burning unsorted coal

PostBy: cooter On: Sun Feb 04, 2007 1:20 am

First of all let me say hi and thank you all for posting here this forum is a godsend . I have buen heating with a hotblast 1300 wood/coal addon furnace for eleven years . Mostly with wood I did try coal a few years back to finish out the year when the wood ran out . I used about a ton and wasnt impressed ...I got major clinkers every day that i thought had to be shoveled out the feeding door . We got low on wood this year and it looks like my days of free firewood are over . So friday I was off work and i spent most of the morning calling around trying to find someone to sell me some coal . theres a hardware store about ten miles away in bellare Ohio that sells it for $55 a ton . The same place i went a few years back . They have about a ten ton pile out back . it ranges from dust to chunks a bit bigger than a shoe box it costs the same if you pick it by hand or they load it with their endloader . I brought home 2 ton . I have buen reading here about all day and I think I have got the clinker problem figured out it seems to be burning good now ( I closed the loading door draft and opened the spin draft on the ash door , and I just keep piling on the coal . ) My questions are will I be ok using this unsorted coal ? (It seems like evertone else is paying alot more but theirs is all one size .) and if not does anyone know where I can get something better ? thanks P S now i see it says no discussions here this took a while tiping with one hand and all . so if you can move it somewhere more apropreate please do
cooter
 

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:54 am

Hello cooter, welcome to the forum.

The coal you are burning is Bituminous, the unsorted coal at the coal supplier I bought from called this unsorted coal 'big vein' coal, just as it comes from the mine, not run through a breaker to sort for size.

You can burn unsorted coal, but the biggest problem will be the fines, the fine-ground coal that is like sand.

The fines will burn, but coal needs air passing through and around the coal pieces to burn well, the fines tend to block airflow so they don't burn well. If you toss a large shovel-full of fines on a fire, you can block all airflow and actually put out the fire. The fines act like a blanket and smother the fire.

When I burn bituminous coal, especially with lots of fines, I load fresh coal on the fire, let it burn for 40 minutes or so, then open the loading door and break up the layer of coal with a poker to make air passageways in the coal. Otherwise I end up with large areas of coal that are not burning because the air cannot get through the layer.

The other option is to sift your coal with a fine-toothed pitchfork or through a screen to separate the fines from the pieces of coal. This is what I usually do, I discard the fines.

The sorted coal does cost more than 'big vein' but since you pay for the coal by weight, it may be less expensive to pay for the sorted coal because you are not paying for the fines which don't burn that well or need to be thrown away anyway.

In the West Virginia/Maryland area where I bought Bituminous coal, there are dozens of sources for coal, keep looking, you will find some other places to buy sorted coal that may suit your needs better.

Hope this answers your question, 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: Sun Feb 04, 2007 6:48 am

cooter wrote: (It seems like evertone else is paying alot more but theirs is all one size .)


Most of the people here are burning anthracite which is about double the price locally here. Being that you are not in the anthracite region you can expect to pay $200+ for a ton if you can find it. All around it's just a better product for home heating, whether the cost difference for you is worth it is debatable.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite


PostBy: cooter On: Sun Feb 04, 2007 10:25 pm

thanks :)
cooter