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).