Coal is a dark brown to black rock formed when plant matter is buried and exposed to pressure over geologic time spans. Coal, which consists primarily of carbon, is a fossil fuel that is burned to generate electricity.
Like coal, charcoal is a solid black fuel made mostly of carbon. Charcoal is made by heating wood or other organic substances in the absence of air. Charcoal is also used in drawing, and to absorb odors, gases, and toxins. While coal is usually mined, charcoal is manufactured.