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Charcoal is carbon in its non-crystalline form. It is used as a fuel and in producing steel.

Charcoal briquettes (commonly produced by partially burning wood) are used for outdoor barbecues. They burn slowly and without flames, providing steady heat for cooking picnic food. Charcoal pencils are used in sketching.

Charcoal is useful for reducing metallic oxides, because it can chemically combine with the oxygen in the metal oxide. This produces a gas (carbon dioxide), which escapes. This has been the method by which many elements were isolated. The same process, with another form of carbon (called "coke"), is used at an industrial level, for example, in making steel.

Charcoal is used to filter some forms of whiskey.