Irregular seams of lignite occur near Pathiarpally in Alappuzha district. Warkala in Thiruvanthapuram district and Paravur in Quilon district have irregular beds of lignite while Cannanore and Kasargod taluk have occurrences of lignite.
Lignite usable as fuel occurs with soft water-logged sandstones and shales. Lignite fields have been discovered in Neyveli in S. Arcot which extend over an area of 480 sq. km. These are the largest deposits of lignite in south-east Asia and can sustain power generation for more than hundred years.
Extensive deposits of lignite occur at Palana in Bikaner district. The thickness of the lignite bed varies from 6.1 to 11.9 m and increases north westward. Lignite is reported to occur in many other districts of Rajasthan.
Occurrences of lignite of good quality and quantity are reported on the western side of Jainti river and in the Buza Hill, north-north west of Jainti while the deposits in Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts are in small pockets. Beds of lignite occur in the Ganga delta.
Lignite deposits have been recorded from near Bahur, Araganur and Kanniyankovil, Padukadal, Vadapuran, Kadvanur and Paliayam.