Serious Questions on Coal

Serious Questions on Coal

PostBy: Miguel On: Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:29 pm

I just stumbled onto this forum, and I am intrigued to say the least. I'm looking to go off grid in the near future, and I've been researching various means to achieve energy independence. I'm interested in the practical side of coal. In particular, I'm curious about COST. I will be locating in the east Texas region, so I imagine this will increase my cost in acquiring quality coal. So, anyone please help me get a real world estimate on the costs to acquire this fuel in east Texas. To lower net fuel costs, I desire to purchase in bulk and store it over a long period.

QUESTIONS:

1. What kind of storage system is required?
2. Are the 50 pound bags of process anthracite worth the additional price?
3. What is the ash yield, and is there a useful purpose and market for this ash?
4. How much cheaper is it to purchase anthracite of a similar grade as the bagged product, but receive it in bulk form that might be stored in bulk (vs. bags)? Would this bulk (non-bagged) product be very dusty? If so, how much dust are we talking about?
5. What size purchase would be required to see a decent unit price delivered to east Texas?

Thanks for any insight you can offer.
Miguel
 

Re: Serious Questions on Coal

PostBy: Hambden Bob On: Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:41 pm

For Openers,Miguel,where are you now,and what type of Coal Burning Device do you plan on heating with? Are you going to Transport it to East Texas,or go through the expense of having it delivered there? What you'll be burning in will determine what size of Coal You'll need. How cold does it get in that neck of the woods during a East Texas Winter? Storage isn't a problem,but let's start with this and see who else drops in to address your concerns. :up:
Hambden Bob
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman 1998 Magnum Stoker
Coal Size/Type: Rice-A-Roni !

Re: Serious Questions on Coal

PostBy: Berlin On: Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:32 pm

For east tx, why not just buy some tx lignite or subbit. It won't hold up well to long-term storage and, although I have no idea how hard it would be to get the lignite mines to sell you small amounts, I have heard of people in TX buying small amounts of it from somewhere; it is very cheap. Anthracite will store indefinitely, but the costs will be large. For TX winters (which will have their hot days) starting and stopping an anthracite stove won't be a lot of fun; lignite or subbit will burn more like wood.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal


Re: Serious Questions on Coal

PostBy: Miguel On: Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:58 pm

I will be constructing my own furnace. I prefer pea gravel sized anthracite coal for my purposes (about 1/4-1/2" in diameter). I will be locating to the north Houston area (off grid). Note that I am considering this fuel partly for heating applications, but also for power generation and shaft power using a small gasifier engine system. Once I know the costs involved in acquiring the fuel, then I will know whether or not further consideration and testing is worthwhile. I won't consider anything over $400 a ton, and $350-$400 is a gray area.

NOTE: Only anthracite is a candidate for my application - I need the good stuff, but only if the price is right.
Miguel
 

Re: Serious Questions on Coal

PostBy: ONEDOLLAR On: Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:13 pm

Miguel

Try this company for a quote on a tractor trailor load... I am told their coal is very good.
http://lehighanthracite.com/

There is also a company in Ok/Ks called Phoenix Coal that mines what I am told is a very high grade bit coal. www.phoenixcoal.com is the website I think.

Hope your plans work out and WELCOME to NEPA...

GO SOONERS!
ONEDOLLAR
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: 2014 Chubby Prototype
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford #2 Base Heater
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthracite

Re: Serious Questions on Coal

PostBy: Miguel On: Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:25 pm

ONEDOLLAR wrote:There is also a company in Ok/Ks called Phoenix Coal that mines what I am told is a very high grade bit coal. http://www.phoenixcoal.com is the website I think.


Thanks for the tip. This might be worth testing. I need low volatile and low ash, and a quality bit coal might work.
Miguel
 

Re: Serious Questions on Coal

PostBy: dcrane On: Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:18 pm

HA... i knew my off grid thread would bring some brothers into the forum How to Live WELL "Off Grid" without Power or Help :punk:

Welcome and glad to see like minded people... the beautiful thing about anthracite is it stores easy (anywhere you want! out, in, etc.)... it last FOREVER (forever is a very long time!).
In your case I would be looking to simply hire an entire tractor trailer to make one chocker block full run for me! Id call Blaschak and ask for dealer pricing and id get bagged, palatalized coal (its wrapped in UV protectant and shrink wrapped as well as individually bagged) ... depending on your circumstances that load might last you 5 or 10 years (no need to think longer than that).
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Serious Questions on Coal

PostBy: Berlin On: Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:16 am

Miguel wrote:
ONEDOLLAR wrote:There is also a company in Ok/Ks called Phoenix Coal that mines what I am told is a very high grade bit coal. http://www.phoenixcoal.com is the website I think.


Thanks for the tip. This might be worth testing. I need low volatile and low ash, and a quality bit coal might work.


anthracite or a quality bit coal will store almost indefinitely. An underfeed stoker is about as good as it gets for coal combustion efficiency, of course, they use electricity to operate. I know of people around here that use coal in gassifiers and apparently, bit coal with a high AFT is preferred, I hooked a guy up w/ a few tons of KY lump coal for his gassifier wood boiler and he said it worked well for him (very low ash, high vol, high btu, high AFT) Good luck.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Serious Questions on Coal

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:57 am

Miguel wrote:I won't consider anything over $400 a ton, and $350-$400 is a gray area.


If you're lucky you might get anthracite delivered in that range delivered as a tractor trailer load in bulk but I really have my doubts. You can forget about the bagged anthracite, that's about $100 more per ton vs bulk right here near the source. This is really not the best time to be pricing this, after about mid May would be a good time.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Serious Questions on Coal

PostBy: Freddy On: Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:29 am

Miguel wrote:1. What kind of storage system is required? None or fancy, you're not going to hurt anthracite, but you might lose some if you just drop 20 ton on the ground. Some dump on a tarp, others pour a concrete floor and stack blocks for sides. A 16 foot square horseshoe 4 feet high will hold about 20 ton.
2. Are the 50 pound bags of process anthracite worth the additional price? Only if you need it bagged. Bulk is always cheaper.
3. What is the ash yield, and is there a useful purpose and market for this ash? Coal from different mines makes different ash. Anthracite makes WAY more ash than wood. Each will give a claim.... 8%, 20%, by weight....(the coal I'm using seems to come out the same size it goes in, LOL. Well, not really, but it seems that way) Some ash is fluffy. Some ash is chunky. Some is light, some heavy. I've not found a use for it other than making ice non slippery.
4. How much cheaper is it to purchase anthracite of a similar grade as the bagged product, but receive it in bulk form that might be stored in bulk (vs. bags)? I use bulk, my neighbor uses bagged. He usually pays about $25 a ton more than I do. ( but that price is now 5 years old) Would this bulk (non-bagged) product be very dusty? If so, how much dust are we talking about? Dust is a direct product of how careful you are.
5. What size purchase would be required to see a decent unit price delivered to east Texas?
I'm sure the only way you'll come close to a "good price" will be to buy a tractor truck full..... around 22 ton.

I'm talking anthracite here, I have no knowledge of bituminous.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined