The briquettes are formed from coal dust as, I believe, was Anthracite and probably Phurnacite and Ancit.
I use something similar to get our open fire up to heat - then we burn logs for the rest of the evening.
The solid fuel we have is 'Homefire' - smokeless, hexagonal briquettes that come in 20kg bags and we burn about 2/month; there is no waste and little mineral ash.
[I liked the Chinese delivery - it must have been a Tuesday!]
As no-one has mentioned it yet, coke was a by-product of the old gas-works that towns had before natural methane replaced it.
The gas was produced by distilling coal and separating the products: gas, tar oil and coke (which still had a relatively high calorific value).
The tar oil would be further distilled in a fractionating tower to produce fine chemicals such as naphthalene, pyridine etc down to the heavier fractions and heavy oils like creosote. The final product would be coal tar that was used for road building.
As a chemistry student I was shown around one of these places in Scunthorpe - as I was working in sugar manufacture the differences were amazing.