I recently picked up about 3.5, 55 gal. drums of old mined coal. An acquaintance of mine has been cleaning out the home of his step-father who passed away about a year ago. I got it for a reasonable price. The guy had a large garage/workshop that held 4 old cars. He heated that space with what looked like an old Heatrola or something similar. He was an old railroad man many years ago and supposedly acquired the coal on a regular basis from trackside spills. Some of them maybe not so accidental. It came at a good time for me, as I was nearly out of the 3.5 tons of bagged Gale I bought last Fall.
I've been burning it from two of the drums, some of it mixed with my last bags of very red ash Gale and some by itself. The drum stuff seems very dense. It's mostly stove sized. A hod or 5 gal. bucket is noticeably heavier than the Gale or any other coal I have burned for many years. Has very low volatiles, slow to catch. Burns a long time, needs a lot more air to put out same heat as the Gale, etc. Ash is very white. I would say a bit more ash and fly ash than the red ash coal I have been getting the last several years. I would guess that I use about 20-30 % less in a 12 hour burn in my DS 1400. There's some left in hopper after 12 hours instead of a nearly empty hopper. ( after shake down). One of the drums is full of a full of very dusty coal and looks a lot less shiny than the rest, even if you wash it off. If you really whack a piece of that stuff and split it, it has distinct hues on the faces. Some blue, some yellow and some both. I have heard of peacock coal and was wondering if that's what this iridescent stuff may be. Is this low volatile, dense coal likely to be old deep-mined stuff from back when a lot of it was deep-mined, or maybe just from locations known for this kind of coal. Like Hazelton?
Hopefully I will finally get an outside coal bin built this year and mix what's left of this with nut sized that I usually burn and maybe add a little more volatiles to it. I like it. Needed to brag a bit about it.