Help-Greasy anthracite coal, which burns to fast ?

Help-Greasy anthracite coal, which burns to fast ?

PostBy: creggh On: Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:42 am

Here's a wierd problem. I just picked up 2500 Lbs of anthracite coal from Gasper recycling in Willis, Michigan for $224.00. Price was excellent. I don't think it was screened though. They loaded it out of an open storage container and it was wet. They called it stoker, but it is the size of 1 inch on down to a pea or smaller. I am in the process of getting the bulk coal into 5 gallon buckets for storage, and they hold about 35 lbs. I have a Hitzer 503, with the ez hopper. I have a 6 inch pipe all the way up the 22 foot chimney, so there is no overdraft coming down the flue.

First issue, when I get the coal going, it smells like oil and smokes terrible. I have to open the draft all of the way, so it wont get smokey in the house. Once its going good, I shut down the top draft and regulate the lower draft, then it burns well. Once you open the door again, it has a smokey and oily smell. I load the hopper all the way to the top and let it burn for a while. Periodically I check the stove. I notice it is burning from underneath and there is holes in the coal. I will then go a head and take the small shovel and pull the coal down from the hopper. problem is, most of the coal in the hopper is burn and is "welded" in the hopper. I have to chisel out the coal and bring it down. So basically I'm dropping a 35lbs pail of coal every 12 hours or 70lbs daily. After talking with everyone on nepa last year, my first year of burning coal, this is way to much. My current calculations have me going through this coal in about 35 days. Maybe I should just bite the bullet and by a pallet of Blaschak for $350. This is getting to the point that I can purchase a new 95 percent furnace and with natural gas, and will probably be about the same price. I love the idea of burning coal, but unless I can start getting cheaper quality anthracite in the Detroit area, I might just purchase a new furnace. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have included 2 pics also. Thanks.
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creggh
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503 EZ hopper

Re: Help-Greasy anthracite coal, which burns to fast ?

PostBy: blrman07 On: Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:07 am

looks and sounds like you got a load of bit coal, not anthracite. The way you described it burning in the hopper and "welding" together is a perfect description of bit coal.
blrman07
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Bucket a Day
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant Casting 2310
Baseburners & Antiques: rebuilding a 1906 March Brownback Double Heater, using a UMCO 1920's Pot Belly stove in the church
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Wood in the VC and anything that will fit in the Bucket a Day. It's not fussy.

Re: Help-Greasy anthracite coal, which burns to fast ?

PostBy: 009to090 On: Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:32 am

Sounds like Bit, not Ant.
009to090
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520 HighBoy
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: DVC-500 x 2
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice


Re: Help-Greasy anthracite coal, which burns to fast ?

PostBy: Berlin On: Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:41 am

You have bituminous coal. you can't use the hopper with bituminous coal, if the hopper comes out of that model of stove, remove it and burn it that way. The size is a little small for you to use it with ease. with bituminous coal the largest sizes are best (softball and larger) as they burn slowly and more controllably. I'm not sure why you're getting smell in the house; many people burn or have burned (myself included) bit coal hand-fired in their home with no smoke or smell in the house, it's possible this is because of your hopper (the coal starts off-gassing in the hopper where there's little draft to keep the smoke in the stove and some enters the living space) If you can remove the hopper, you should try "banking" the fire which basically means each time you reload you scrape the hot coals to one side of the firebox (or the front) and then fill the empty valley with a deep pile of fresh coal leaving some of the red embers where you piled them up from the previous fire still showing. If you remove the hopper and bank the fire, you should have pretty good performance from this coal, it will be FAR easier and will likely burn less. I can only imagine the frustration you're having trying to use the hopper with bit coal :D
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Help-Greasy anthracite coal, which burns to fast ?

PostBy: freetown fred On: Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:01 am

Unfortunatly, it seems you've got only the two coooohoices that you're already aware of :( spend the money for the Blaschack, if that's all that's available to you, or get the new furnace--wish I could give you more Christmas cheer BUT-------
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: Help-Greasy anthracite coal, which burns to fast ?

PostBy: steamup On: Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:07 am

They called it stoker, but it is the size of 1 inch on down to a pea or smaller.


Perfect description of bit stoker coal used for bit stokers.

http://www.penncoal.com/wst_page9.html
steamup
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman-Anderson AA-130, Keystoker K-6
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: HS Tarm 502 Wood/Coal/Oil
Coal Size/Type: pea, buck, rice

Re: Help-Greasy anthracite coal, which burns to fast ?

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:22 am

The hopper is removable on the 503...
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Re: Help-Greasy anthracite coal, which burns to fast ?

PostBy: g13nw00d-man On: Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:29 am

freetown fred wrote:Unfortunatly, it seems you've got only the two coooohoices that you're already aware of :( spend the money for the Blaschack, if that's all that's available to you, or get the new furnace--wish I could give you more Christmas cheer BUT-------


here is your third choice. When you purchaced the coal if you told the dealer that you were looking for ant and he gave you bit, I would go back to him tell him whats up and maybe he can work a deal with you to get a load of ant if he carry's it. If he refuses, well we have a way of getting whats right done up here in maine. Just dont spread to much "christmas cheer" if he's a dink, you might need to come up with chrismas BAIL...
g13nw00d-man
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Glenwood
Stove/Furnace Model: #6 Base Heater

Re: Help-Greasy anthracite coal, which burns to fast ?

PostBy: Berlin On: Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:48 am

BTW, that's a good price on coal, if we can suppose that it has at least as many btu's/lb as anthracite's average (12,500) even at 60% overall efficiency (compared to NG @ 1.38ccf - the price for NG at my house and an 80% overall efficient NG furnace) you would be spending substantially less than NG will cost you:

bit coal @ 224/2500lbs or about $180/ton and
- 60% efficiency = $12.50 per million btu
- 50% efficiency $15 per million btu

anthracite coal @ $350/pallet (about $293/ton) and
- 60% efficiency = $20.35 per million btu or
- 70% efficiency = $17.44 per million btu

NG @ 1.38 therm (ccf) (what I pay in Buffalo)
- 70% efficiency = $19.71 per million btu
- 80% efficiency = $17.25 per million btu
- 90% efficiency = $15.33 per million btu

Even at 50 % efficiency bit coal is still cheaper than NG at 90% efficiency and at a more reasonable comparison you will save even more. Anthracite at $350 pallet is not cost competative with current NG rates and substantially more than bit coal. You should plug your current NG price into the fuel cost calculator on this site to check the exact numbers for your area.

If you remove the hopper and bank the fuel bed properly this should work out to be a fairly easy and inexpensive way to heat your home, be happy you have a source of inexpensive bit coal locally.

Many people prefer a good bit coal to anthracite once they learn how to fire it properly (and don't use a hopper ;) ) It has less ash, sometimes more heat, and if you lose a fire you can bring one back quickly. The substantially lower price is an additional benefit. I would recommend finding a larger size if possible next time though, it will make things go easier and will give you burn times similar to anthracite.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Help-Greasy anthracite coal, which burns to fast ?

PostBy: rockwood On: Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:32 am

If they are advertising this coal as anthracite, you need to tell them it is oil treated bituminous stoker coal.
Because a recycling company is selling this coal, I suspect this is reclaimed coal that was sitting in a coal bin in an old building somewhere for many years.
You should ask them where they got it.
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: Help-Greasy anthracite coal, which burns to fast ?

PostBy: creggh On: Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:58 pm

Ok. Great information. First, I got most of the 2500 lbs into 5 gallon buckets stacked for this winter. What I realized is that it is nothing but coal gravel. Look at the pics. As I shoveled, I realized it was nothing but soaking wet coal, that just got an additional 3 inches of water this week. Each shovel full was not nut size, but everything from pulverized coal dust up to 1 inch sized. This might be why it is welding in the hopper. Maybe with all of the moisture in the coal, it is just cooking in a large chunk in the hopper?

Second, I double checked the coal, and it does appear to be anthracite. The manager at the recycling center said the owners go to Pennslyvania and pick it up, so I just assumed it was hard coal. After reading your responses, I grabbed a handful and looked at it. I've researched pics of both bit and anthracite and it looks like Anthracite. I posted 2 pics, so see what you all think.

3rd, each 5 gallon bucket of coal weighs 35 lbs, and I'm having to fill the hopper 2 times daily, so the 2500 lbs will go quick. Well, I guess you get what you pay for. I didn't pay attention and bought "coal gravel" .I highly doubt that the coal will dry out in 5 gallon buckets, in a cold freezing barn? If anyone has any other thoughts, please let me know. Thanks for the input.
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creggh
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503 EZ hopper

Re: Help-Greasy anthracite coal, which burns to fast ?

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:22 pm

Anthracite won't soak up water.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Help-Greasy anthracite coal, which burns to fast ?

PostBy: theo On: Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:34 pm

i think if it was bit. coal he would be getting some black smoke from the stack,,,, see any black smoke from the chimney ?
theo
 
Stove/Furnace Make: LL
Stove/Furnace Model: Hyfire 2

Re: Help-Greasy anthracite coal, which burns to fast ?

PostBy: rockwood On: Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:47 pm

creggh wrote: smokes terrible

Everything about it seems like soft coal to me.
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: Help-Greasy anthracite coal, which burns to fast ?

PostBy: Berlin On: Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:59 am

creggh wrote:Ok. Great information. First, I got most of the 2500 lbs into 5 gallon buckets stacked for this winter. What I realized is that it is nothing but coal gravel. Look at the pics. As I shoveled, I realized it was nothing but soaking wet coal, that just got an additional 3 inches of water this week. Each shovel full was not nut size, but everything from pulverized coal dust up to 1 inch sized. This might be why it is welding in the hopper. Maybe with all of the moisture in the coal, it is just cooking in a large chunk in the hopper?

Second, I double checked the coal, and it does appear to be anthracite. The manager at the recycling center said the owners go to Pennslyvania and pick it up, so I just assumed it was hard coal. After reading your responses, I grabbed a handful and looked at it. I've researched pics of both bit and anthracite and it looks like Anthracite. I posted 2 pics, so see what you all think.

3rd, each 5 gallon bucket of coal weighs 35 lbs, and I'm having to fill the hopper 2 times daily, so the 2500 lbs will go quick. Well, I guess you get what you pay for. I didn't pay attention and bought "coal gravel" .I highly doubt that the coal will dry out in 5 gallon buckets, in a cold freezing barn? If anyone has any other thoughts, please let me know. Thanks for the input.


creggh, what you have is bit coal. ditch the hopper, it's removable on your stove and I've mentioned how to make this coal work well for you. no one is going to be selling anthracite in michigan for $180/ton, no one is in business to lose money; anthracite is around 180/ton at many breakers. Pennsylvania mines FAR more bit coal (some very good ones too) than anthracite; anthracite production is a tiny fraction of penn coal production, so whether it's from penn or not has nothing to do with being anthracite. you can't tell if a coal is anthracite or bit by looking at unless you really know what to look for, and it's basically impossible via photos; some bit coals are very shiny and hard and some anthracite's are dull. If it burns with a yellow flame and powdery soot it's bit coal. My thoughts are remove the hopper, fire it like I mentioned to get it to burn better, and then next time, bit coal is fine, but be sure to get proper (large) sizes; that stoker slack that you have won't burn as well as lump coal in a hand-fired stove.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal