The preparation of carbon nanomaterials Such as fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, bamboo-shaped carbon nanotubes, novel iron decorated carbon nanorods and carbon-coated metal particles using coal as the carbon source has been reviewed. Plasma arcing is currently the most widely used process in the synthesis of carbon nanomaterials from coal. Because coal is a molecular solid and graphite is a lattice solid, there are distinct differences in the reaction mechanisms between the two carbon Sources, During plasma arc heating, the coals decompose and generate a variety of species with simple aromatic Structures. Some basic,species may let as the building blocks of carbon nanomaterials. Coal properties in this case are important and the mineral matter in raw coals may also play an important part in the formation process of carbon nanomitterials. Coal is cheap and the most abundant carbon source material. Coal as a carbon source will be a favorable option if a large-scale commercial process for carbon nanornaterials production can be developed.