Need more knowledge on burning soft coal

Need more knowledge on burning soft coal

PostBy: coaldan On: Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:24 pm

I'm burning a coal that bridges and cokes and only burns 3-4 hrs w/o messing with it. Looking for a 10-12 hour burn time w/ soft coal for my SF260 Harman -- and where to get some. I'm in the Altoona/State College area. Thanks.
coaldan
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: SF260

Re: Need more knowledge on burning soft coal

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:20 pm

Moving this to the Bituminous [soft coal] forum for better exposure.

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

Re: Need more knowledge on burning soft coal

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:34 pm

Unfortunately, what you describe are pretty common characteristics of burning bituminous coal. One of the reasons that Anthracite is so popular for home heating appliances.

BUT: there are various different sources for Bit coal that have different or at least variations in the amount of bridging [swelling index], volitiles, ash, ash fusion temp [clinkering] etc..

Berlin is our resident Bit coal guru.. I'm sure he will sign on with some suggestions soon..

Greg L

When I was burning Bit coal in my 'Big Bertha' hand fed boiler, I found that if I put a large split or 5-6" round log in the center of the firepot, then loaded Bit coal on both sides and some over the top of the wood, this helped to reduce or eliminate the bridging.. The wood burnt out, creating a gap in the 'bridge', allowing it to collapse and retaining the solid coal bed without the gap under the bridge.

You might have some luck mixing Bit and Anthracite,, I had mixed luck with this.. sometimes it worked, sometimes not... seemed to depend on how hot I fired the boiler..

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


Re: Need more knowledge on burning soft coal

PostBy: Berlin On: Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:40 am

ahhh... central PA high coke button bituminous. Where are you getting your coal? what size is it? how deep are you filling the bed?

Most central/western pa coals will coke- to some degree; some are FAR worse than others. If you give me more information about the coal your burning and how you fire the appliance, I might be able to offer some help.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Need more knowledge on burning soft coal

PostBy: MoBe On: Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:56 am

Hey bud... Im from Munster here and burn Somerset nut... It doesnt bridge like a bender or Pittsburgh coal. You might want to try Wicklows or Smogies in Ebensburg... Its give and take thought, lots of carbon and crushes easy, little messy but will not bridge on you!
MoBe
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 130, Stokol Stoker, Gentleman Janitor
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: American Standard, National, Burnham, US National
Stove/Furnace Make: American Standard
Stove/Furnace Model: Red Flash #3-9, Red Flash #2-7

Re: Need more knowledge on burning soft coal

PostBy: coaldan On: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:26 pm

Berlin wrote:ahhh... central PA high coke button bituminous. Where are you getting your coal? what size is it? how deep are you filling the bed?

Most central/western pa coals will coke- to some degree; some are FAR worse than others. If you give me more information about the coal your burning and how you fire the appliance, I might be able to offer some help.

I am burning a nut coal from Bender coal mine in around Phillipsburg , Pa. area. It also has a lot of fine mixed in it.I usually have a bed about 4 to 8 inches thick. the thickest at night. I dont poke it during the night so it bridges and the fire usually goes way down in temp..
coaldan
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: SF260

Re: Need more knowledge on burning soft coal

PostBy: coaldan On: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:34 pm

This sf260 harman has a automatic draft door that opens, no fan..
coaldan
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: SF260

Re: Need more knowledge on burning soft coal

PostBy: Duengeon master On: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:37 pm

I find that burning egg or lump helps greatly with bridging as there is more room for swelling. Also Greg L.S. farm had an idea to burn fines by rolling them in a paper bag like a big joint then throwing it in the fire. P.S. If you try to smoke it you won't get high. :sick: I keep a piece of rebar near the stove to poke holes in the bridge after an hour or two of burning and most of the volitiles have burned off.
Duengeon master
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harmon Mark III
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite pea and nut mix. Bituminous lump

Re: Need more knowledge on burning soft coal

PostBy: MoBe On: Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:29 pm

Bender coal is notorious for bridging. There is a guy at work that asks me about how to keep Bender coal from bridging. He has found that when he banks the stove over, bank back to front or side to side and always leave an area of red hot coals exposed. Before doing this clean the fire, and drag the hot coals to an area where your going to bank away from. This way the fire can grow to the area where the coal has been banked to, in theory it wont burn and cake from beneath but burn into the pile... Try it out
MoBe
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 130, Stokol Stoker, Gentleman Janitor
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: American Standard, National, Burnham, US National
Stove/Furnace Make: American Standard
Stove/Furnace Model: Red Flash #3-9, Red Flash #2-7

Re: Need more knowledge on burning soft coal

PostBy: Berlin On: Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:06 pm

as was mentioned try banking it, but with a coal with a high coke button like the coal that you're burning and especially one with a lot of fines and smaller sizes, there will be no good way to deal with the problem outside of redesigning your furnace. There is no reason to burn crappy coal in an area like yours with so many options and sources. I would highly suggest trying some of the coals mentioned or trying Valier Coalyard (south of punxsy) They have nut coal and a coal that is about baseball or softball size, Thier coal is not a low coke-button coal, but it is not as high as what you're using and neither I nor my customers have ever had problems w/ it bridging, especially in the larger "oversize" size. http://www.valiercoalyard.com - was $80/ton for lump/"oversize" coal.

also, be sure you're using a deep bed at all times, and it's a good idea to bank it slightly nonetheless.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Need more knowledge on burning soft coal

PostBy: rockwood On: Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:28 pm

If you have lots of this "Bender" coal, you could get some better coal to mix in with the bad or use good coal at night and use up the bad during the day when you don't need as much heat and can tend the fire more often.
rockwood
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Stokermatic coal furnace
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Rockwood Stoveworks Circulator
Baseburners & Antiques: Malleable/Monarch Range
Coal Size/Type: Soft coal: Lump and stoker (slack coal)

Re: Need more knowledge on burning soft coal

PostBy: coaldan On: Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:27 pm

Hey all, thanks for the info. I'll try these suggestions and let you know how they work for me.

Berlin--will the larger baseball/softball size work as good as the nut coal for my SF260?
coaldan
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: SF260

Re: Need more knowledge on burning soft coal

PostBy: Berlin On: Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:57 pm

should work better; everyone that's tried it likes it better, as do I.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Need more knowledge on burning soft coal

PostBy: lumpocoal On: Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:05 pm

Hello, a newbie on here, I use bituminous that comes from down around Grove City Pa, and it has a lot of fines in it. I wanted to know if all bituminous burns off the volitiles really hot like this stuff dose, or am I doing something wrong? I have a Wondercoal coal circulator, 35' well case for chimney (decent draft). It just seems like it is really cookin in there and the stove starts creeking and poping, I dont want to ruin it. If I turn down the MPD it will backfire through the stove and spew dust and ash. So I leave it wide open until it calms down. I DO NOT like to do this, the pipe dose not glow. Should I cut back the secondary air? The automatic thermostat door will close because it gets so hot and the only air it gets is through the secondary draft. What would some suggestions be? THANKS
lumpocoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Englander

Re: Need more knowledge on burning soft coal

PostBy: Berlin On: Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:50 pm

I just looked up grove city. It looks like their probably mining "sulfur vein" aka very high volitile brookville/Clarion coal. as long as it's closing the primary air, and the stove/stovepipe isn't glowing, it may be ok for the stove. If you close the secondary air, the heat in the volitiles will be lost as smoke. If this is the coal that they are mining, it is notorious for releasing it's volitiles very quickly and also "exploding" thus making large popping noises in your stove. as long as nothing's glowing it should be ok but a better way of firing a coal like that is to "bank" the coal from end to end in your stove - load one end deep with coal and the other end very shallow, then on the next loading, fill the oposite end deep and make the new coal shallow on the other end, this should slow things down a bit. btw, for 50 dollars/ton, i'd deal with it; even for run of mine most places are charging at least 75 right now.

I also don't like manual or barometric dampers on bituminous hand-fired stoves for just the reason you mentioned. not only do those dampers seem to make the stoves "puff" more, they also in the case of a "mini explosion" should one happen, leave the expanding gasses no where to go but in your house and blow soot out of every crevasse and crack.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal