coalcat wrote:Hi Everyone I am new here this is my first post. I work in the coal industry as a buyer of coal (since 1978) I will give you a little of my thoughts on soft vs hard coal. Anthracite is 92-94% carbon 0-2% volatle and remainder ash and moisture bituminous is (in Pennsylvania)18- 20% volatle near Snow Shoe or Somerset and progressively increases as you go west to around 36% at Ohio line. Volatle is the amount of gas in the coal. The lower the volatle the higher the carbon content.
Bituminous will create more of a challange to burn because of the varied characeristics and availability of a consistent product. Coke or free swelling index varies from seam to seam and can cause problems if useing a stoker. Coke is measured from 0 to 9, 9 being full coke (best coals are 9 coke) but a full coke can cause it dome over or cause problems in a stoker system. Anthracite is 0 coke.
I am in the heart of good soft coal but I use anthracite for home heating basically because it is a more predictable fuel with no black smoke (unburnt gases) to deal with.
An old book from our office showed how to hand fire a low vol coal, just pile it in a cone and it will catch and burn, hi vol you fire on one side and then on the other side next firing, if you put it in a cone the gasses being driven off will smother the fire and can cause an explosion.
I am seeing $75-80 for house coal (mine run)
So you are saying it is better to go west a bit to get our bit? so we get higher volatle?
you are scaring me with the whole unburnt gases and explosions....is this stuff safe for home use?
Which leads to another question, can you run anthracite in a bit stoker?
Oh my day just went from good to mediocre.