Lignite Deposits - Nigeria is blessed with vast mineral deposits which lignite is one of, in Africa, Nigeria is ranked the first in terms of lignite mineral deposits and the mineral reserve was estimated to be more than 50 million tons, thus, lignite can be found in Nigerian states such as Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Imo State.
Lignite is also referred commonly to as a coal with a brown-brownish black colour. It is combustible, has a high carbon content of about 65% more or less and higher ash content than bituminous coal. Just as coal, it is formed into a sedimentary rock from naturally compressed peat.
The decomposition of dead plants and animals accumulates and forms a peat, and these results in a process called coalification.
Where an increase in temperature and an increase pressure from the peat causes the decays materials to be compressed together creating water loss and the escape of some volatile matter such as methane and carbon dioxide thereby concentrating the carbon and heat content of the material.
As the process of coalification continues at regular intervals, more and more deposit is transformed into higher rank coals such as bituminous and anthracite coal.
In comparing lignite deposits with higher-ranked coals, it is necessary to know that the former is usually younger, and that the majority of its deposit is formed not in the primary or secondary phase, but in the tertiary phase.
Even though lignite is in its abundance in Nigeria, West Africa, there has not been any proper exploitation of this mineral yet, which if put into consideration by the government including its impact on the environment and the people will fetch the country lots of money and will attract foreign and local investors too.
Uses of Lignite