How to Spot Anthracite?

How to Spot Anthracite?

PostBy: ktm rider On: Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:38 pm

I burn only soft ( bituminous) coal in my boiler but I have a chance to buy a few tons of anthracite for an obscenely low price. The problem is that Anthracite is rare in my area and I have never actually even seen the stuff. How can I tell if It actually is anthracite or just good soft coal????
ktm rider
 
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS Multifuel
Stove/Furnace Model: CO 55 with oil backup

PostBy: Oo-v-oO On: Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:16 pm

I've never seen soft coal before, but I believe that Anthracite will be much harder and shinier than bitumuinous. Some Anthracite is quite pretty to look at, actually, but maybe I'm biased. :)
Oo-v-oO
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Ashley

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Oct 26, 2006 4:00 am

Anthracite is a lighter gray-black, and shiny. The bituminous is darker, and often more dull or sooty looking.

And Bituminous is soft, you can break a softball sized chunk of Bitum. with a hammer, if you hit the same sized chunk of Anthracite, the hammer bounces off.

In my coal bin, the pile on the left is Anthracite. You can see the slight difference in color.

Greg L
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LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland


PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Oct 26, 2006 5:48 am

I've attached a pic, this would be a premium piece. :wink: The best coal will have a consistency like glass with little or no "layers" in it. Shards that are broken off from larger pieces can be razor sharp if they break off the correct way. Be aware that it may not appear really shiny if it wasn't cleaned thoroughly or has been sitting around. It tends to get a film on it after a while. Rub it to see.

Once cleaned you should be able to handle it without getting any coal on your hands. I can't compare it to bituminous because I've never actually seen a piece. :lol: Anthracite will be very hard though and from my understanding bituminous can easily be broken even with your hands. Perhaps someone that has used it more can clarify that.

@Greg... You may want to consider adding some support to those coal bin walls as it doesn't look sturdy enough. :shock: One good thing, if WW3 starts you have a bunker half built. 8)
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Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:57 am

Yea, but I haven't figured out how to make a concrete ROOF for the coal bin yet... :shock: :o :lol: LOL.

Those blocks were cheap, the local concrete companies make them from left-over mix in the trucks. Because of the price, compared to pressure-treated wood, and the ease of just stacking the blocks, they were ideal for making my bin.

It took just a few hours to stack the blocks, and I can remove them just as easily if I need to move the coal bin, or decide to get fancy and put down a concrete slab under the bin.

I have a tarp stretched over the bin now, to keep rain and snow off the coal. I had my coal freeze last year, had to use a pick-ax to break it up. I looked like a 'real' coal miner then!!


Greg L
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:11 am

LsFarm wrote: I had my coal freeze last year, had to use a pick-ax to break it up. I looked like a 'real' coal miner then!!


Try driving down the road about 20 miles with a wet load of coal in 20 degree weather. :x The top gets frozen and to some extent on the sides, sometimes as much as a foot. The top is the worse though because the wind drives down into the coal. It's the worse on the back of the truck. I made a delivery more than once where it still looked like I had a whole load on after dumping 2-3 ton into the bin like a tunnel from the front of the truck to the back. Completely frozen on the top and the sides all the way around. Nut isn't too bad because it breaks apart really easy but the rice can be a problem. Fortunately my truck bed is lined with stainless so unless it gets real cold it's not real big problem.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: red ash On: Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:28 pm

My friend owns his own coal delivery business and often tells stories of sitting at the breaker waiting for them to unfreeze it. Sometimes he can't get coal and has to try elsewhere! He says rice is bad and under-size rice is even worse in freezing weather.
red ash