Can I burn anthracite in my 2 aged gravity furnaces?

Can I burn anthracite in my 2 aged gravity furnaces?

PostBy: Detroit On: Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:52 pm

I just bought a house in Detroit that has 2 pretty antiquated gravity furnaces (octopus furnaces).

One was made by Williamson Heater Company with a serial plate that reads 041-22c I couldn't see a date.
It must be 100 years old or more.

The other says what looks like "Locales" in cursive made by the California Olsen Mfg co.
Elyria, Ohio with a plate that reads 622 also no date. 100 plus years.

They both have been converted to gas. A removable coil burner is in each.
They work fine burning gas, but are totally inefficient gas guzzlers.

I would like to burn wood and coal in them. I need the grates, or grills on which the coals sit, since
They have been removed and the handles that shake the ash from the grates. Are parts available anywhere? What coal is recommended, and can it be delivered to Detroit, MI? I appreciate any help of any kind. Cheers!
Detroit
 

Re: Can I burn anthracite in my 2 aged gravity furnaces?

PostBy: grumpy On: Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:57 pm

We really like photos here, there is a supplier in Farmington I think, and B & W out by Shelfrige . And welcome..
grumpy
 

Re: Can I burn anthracite in my 2 aged gravity furnaces?

PostBy: Carbon12 On: Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:52 pm

Are you sure the natural gas wouldn't be easier and cheaper than coal trucked half way across the country? Natural gas is so inexpensive these days that many burning coal who have a natural gas heating systems also are foregoing coal for the ease of gas. No big difference in price,....at least in New England and Mid Atlantic
Carbon12
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace

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Re: Can I burn anthracite in my 2 aged gravity furnaces?

PostBy: Berlin On: Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:02 pm

@100/ton I still save a substantial amount of money heating my 100 yr. old home in buffalo NY with bituminous stoker coal over natural gas.

Detroit, I'd look for a stoker and put a squirrel cage blower on the furnace(s) to get decent efficiency. A bituminous coal stoker will allow you to burn inexpensive bituminous stoker coal (~100/ton)
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Can I burn anthracite in my 2 aged gravity furnaces?

PostBy: anthony7812 On: Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:14 pm

Would bituminous btu output compare with effienciency of a natural gas appliance? I don't know enough about bituminous to accurately say but I can't see how the numbers could add up.
anthony7812
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: VanWert VA 400
Coal Size/Type: Buck/Nut/Anthracite

Re: Can I burn anthracite in my 2 aged gravity furnaces?

PostBy: LDPosse On: Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:22 pm

anthony7812 wrote:Would bituminous btu output compare with effienciency of a natural gas appliance? I don't know enough about bituminous to accurately say but I can't see how the numbers could add up.


A good bituminous coal will actually have more heat output than anthracite coal.
LDPosse
 
Stove/Furnace Make: DS Machine
Stove/Furnace Model: DS1500, Kozy King 100

Re: Can I burn anthracite in my 2 aged gravity furnaces?

PostBy: Carbon12 On: Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:26 pm

I'm not sure that's possible??? Carbon content of all Bit coal much lower than anthracite.....anyone know for sure? I thought Bit had significantly lower BTU's than anthracite?
Carbon12
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace

Re: Can I burn anthracite in my 2 aged gravity furnaces?

PostBy: LDPosse On: Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:27 pm

Berlin should be chiming in here momentarily with some bit coal stats :D

Bituminous coal does have lower carbon content, but there is alot of energy in the volatile gases that are released when it burns. If bituminous coal worked in the hopper of my DS, I would switch!

Edit : I attached a chart of different coals and btu ratings.
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Last edited by LDPosse on Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
LDPosse
 
Stove/Furnace Make: DS Machine
Stove/Furnace Model: DS1500, Kozy King 100

Re: Can I burn anthracite in my 2 aged gravity furnaces?

PostBy: Carbon12 On: Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:35 pm

I stand corrected. Some quick research shows some Bit coal has NEARLY as many BTU's per pound as anthracite.
Carbon12
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace

Re: Can I burn anthracite in my 2 aged gravity furnaces?

PostBy: Detroit On: Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:00 pm

Berlin wrote:@100/ton I still save a substantial amount of money heating my 100 yr. old home in buffalo NY with bituminous stoker coal over natural gas.

Detroit, I'd look for a stoker and put a squirrel cage blower on the furnace(s) to get decent efficiency. A bituminous coal stoker will allow you to burn inexpensive bituminous stoker coal (~100/ton)


That sounds like good advice. What is a squirrel cage blower? And is a stoker a device that feeds coal into the furnace automatically per temperature or time?

Can I hook those up myself? What about grates for the furnaces?

Do I need to post pictures of the furnaces?

Cheers!
Detroit
 

Re: Can I burn anthracite in my 2 aged gravity furnaces?

PostBy: Berlin On: Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:45 am

Carbon12 wrote:I stand corrected. Some quick research shows some Bit coal has NEARLY as many BTU's per pound as anthracite.


Bituminous coal in the eastern US has, on average, more btu's and less ash than anthracite. Anthracite is 12,500 on avg. as recieved and bit coal is 13,000+

Many bituminous coals in Kentucky and WV have btu contents exceeding 14,000/lb and even 15,000+/lb - numbers that anthracite can't touch.

The coal I'm feeding my stoker right now (northeast ohio brookfield #4/clarion seam) is around 13,500/lb as received(this year) - make sure when comparing #'s you're looking at the as received #'s not the ash free/mmf/moisture free etc. #'s those don't give you reality and those won't let you compare apples to apples.

Anthracite is excellent because of it's combustion cleanliness in a hand-fired stoves, it's universal "free-burning" characteristics (no coking up into a solid mass during combustion like some bit coals) and it's consistency between sources and seams (low variability), it's also great because there's a large number of mfg'rs that have continued manufacturing home heating equipment specifically for anthracite largely because of these attributes.

Bituminous coal on the other hand has more heat, less ash, and can achieve slightly better combustion efficiency in underfeed stokers than anthracite coal, it also burns virtually smoke-free in a stoker, just like anthracite, additionally it generally costs far less. BUT in a hand-fired stove it will produce visible smoke (just like wood or any other high volatile fuel) when throttled down by reducing air available for combustion, anthracite only produces invisible CO in this situation, not coked and partially combusted hydrocarbons (soot).
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Can I burn anthracite in my 2 aged gravity furnaces?

PostBy: Berlin On: Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:55 am

Detroit wrote:
Berlin wrote:@100/ton I still save a substantial amount of money heating my 100 yr. old home in buffalo NY with bituminous stoker coal over natural gas.

Detroit, I'd look for a stoker and put a squirrel cage blower on the furnace(s) to get decent efficiency. A bituminous coal stoker will allow you to burn inexpensive bituminous stoker coal (~100/ton)


That sounds like good advice. What is a squirrel cage blower? And is a stoker a device that feeds coal into the furnace automatically per temperature or time?

Can I hook those up myself? What about grates for the furnaces?

Do I need to post pictures of the furnaces?

Cheers!


If you're mechanically inclined, and willing to spend a lot of time reading the archieved threads on this forum about members who have installed/playedwith/used bituminous underfeed stokers, you will be able to modify these things yourself. Grates are irrelevent when using a stoker. But stokers are hard to find and may be expensive. Search the craigslists in michigan constantly and some will turn up, they always do.

Forum member europachris's refurbished "iron firman" brand stoker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=py49seodBPU

Squirrel cage blower: http://www.grainger.com/product/DAYTON- ... Pid=search
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Can I burn anthracite in my 2 aged gravity furnaces?

PostBy: wsherrick On: Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:57 am

Berlin wrote:
Carbon12 wrote:I stand corrected. Some quick research shows some Bit coal has NEARLY as many BTU's per pound as anthracite.


Bituminous coal in the eastern US has, on average, more btu's and less ash than anthracite. Anthracite is 12,500 on avg. as recieved and bit coal is 13,000+

Many bituminous coals in Kentucky and WV have btu contents exceeding 14,000/lb and even 15,000+/lb - numbers that anthracite can't touch.

The coal I'm feeding my stoker right now (northeast ohio brookfield #4/clarion seam) is around 13,500/lb as received(this year) - make sure when comparing #'s you're looking at the as received #'s not the ash free/mmf/moisture free etc. #'s those don't give you reality and those won't let you compare apples to apples.

Anthracite is excellent because of it's combustion cleanliness in a hand-fired stoves, it's universal "free-burning" characteristics (no coking up into a solid mass during combustion like some bit coals) and it's consistency between sources and seams (low variability), it's also great because there's a large number of mfg'rs that have continued manufacturing home heating equipment specifically for anthracite largely because of these attributes.

Bituminous coal on the other hand has more heat, less ash, and can achieve slightly better combustion efficiency in underfeed stokers than anthracite coal, it also burns virtually smoke-free in a stoker, just like anthracite, additionally it generally costs far less. BUT in a hand-fired stove it will produce visible smoke (just like wood or any other high volatile fuel) when throttled down by reducing air available for combustion, anthracite only produces invisible CO in this situation, not coked and partially combusted hydrocarbons (soot).


I agree, since I was raised on burning good Kentucky coal; I can confirm this. I never had issues burning Bituminous Coal. You can either retro fit a stoker or hand feed the extremely inexpensive lump coal. I think what throws a lot of people is the variability of Bituminous sub types.
wsherrick
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glenwood Base Heater, Crawford Base Heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford Base Heater, Glenwood, Stanley Argand
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut, Stove Size

Re: Can I burn anthracite in my 2 aged gravity furnaces?

PostBy: Carbon12 On: Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:47 am

@ Berlin: I did a search on the forum and discovered that my KA-6 stoker mechanism won't burn Bit :( If I got an appropriate hand fired, would I be able to burn Bit without the neighbors "making a stink?" Can bit be burned in a sound fireplace for additional heat output or would that really bring out the neighborhood with torches and pitchforks???

Regards,

Peter
Carbon12
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace

Re: Can I burn anthracite in my 2 aged gravity furnaces?

PostBy: carlherrnstein On: Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:01 am

I agree a stoker is the way to go if you can get stoker sized coal. There's a nursery near me that has octopus furnaces with iron fire man stokers under them in every greenhouse.
carlherrnstein
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: combustioneer model 77B
Coal Size/Type: pea stoker/Ohio bituminous

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