Burning bit and anthracite together...

Re: Burning bit and anthracite together...

PostBy: Lightning On: Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:02 am

I respectfully disagree since the chimney can more easily take room air from the open area above the coal bed.

Why is it so far fetched that as reactions occur inside the fuel bed, heat is produced making the gases become less dense and as they float upward or are pushed out (heat rises, however you wanna look at it), oxygen rich combustion air replaces it from underneath to maintain the reaction. The same thing happens in a bonfire except the fresh combustion air is drawn in from the sides instead of underneath. A fire does create it's own draft, otherwise there wouldn't be fire without chimneys over them. Candles burn just fine without a chimney, with same mechanism in place as a bonfire or open grate coal bed. Charcoal grills work pretty good the same way.
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Overmodified/Bored out Clayton 1537
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Awesome Size


Re: Burning bit and anthracite together...

PostBy: blrman07 On: Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:52 am

Your missing my point. With no fire a chimney still drafts. Why? There is no fire so why is there a draft?
blrman07
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Bucket a Day
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant Casting 2310
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Wood in the VC and anything that will fit in the Bucket a Day. It's not fussy.

Re: Burning bit and anthracite together...

PostBy: Lightning On: Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:14 am

blrman07 wrote:Your missing my point. With no fire a chimney still drafts. Why? There is no fire so why is there a draft?


Apparently we're both missing the point lol. I thought we were disagreeing about a fire creating it's own draft.

To answer the question about the drafting chimney with no fire. It drafts because it's warmer than the outside air, that would be the only reason unless the house was being pressurized. Interior chimneys draft without a fire because they are kept warm by the house. An exterior chimney drafts without a fire when it is warmed throughout the day then retains some of that heat as ambient air temperature falls. In both cases, heat causes draft without a fire.

My exterior chimney reverses after a cool summer night as ambient temperature rises above the temperature of the chimney. Then thru the day it stores heat and the draft changes direction as the ambient temperature falls under the temperature of the chimney again. I've seen smoke tests prove it.

A chimney must have temperature change to draft in either direction. Otherwise it would prove that perpetual motion does exist.
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Overmodified/Bored out Clayton 1537
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Awesome Size

Re: Burning bit and anthracite together...

PostBy: Ky Speedracer On: Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:50 pm

I've had 3 weeks of steady coal burning now. I started primarily burning anthracite at first and have bounced back and forth between that and bit. In my part of the country we have had some wild temp swings. From 60s to single digits. That issue alone is probably enough to not make this a very accurate assessment of the burning characteristics of the two types of coal.
With that said, here are some thoughts from my experiences.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind as you read through my musings; A) As many of you probably already know, I have crazy high draft in my chimney when I'm burning. I have a large double flue chimney that goes up through the interior/center of my house and out through the center of the roof peak. B) I burn KY bit coal in fist to football sized lumps. This stuff burns easy and hot. I'm not sure whether it's high coke button or low coke button coal. Berlin is the expert on bit coal and he gave me the low-down on it once and now I can't seem to find it. All I know is it is easy to burn in a US Hotblast furnace.

As of now my opinion of anthracite coal is somewhat mixed (TSC Kimmels). The stuff is very stable and burns for long periods of time without tending at low temps. It doesn't smoke or smell. (as a side note, it puts on quite a show after ignites and when it starts to get hot. The secondary air feeding over the fire through my added tubes is awesome to watch, that alone is almost enough to burn anthracite :) )
The grates in my stove are rocker grates and are not the best for shaking down anthracite effectively in my opinion. Lightning, I know you and Ashley have a great relationship and you have your shake down down pat but I can't seem to get the hang of it. If I shake only, I cannot clear enough ash. If I run a longer poker through the coal bed to clear it, it seems to upset the burning anthracite and cool it off. Then when I add new fresh coal it takes FOOOORever for it to ignite. I mean like an hour or so. It can be glowing like a neon sign underneath and if you have to add 25 or 30lbs, it just takes forever. If it's cold outside the house will start to cool off waiting for it to fire back up again.
I leave the ash pan door about a 1/4 of the way open and the load door open 3" or so trying to get it to ignite. I've covered the baro with foil and even tried putting a small fan close to the ash pan door blowing some air under the coals to see if that might help but no luck (actually the fan seemed to cool off the glowing coal instead of making it hotter). There seems to be a fine line of when it's best to reload it. If you let it go to long, while it makes clearing ash easy there isn't enough heat for it to easily ignite. If I try to soon, clearing the ash is a pain in the a$$ and it upsets the burning ant coal. That cools it off making it again, difficult to ignite...
Another thing that I've noticed is that I have to burn the anthracite in the 450 to 500 degree range to keep my house warm when it's cold outside (20s or below). Consequently I can easily burn 80lbs of fuel in 20 to 24 hours.

As for bit; bit starts easy, warms quickly and is easy to adjust for temp. It holds hot coals for about the same time as the anthracite does and all you have to do is throw 25 lbs on and it is raging again in 20 minutes or so. I can reload when I get home from work and heat the house up very quickly if it's cooled off.
As I indicated above the anthracite fire is beautiful to watch when it ignites after loading. As for the bit fire, If I have all the secondary air open and don't start backing down the primary controls relatively quickly, the fire box turns into one spectacular fire ball. It's kinda cool too but a little scary... :shock:
The shake down is very easy with bit. Rock the grates a half dozen times, run the long poker down both sides of the fire box, shake again and the ash falls right out. Done... The bit coal doesn't seem to mind it if it gets stirred up a little. It will actually break open some of the hot coked coal and heats up the fire box very quickly.
One other benefit to bit is it's about a 2/3rds of the price.
Bit has drawbacks too - it smokes like a freight train when you reload it for about 10 to 15 minutes and smells pretty strongly for about 45 minutes. But after that there is very little smoke or smell.

Anthracite will keep a more consistent temp in the house but to do that it seems to use more fuel.
With bit I can let the house cool off when we are not there and then quickly heat it up when we get home.

I actually did burn the 2 fuels at the same time. There were some interesting things about that I want to experiment with some more before I give my thoughts on that.
Ky Speedracer
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Florence HotBlast NO.68 & Potbelly
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: HotBlast 1557M
Coal Size/Type: Ky Lump & Anthracite Nut
Other Heating: Oil

Re: Burning bit and anthracite together...

PostBy: Lightning On: Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:43 pm

Ky Speedracer wrote:Lightning, I know you and Ashley have a great relationship and you have your shake down down pat but I can't seem to get the hang of it. If I shake only, I cannot clear enough ash. If I run a longer poker through the coal bed to clear it, it seems to upset the burning anthracite and cool it off. Then when I add new fresh coal it takes FOOOORever for it to ignite. I mean like an hour or so. It can be glowing like a neon sign underneath and if you have to add 25 or 30lbs, it just takes forever. If it's cold outside the house will start to cool off waiting for it to fire back up again.


Nice post Speedracer. Normally I'll rev the fire up before shake down by opening the ash door for 5 minutes.

Then after I shake down and run the rod down thru a few times, I'll close the load door while I'm filling my coal bucket to let the fire heal a little before dumping the fresh on.
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Overmodified/Bored out Clayton 1537
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Awesome Size

Re: Burning bit and anthracite together...

PostBy: oros35 On: Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:04 pm

I'm burning both at the same time right now. Ohio Bit egg size (golf ball to soft ball size) from Thompsons and nut Anthracite from Lehigh.

As I said at the beginning my stove isn't designed for Bit. But does Ant very well. But I like bit and it's 1/2 the price.

Some more thoughts now that I've done this for longer:
I layer Ant/Bit/Ant/Bit. Seems to keep the fire happier. Light layer of Ant on top of the hot coals after shaking, then a layer of bit, then a layer of Ant that fills the gaps between the lumps of bit and forms a screen on top, then sometimes toss a few lumps of bit on top of that.

Here is my theory. By layering like that, it gives some time for the Bit coal to coke out and the sticky soot gets filtered by the nut anthracite. The Bit burns slower that way and doesn't take off like dry wood on a fire. Same principal with the layer of bit on top. Pre-heats (coking) the lumps and making a more controllable fire.
My issues are still the same how ever I load it though. Because I have a ant only stove, I have a deep cylindrical fire pot. The bit coal tends to stick together and the lumps of bit tend to hang around longer than the Ant nut coal. The different coals finish burning at different times so it's hard to shake and fill. I tend to get a pile of nearly bunt up Bit lumps plugging up the program.

But in the end it is possible. And kinda fun to try to figure out the best way to make it work.
oros35
 
Baseburners & Antiques: 1912 Smith & Anthony Hub Heater #215
Stove/Furnace Make: Smith & Anthony Co.
Stove/Furnace Model: #215 Hub Heater

Re: Burning bit and anthracite together...

PostBy: Ky Speedracer On: Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:34 pm

oros35 wrote:I layer Ant/Bit/Ant/Bit. Seems to keep the fire happier. Light layer of Ant on top of the hot coals after shaking, then a layer of bit, then a layer of Ant that fills the gaps between the lumps of bit and forms a screen on top, then sometimes toss a few lumps of bit on top of that.

Here is my theory. By layering like that, it gives some time for the Bit coal to coke out and the sticky soot gets filtered by the nut anthracite. The Bit burns slower that way and doesn't take off like dry wood on a fire. Same principal with the layer of bit on top. Pre-heats (coking) the lumps and making a more controllable fire.


I've done something very similar. When I put the bit on top, after it cokes, it seems that the anthracite stabilizes the bit coal allowing the coked bit coals to burn at a steadier temp for a longer period.

I didn't notice a lot of advantage of the anthracite layer over the bit. In my experience the bit burned at its normal rate and seemed to leave cool spots under the anthracite. With that said, It did work very well at starting anthracite burning.
Ky Speedracer
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Florence HotBlast NO.68 & Potbelly
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: HotBlast 1557M
Coal Size/Type: Ky Lump & Anthracite Nut
Other Heating: Oil

Re: Burning bit and anthracite together...

PostBy: Duengeon master On: Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:26 pm

I use Direnzos anthracite pea from just north of Pottsville and mix it with Thompsons' #4 Ohio bit. I throw a shovel of crushed bit into a mix of Direnzos about three or four anthracite to one bit. It burns quite well for me. The bit burns well mixed but doesn't flame up as it would if running straight bit. I think the anthracite cover helps burn the volitiles off slower. Also little or no black smoke. However, the odor is similar to lighting a new bit fire rather than when adding bit to an existing bit fire. I mix the two coals while I am putting it into my coal bin so they mix more thoroughly and evenly.
Duengeon master
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harmon Mark III
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite pea and nut mix. Bituminous lump


Re: Burning bit and anthracite together...

PostBy: Vonda On: Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:31 am

Ky Speedracer wrote:Who says you cant burn bit and anthracite together... :yes:

I let the furnace burn out last Tuesday because it's been relatively warm here.
So we have been burning in the fireplace some at night.
I have attached some images of burning a mixture of anthracite and bit together. it makes for a beautiful warm long burning fire.
I start the bit by using a little charcoal. Let it burn for an hour and then scooped on the anthracite nut.
It takes about 5 minutes for the anthracite to fully ignite. It makes for a gorgeous burn.
I started this fire at about 4 Sunday afternoon and it burned very nicely until midnight. With temps outside in the low 40s and rain it kept the living area very comfortable for several hours.

The last image is at about 9:00. four or five hours into the burn.

I know this is an open burn and the characteristics of this burning together in a stove will vary...but its a fun experiment.


Ky speeder
When do you add the Bit or are you referring to the Bit as charcoal? I restored my fireplace and would like to know how to use it. I read you can't use anthracite in an open fire place so I am interested to know your method . Thanks
Vonda
 

Re: Burning bit and anthracite together...

PostBy: Ky Speedracer On: Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:13 am

Vonda wrote:
Ky Speedracer wrote: Ky speeder
When do you add the Bit or are you referring to the Bit as charcoal? I restored my fireplace and would like to know how to use it. I read you can't use anthracite in an open fire place so I am interested to know your method . Thanks


I start with charcoal in one of those little chimney starter things while it's sitting in the grate. Once the charcoal is burning really well I dump that into the grate. Then stack some bit coal on top of the burning charcoal. After the bit coal is burning good (about an hour or two) I spread the hot bit coals around a little and add the anthracite to it. Just make sure not to smother the bit fire. Keep an open flame going. The anthracite will light and burn just fine. You can throw some pieces of bit on top of the fire periodically to keep it going. Just don't disturb the anthracite coal bed while it's burning.
A lot of times the anthracite will not burn up completely. Ash will drop down and block the air flow to the bottom of the anthracite and it will quit burning.
Next time I want a fire in the fireplace I take a poker and poke through the remaining coke/coal in the grate to clear the ash. Then clear a hole in the center of the grate down to the bottom. Put the charcoal chimney thing back in there and do it all over again. It will burn up almost all the remaining coal that was left from the last fire.
You'll get a few clinkers from time to time but you can pull them out between fires.

Good luck. Enjoy your fire!
Ky Speedracer
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Florence HotBlast NO.68 & Potbelly
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: HotBlast 1557M
Coal Size/Type: Ky Lump & Anthracite Nut
Other Heating: Oil

Re: Burning bit and anthracite together...

PostBy: Vonda On: Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:15 am

Thanks
Vonda