Help Burning Bituminous Coal

Help Burning Bituminous Coal

PostBy: cmk9180 On: Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:43 am

Hello all. I have a dual fuel wood/coal furnace. It burns anthracite nicely, but I got a great deal on some bit. Can some of you fine folks kindly educate me on how to properly burn it? Do I need over fire combustion air like wood, or under fire air like anth? My furnace has both options.

Many thanks, y'all.
cmk9180
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Woodchuck
Stove/Furnace Model: 4000

Re: Help Burning Bituminous Coal

PostBy: Berlin On: Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:29 am

You need both overfire air and underfire air, control the heat w/ underfire air and keep the overfire air cracked open a good bit throughout the burn cycle. Don't open the door for a good 30 min. after loading bit coal. Also, "bank" the fire, in other words, once you get some coals (or wood etc.) burning, use a hoe and rake the hot coals to the front (or back) and fill the fresh coal in the valley leaving the hot coals exposed.

You should be cautious on "good deals" on bituminous coal. You want LUMP bituminous coal (baseball or larger) and it needs to have certain characteristics for good hand-firing. Not all bituminous coals have good characteristics for hand-firing. regardless of the other characteristics of bituminous coal, you will have some soot and smoke from the chimney and this can be reduced but not eliminated by "banking" the fire as I mentioned.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Help Burning Bituminous Coal

PostBy: cmk9180 On: Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:47 am

Thanks for the tips. The coal I got is from a very reputable trucker. Most folks I know buy from him. So what you're saying is to rake the coals toward the loading door, and put the new coal in the rear of the stove leaving some glowing spots in the centre?
cmk9180
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Woodchuck
Stove/Furnace Model: 4000


Re: Pointers on burning bituminous coal please

PostBy: Short Bus On: Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:12 am

You need both under and over fire air for Bituminous coal.

What type of coal you have will greatly effect your experience, what kind do you have, or where did it come from?
Bigger pieces of coal are better generally.
When bituminous coal first gets heated it produces a white vapor, that will burn if you have enough heat, air, and combustion source, if you don't this vapor goes up the stack and stinks your neighborhood up. Best results will be obtained by loading your stove so that flame is always visible above your coal bed, this helps with the heat and ignition source for those initial volatile vapors, once they start burning, over fire air supports this combustion and creates a cleaner burn.

This white smoke I speak of is explosive in the right conditions so don't just load a hot coal bed with lots of fresh coal and shut down the air, see puff backs, many threads on the subject. I didn't understand this and burned my eyebrows, and lit several towels on fire while tending the boiler in the shower house at my dad's mining camp.

I have Sub-bituminous C coal from Healy Alaska, your experience could become different, but I doubt it.
Short Bus
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Kewanee boiler with Anchor stoker
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut / Sub-bituminous C
Other Heating: Propane wall furnace back up only

Re: Pointers on burning bituminous coal please

PostBy: cmk9180 On: Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:42 am

Thanks. The coal is from western PA. My furnace has a selection lever for thermostat controlled forced draft. The coal setting has 80% under/20% over fire air. Vice versa for wood setting. What I'd like to know is how to properly stoke a bituminous fire. Shake ash every time? Pull hot coals to front and create a slope, and then put new coal in back?
cmk9180
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Woodchuck
Stove/Furnace Model: 4000