Illinois Bituminous Coal Quality

Trucking Coal to N IL or S WI

PostBy: drujinin On: Sun Dec 10, 2006 8:54 am

I just read Chris comments on coal in our area as I live in Elkhorn WI. 2 years ago I contacted Reading Coal in PA about price of Chestnut size as I have a brother in the Bradford PA area that burns Rice Coal. The price was around $55 a ton, now I am curious as to the current "Winter" price as delivered Rice coal to my brother is $165 a ton. There is a trucking company out here that hauls "Pea" size from Harrisburg for the Amish at $220 a ton. I don't consider anything over $165 an economical price for me to switch from wood.
drujinin
 

PostBy: europachris On: Sun Dec 10, 2006 10:25 am

Hey, drujinin, you're practically just up the road from me! I'm just north of Belvidere.

Yeah, IMHO, anything over $150 to $175 a ton makes the payback start to look pretty slim on a stove installation. I remember looking into anthracite back in 1989 or so around the Montclair, NJ area (my parents live in Jersey now) and it was $150/ton, but I don't know if that included delivery.

There is a coal company (at least that's what the yellowpages says) down south of here an hour's drive or so. I'm sure they only have Illinois coal, but I'll give them a call on Monday and see what they say. I could haul 2 tons behind the wife's Liberty CRD in a dump trailer pretty easily.

It would be nice to get enough people in small geographic area together and buy a semi-truck dump load of 20 tons or so, especially if you know someone with a trucking firm. But, with the price of diesel, it still will be expensive to truck it that far.

Railcar is the best option, but nobody has the equipment to unload, store, and dispense coal like that anymore, and I really doubt it's in the future, unless the cost of gas and oil go soooo high to make it feasible.

Chris
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Dec 10, 2006 11:50 am

Chris, that is the same problem I have in SE Michigan: getting good coal. So I borrowed a dump trailer and went to Pa and got my own. Next year I'll combine efforts with several other coal burners and get a semi load in the late spring/ early summer.

If you have access to a trailer capable of 4-5 tons, and a good HD pickup to tow it, a 'pilgramage to NEPA is worth the trip. PM me for details.


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


IL Coal

PostBy: drujinin On: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:35 pm

Chris,
Did you get a chance to call about coal availability and price at the place you mentioned?
Jeff
drujinin
 

PostBy: europachris On: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:43 pm

Not yet, it's been just CRAZY at work this week and the wife is out of town on business, so I'm single dad for a bit.

I did find several other places to call, so I have a hit list.

Chris
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

IL Coal Phone Numbers

PostBy: drujinin On: Fri Dec 15, 2006 4:38 pm

Thanks for the up date!
I called Grune in Chicago 2 years ago. He reminded me of an old crazy junkyard guy. He was $165 for soft and $220 for hard. He says, "Don't think you can sneak in here! We have Dogs!" I never did go as it wasn't cost effective at the time.
I called a place in Green Bay WI 2 years ago and the phone rings into the Kentucky office. She gave me a price $125 for hard.
Last year I called again and it was $200 for hard.
There is a feedmill in Mukwonago WI that has some Pocahontas Seam for $200. I bought 800lbs and tried it out one early spring. It was really dusty and soft but it burned OK. I didn't get the daily poundage to make it cost effective at $200 a ton.
drujinin
drujinin
 

PostBy: nuke On: Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:02 pm

I find it funny that in the area where I and Mound City are from (Southern Illinois), coal used to be a very common heating fuel. My grandmother's two previous homes were heated with coal and later converted. I am really interested in heating my future home (I'm 23, right out of college) with local coal as I believe that in the coming years we will face a disastrous shortage in conventional fuels. However, here in So. Ill. we will always be able to dig some coal right out of the ground. I haven't found anyone I know that can really tell me about burning the local stuff, especially with the new technology available.
nuke
 

PostBy: europachris On: Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:48 pm

nuke wrote:I find it funny that in the area where I and Mound City are from (Southern Illinois), coal used to be a very common heating fuel. My grandmother's two previous homes were heated with coal and later converted. I am really interested in heating my future home (I'm 23, right out of college) with local coal as I believe that in the coming years we will face a disastrous shortage in conventional fuels. However, here in So. Ill. we will always be able to dig some coal right out of the ground. I haven't found anyone I know that can really tell me about burning the local stuff, especially with the new technology available.


I grew up in S. Indiana, and back in the late 70's there were folks heating with the local coal, but they were far and few between. We tried it once in our house, which had a large Woodchuck furnace in the basement as well as a very nice German Weso tile stove in the family room. The Weso stove actually burnt it fairly well, even being engineered for anthracite. The Woodchuck burnt it well, but made ungodly amounts of soot. It turned the brick chimney and surrounding roof black, and clogged the flue in a matter of weeks.

That said, I'm sure the Woodchuck wasn't optimized for burning coal, and we were also burning run-of-mine lump size with no real system of feeding new coal, etc.

For burning bituminous, there really isn't anything out there at this time aside from the US Stove products and maybe a few other stoves, but none are really optimized for it. There is a stove out of the UK, called the Yorkshire Stove by Dunsleyheat, that should be able to burn bituminous quite well, but it is $$$ and not imported into the USA.

The old stoker stoves (Combustioneer, Stokermatic, etc.) are not in production currently, although there is a person trying to get something like them back into production. I also know of a current anthracite stoker manufacturer hoping to have a bituminous burning stoker in the next year or two. I'm hanging my hat on that idea, as I can't get anthracite up here for a decent price, and I *CAN* get Illinois stoker coal pretty cheap. What I *WON'T* put up with is the fantastic amounts of soot the Illinois coal can produce.

The key to burning the coal we have out here is 1) feed coal in a controlled manner to have a steady release of the volatiles, 2) have a source of heated air to ignite and burn the volatiles before they cool off and make a lot of soot, and 3) have a method to control the ash, which melts at a very low temperature and fuses into nasty clinkers. It's not nice coal to burn, but at $50/ton rather than $250 or $300 to get anthracite out here, it's worth it.

Chris
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

PostBy: Mound City On: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:14 pm

Hi Nuke,

Welcome to the forum! I'm glad to hear from someone in extreme Southern Illinois. Are you able to check out the coal that SIU burns in the power plant? I understand they burn local bituminous. I need to stop by SIU and ask them for a coal analysis -- one of the mines that I contacted told me they do not keep an analysis on hand, but would order one for me if I wanted -- they weren't sure of the cost of the analysis.

I remember my grandmother heating with coal. Her house was always so warm or at least that's how I remember it. Then the local utility installed natural gas piping and she converted. Her house didn't seem as warm after that.

Keep us posted as you begin your coal burning experience!

Randy
Mound City
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Home Made
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous Stoker Coal

PostBy: nuke On: Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:28 pm

Mound City wrote:Hi Nuke,

Welcome to the forum! I'm glad to hear from someone in extreme Southern Illinois. Are you able to check out the coal that SIU burns in the power plant? I understand they burn local bituminous. I need to stop by SIU and ask them for a coal analysis -- one of the mines that I contacted told me they do not keep an analysis on hand, but would order one for me if I wanted -- they weren't sure of the cost of the analysis.

I remember my grandmother heating with coal. Her house was always so warm or at least that's how I remember it. Then the local utility installed natural gas piping and she converted. Her house didn't seem as warm after that.

Keep us posted as you begin your coal burning experience!

Randy


I forgot about SIU's coal resources. I am also an amateur radio operator and the director of the Coal Research Facility is an acquaintance. He is sure to be able to answer all the questions I have about SIU’s coal and any lab reports.

At the first, I anticipate using coal as auxiliary heat and as a hobby. The home I am looking at living in (my grandmother’s house) uses a hot water radiant series loop system with an ancient gas boiler. I am going to replace it with an efficient Hydropulse gas unit. At one time it had coal heat, so the coal bin and chute are still in place. My father is a plumber and pipe fitter and we have been having lively discussions about redoing the house with under the floor radiant heat and such.

What about Hitzer stoves, http://www.hitzer.com ? They have a potbelly stove that looks cool, not sure how it would burn. I would like to, at first, use a simple hand stove to augment the gas furnace using simple convection to heat the house with it. I can always move the simple stove out to the shop later.
nuke
 

PostBy: nuke On: Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:22 pm

btw, what values should ask for if I get a lab analysis?
nuke
 

PostBy: Mound City On: Wed Jan 17, 2007 3:39 am

Nuke,

Did you get the PM I sent you? Also, give Hitzer a call and ask to speak with one of the guys in the shop. They'll give you quite a bit of information about using their stoves.

Concerning what values you might want in bituminous coal, BigBarney and Berlin have provided some information further back in this thread. Berlin advises all things considered you need to find coal with the highest AFT (Ash Fusion Temp) you can find -- the higher the better. They also provided a link to a sample report.

Let us know what you find out from SIU. (Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, IL)
Mound City
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Home Made
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous Stoker Coal

Coal Report

PostBy: BigBarney On: Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:12 am

A coal report will include the most important characteristics of the sample.

It will include a- % Moisture

b- % Ash

c-% of Volitiles

d- % Sulfur

e- % of Fixed Carbon (Dry & Ash Free)

f- BTU/#

g- BTU/# Ash Free

h- Ash Fusion Temp (Usually for Bituminous Coals)
(or)
i- Coke Button # (Usually for Bituminous Coals)

There are more tests but these are the most common and are on all

coal test reports. Ash fusion temps are not always done on anthracite

because the very high temps are usually not important, but on

bituminous they fortell how much bridging will occur in a boiler,

especially a hand fed one,and the coking quality of the coal.

Coals vary a lot and even from the same vein could be much different

in there fuel quality,and burning methods needed to utilize them in the

best manner.

BigBarney
BigBarney
 

Re: Coal Report

PostBy: Yanche On: Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:40 am

BigBarney wrote:A coal report will include the most important characteristics of the sample.

Snip ...

Coals vary a lot and even from the same vein could be much different
in there fuel quality,and burning methods needed to utilize them in the
best manner.

BigBarney


Are you suggesting the quality of PA anthracite coal varies by the mine? Anthracite is mined in seven PA counties. The greatest number of mines are in Schuylkill County and the fewest in Carbon County. Does that mean that Schuylkill County coal is better than Carbon County coal? By quality of coal I mean just that, not how well it's processed, rocks removed, size graded, washed, etc.

Yanche
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:06 pm

It can vary even in the seam from one end to the other. However anthracite has much less varience. It pretty much is almost all the same relatively. However bituminous can run a very large varience, from crap to better than anthracite in some rare cases on BTU #s.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea