Can I make synthetic...coal?

OK, I know it’s possible to make synthetic petroleum. Using say, Coal, or bio-matter as a feed stock.

But what I’m wondering is: Is it possible to make synthetic coal? As in, whatever I make the stuff from, I could burn it in an old steam engine to make it go.

I know it’s a pointless throwback, that’s my problem. But if it is possible to do it—for whatever crazy reason you’d want to—could it be done economically? (As in, without having to spend ridiculously more time and energy making the synthetic coal than you could ever spend getting the real stuff.)

How about charcoal? Usually produced by heating wood in the absence of oxygen, consisting of 85-98% carbon. Traditionally produced by firing a huge pile of wood covered with turf or soil to limit the air supply (wikipedia )

If people could do this, they would. If it would save them money, or even be close to competitive, somebody would be doing so in places where coal is hard to find.

In fact, you can find lots of references to synthetic coal making.

Synthetic coal draws bad press, IRS attention

Synthetic coal boom.

But if you look closely, they are about the rush to get in on a tax credit that was the only thing that made the coal competetive.

If you want to try your luck yourself, you can take a look at this patent.

In principle with enough heat and pressure you could turn wood into something resembling coal.

The synthetic coal mentioned above (patent excepted) is just a tax scam, by taking normal coal, doing a quick wave of hands or addition of diesel etc to get “synthetic” coal.