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Around Bzenec Oak Forest


Lignite is a type of brown coal with a typical structure, strongly reminiscent of wood. It could be placed somewhere between coal and peat. Its energy density (heating value) is lower than that of black coal. Although lignite is easier to convert into gas and liquid petroleum products, it contains more moisture and is more susceptible to spontaneous combustion, which makes it more difficult to transport and store.

In the Czech Republic, lignite deposits are found especially in South Bohemia (Ceske Budejovice) and here, in South Moravia (the Hodonin area). The first local lignite mine (Tomas), ranking among the most up-to-date mines in Europe, was opened by the Zlin based Tomas Bata Shoes Company at the village of Ratiskovice in 1933. It produced fuel for the company’s power station in Otrokovice near Zlin, some 40km to the north-east. The lignite was transported by a small railway to Sudomerice, where it was transferred to boats and shipped further north via the Morava river and the Bata Canal, built specifically for that purpose. Bata’s lignite mines employed a considerable number of local people. The company paid well and even provided housing (44 typical “Bata” red brick semidetached houses) for its mine workers. The mine closed in 1952.

loď s lignitem

Lignite is still mined in the region (Mikulcice). It is burnt at the Hodonin power station but the energy efficiency is not high and alternative uses are being explored (e.g. as a sorbent, a material used to absorb liquids or gases, including toxic substances).

GPS position

N 48° 56.511', E 17° 10.656'



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