Well, I’m going to go out on a limb here, but most places I have read will put the average fixed carbon content of anthracite in the mid to upper 80s. Once you get up into the upper 90 percent ranges we are talking about high grade anthracite (aka meta-anthracite) don’t recall the exact cut off point. Also, I don’t know much about this, but it’s worth mentioning that according to the ASTM the percent of fixed carbon will change depending on the overall moisture content of the coal (i.e. dry or moist), so depending on moisture content at the time of analysis, we could be comparing apples to bananas.
From some of the historical resources that I have read, meta-anthracite is what used to be mined a long time ago up in the Providence RI area. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/675 ... 8492/m1/1/
It was never know as a good burning coal and had a high chlorine content. It had a very high fixed carbon content!
What I do believe about the golden years is that it was deep mining vs strip mining that made the difference and it was typically “fresh”. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of high quality strip mined coal out there today (well that’s all you can get now), but the longer it’s exposed to the sun and weather the more it starts to lose it oomph. Back in the golden days we were burning it just about as fast as it could be mined and processed.
To back you up as well,the available coal fields at the time were probably better, let’s face it, mining was not restricted all that much back then. So if there was better coal to be mined, they mined it. Today you kind of get what you get. There are still some great veins out there but restrictions to underground mining and other red tape make it impossible or just not worth it these days. I guess some coal may not be as good as it used to be…
Just my .02