Do most electrical coal plants burn bituminous or anthracite coal? Also would you have any information (preferably a link) that compares the two coal properties when it comes to their burning properties. Meaning how one might burn cleaner than the other. I'm looking at the differences (in number percentages) in their burned gases, etc...
Electrical companies burn bituminous. There is far more of it available than anthracite, and it costs quite a bit less.
As I understand it (from lessons learned here on NEPACrossroads) bit has a lot more volatiles and stinky sulfur, and it smokes way more. Bit burns primarily with air from above. Anthracite burns primarily with air from below, and is virtually smoke and odor free. Good bit coal can have more BTU's per pound than anthracite. Stoves designed for one will not work well with the other.
By far, most of the coal burned for electrical generation is bituminous. In practice, I think the emissions from the two types of coal are pretty close considering the exhaust scrubbers on the bituminous burning plants. In a residential coal-burning appliance, anthracite burns noticeably cleaner...the difference is most noticeable in hand-fired equipment, less in stokers.
If you intend to burn bit in your your DS Machine 1500 you should ask Amos at DS Machine (717-768-3853) to make you a door for it with "functional over the fire air controls" (functional as opposed to decorative air inlet knobs that are adjustable and allow air to come in from above the fire). He might even consider taking your original door as a trade in for the new one? With that door you should be able to burn both types. Close down the air controls over the fire for anthracite, and open them up some (to perhaps a bunch?) for bituminous.
Last edited by lsayre on Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
Powerplants burn Bituminous coal. In large industrial settings bituminous coal has properties that are valued over anthracite including grindability, lower ash, and faster rate of combustion - even for pulverized coal.
In properly tuned stoker firing bit and anthracite both burn very clean with a slight edge on maximum achievable combustion efficiency going to bit coal; both being burned properly, bit coal and anthracite will produce very similar levels of emissions across the board with some bit coals having slightly higher sulfur.
In a hand-fired stove bit coal will produce more soot and hydrocarbons in the exhaust gasses and anthracite will produce more CO. An excellent bit coal will have more heat and less ash than anthracite, but you will always have some soot when hand-firing bituminous coal. As far as any toxic elements in the coal or the ash, it's basically the same across the board east of the Mississippi between anthracite and bituminous coal. The toxic elements and compounds in coal/coal ash are basically the same trace elements that are in the soil all around you, and they're at basically the same levels.
Actually a lot of power plants burn sub-bituminous. See attached link. Powder River Basin coal is popular due to low sulfer and ash. According to the link, it supplies about 40 percent of the coal fired power plants.
thanks for the reply's although Im not interested in burning bit coal in my 1500. Im very interested in sound studies showing the different properties the two different coals produce when they are burned. Lots of post without any links from any studies?? Again this would help and thanks again.