Bituminous in a Keystoker??

Bituminous in a Keystoker??

PostBy: deerefanatic On: Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:57 pm

Hi, I'm wanting to get a stoker boiler of some sort and it seems that going with a willburt stoker is my only option for burning Bituminous, which is all I can get affordably in my area ($190/ton)

My question is, a member here has a Keystoker KF-18 for sale that the stoker needs rebuilt..... Could the keystoker unit be modified in some way to burn bituminous? It's "stoker" size that I can get around here......

Or, this same member has a Kestoker 12 that doesn't have a stoker..... Just the boiler.... So then I could get that and stick a Willburt in it... But I forsee that costing me more money.....

Just wondering if there's anyway to make the Keystoker work with Bituminous.... Being it's not an underfeed like the EFM's and such, I don't see why not.......

-Matt
deerefanatic
 

Re: Bituminous in a Keystoker??

PostBy: steinkebunch On: Wed Dec 24, 2008 12:50 am

That all depends on the exact bituminous you have available. Out in Wyoming and Utah and Colorado, our bit. coal has a low swelling index. You can sometimes use these coals in a carpet type stoker. Since they swell so little when heated, I don't think you run into problems with jamming up the grates. But you can have problems with the fire burning back into the hopper if the hopper is above the grates. I've heard of guys using these stokers with Wyoming coal, but they have to watch it closely. I've heard of some coal bins smoking once in a while.

From what I've learned form this forum, you will likely not have any luck burning eastern bit. with a carpet-type stoker. It will swell up, jam the grates, and be a big mess. Others will be along shortly to give you a better answer on eastern bit.

Bituminous usually has more volatiles, so using an underfed stoker is actually a benefit, because the fresh coal is forced up through hot coal, and it allows the volatile gases to heat and burn, giving more heat and efficiency.

I've looked at the verti-flow stoker on a Harman Magnum stoker, and thought it may just burn bit. coal with a low swell index. It's not a truly underfeed stoker, but it does force the coal to rise some. I'm skeptical about a kestoker with eastern bit. though.

Steinke
steinkebunch
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Homemade Bituminous Hand-Fed
Stove/Furnace Model: Prill underfed stoker Model M8

Re: Bituminous in a Keystoker??

PostBy: LsFarm On: Wed Dec 24, 2008 2:25 am

Steinke's answer is right on the mark.. A keystoker is a flat bed stoker, not an underfeed like an EFM, Prill, IronFirman or WillBurt.. The way bituminous coal burns, it is very unlikely that you can burn Bit coal on a flat bed stoker.. Even with a Bit coal that has a low swelling index. burning off the volitiles does not work well with a flat bed stoker.. so you would have lots of problems with soot accumulation on the inside of the boiler surfaces..

Where are you located that Bit. stoker size coal is $190/ton?? that's near Anthracite price in many areas.

Greg L
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland


Re: Bituminous in a Keystoker??

PostBy: deerefanatic On: Wed Dec 24, 2008 8:50 am

Northern Wisconsin...... Anthracite in bags (only way I can find anthracite) is between $320 and $350 per ton........... Its all in the trucking.............

The company I found the bituminous through supplies all the coal that the University of Wisconsin uses to heat their campuses... It's Kentucky coal.......

I found an Amishman that burns anthracite...... He has a house and a veal barn to heat, so he buys 22 ton of Pennsylvania Anthracite and pays to have it shipped.... Said he pays $200/ton for the coal and $76/ton for shipping as of this year.... In bags...... (There is a local window factory here, he has them back-haul the coal for him as they have a warehouse in Pennsylvania. But, it has to be in bags to do that.....)

I just cant justify that kind of cost....
deerefanatic
 

Re: Bituminous in a Keystoker??

PostBy: europachris On: Wed Dec 24, 2008 9:34 am

http://www.knighthawkcoal.com/

http://www.scoalcompany.com/
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.


Give these two places a call - I have not yet, but I will be soon since I'm putting together a bituminous boiler setup that will be installed in our detached garage, recently constructed, and pipe the water to the house.

You will still have the trucking to deal with, but Illinois bituminous is excellent stoker coal. Low swelling and coking indices, high BTU content and fairly low ash. They do have a decent amount of sulfur, so make sure you don't have too many tree-huggers around. :mad: But if you could find someone with a dump truck that wouldn't mind a long, boring drive through the "flatlander" state, you could hook up with 10 or 12 tons at a shot and be set. I think the price for stoker was $75/ton.

EFM is working on a bituminous burning version of the 520 boiler which looks promising. Otherwise, it's a Willburt stoker, or if you can find one, a vintage Iron Fireman or Combustioneer stoker (or something similar) and convert a hand fed boiler. I have a bunch of information regarding this topic in a zip file, PM me with your e-mail and I'll send you a copy.

Just don't try to burn this stuff in a hand fed. Been there, done that, got the dirty t-shirt. Tried it as a child in a add-on wood/coal furnace. Plugged the chimney solid in just a few weeks and covered everything on the outside of the house with soot. Friggin' mess! :sick: :sick: :sick:

Chris
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: Bituminous in a Keystoker??

PostBy: deerefanatic On: Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:59 am

ok,

I called Kestoker last week and they said the same as you guys..... Bit won't work at all.

So, I'm thinking of purchasing a new Will-burt and installling it into the Kestoker KD-12 boiler vessel. Question is, that boiler has an underneath ash pan. Will that work being that Bituminous turns into clinker vs ash?

Just trying to straighten out my thinking........
deerefanatic
 

Re: Bituminous in a Keystoker??

PostBy: europachris On: Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:28 am

Traditionally, the stoker went into the boiler THRU the ashpan door when converting the old hand-fed boilers to stoker operation. The stoker firepot was then surrounded with refractory cement, leaving about 1" of the pot sticking up past the cement "floor". This is where the ash collected and clinkered.

For the Willburt, you will need about 15" from the floor to the bottom of the boiler vessel to allow the stoker to be situated properly. Willburt will provide you with other information such as firebox dimensions, etc. to make sure the stoker will operate properly in the Keystoker boiler. I don't know the construction of the Keystoker boilers very well to be of much help.

EFM is developing a bituminous stoker to burn Wyoming coal. It looks just like the anthracite stoker but uses a Prill firepot that has a rotating ash ring. As it stokes, the ring rotates around the pot and knocks off the ash into the ash tub before it clinkers. There's a YouTube video of it (several

actually). Very nice. I don't know if it would work with our Midwest coal, however due to the strong clinkering tendency, but it might, but only testing will tell.

I plan to have some sort of bituminous stoker boiler running next year and have a few different ideas in the works. Not sure which one I want to pursue at this point....

Chris
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: Bituminous in a Keystoker??

PostBy: deerefanatic On: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:35 am

Hmm. I'm thinking an energy king ek45b boiler would work well as a base for the Will-Burt...... That is, if the burner head will fit up through the area where the shaker grates were.... That's the clincher......

This is just not gonna be easy at all........ And my wood supply is dwindling........

-Matt
deerefanatic
 

Re: Bituminous in a Keystoker??

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Dec 30, 2008 1:16 pm

I suggest you contact coal berner or scrapperjr to purchase a used EFM... only you can tell if your Bit coal will work in any of the possible stokers.

Personally I'd seriously consider just getting a devoted anthracite burner, and pay for a truckload of coal.. The slightly higher price of the anthracite is well offset by the cleaner burning, cleaner boiler exchanger [efficient heat transfer] and almost 'flip a switch' ease of opperation.

Even our resident Bitum burning expert [berlin] has changed coal sources for either better burning characteristics, cleaner coal [fewer fines] or other reasons.. anthracite's beauty is it's consistant burning, stoking and ashing qualities.. these make it relatively easy to make a properly operating stoker mechanism that works very consistantly.

Even berlin had some issues learning to run his stokermatic heater.. it was a learning process. and it took awhile.. however, if you or virtually anyone was to hook up an athracite stoker boiler and follow the standard instalation guidelines, it is virtually a 'flip a switch' operation to run the unit..

What I fear is that you will go to great expense, buy an expensive underfeed stoker unit [willburt] and convert a boiler and base to it's use, then find out that your available Bituminous coal is not compatable with your stoker, boiler configuration, the % of fines too high, the swelling index too high, volitiles too high etc.. many ways the locally available Bit coal could be a 'deal-breaker' for you and you can only learn this AFTER a significant investment in the hardware...

With the price of diesel dropping, I think you can get anthracite delivered bulk for about $160/ton + ~$70 delivery.. not an unreasonable price at all.. and the savings by buying a ready to install anthracite stoker boiler instead of engineering a possible white elephant.. well lets say I've got some experience with white elephants..

Hope this helps.. Greg L
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Bituminous in a Keystoker??

PostBy: deerefanatic On: Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:01 pm

Hmmmm. Now you've really got me thinking...............

I talked to WillBurt yesterday, Dan in their engineering department. He gave me some info and sent me some drawings and specifications of their burner......

Now, I work at a welding and fabrication shop and my boss said he'd let me buy steel through him at our cost and use the welder, plasma, etc after hours to build my own firebox that's custom-designed to house that willburt, so that I know for a fact that it will fit correctly..........

Now you've got me seriously thinking about going with Anthracite. The kicker is, I really can't afford 20 ton of the stuff, though it would be enough to probably last me 2 entire winters.........

But, if I can get anthracite trucked from PA for $70/ton, then I should be able to get coal trucked from southern Illinois for even less, and that stuff is only ~ $70/ton for the coal... So I'm still coming out way cheaper. Plus, I have already talked to an Amish guy. He buys anthracite to heat his veal barn. Buys one whole semi-load per year.. Pays $270/ton for it delivered because it comes in bags... Sure, he could order in bulk, but that would almost double the transport costs because then it would be a special shipment from PA vs a back haul for some trucker to stick in his van trailer........ So you pay less for the coal and more for the transportation.....

This company here sells coal to the University of Wisconsin, so I would think it's good coal. I'll have to ask them for a breakdown........

Ahhh....... It makes me want to pull my hair out......
deerefanatic
 

Re: Bituminous in a Keystoker??

PostBy: deerefanatic On: Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:46 pm

Ok here is a breakdown of the specifications of the coal. The first number is what the supplier in Lacrosse, WI has for values and the (second) is the recommended value from willburt.

Moisture 7% (1-10%)
Volatile Matter 35% (27-40%)
Fixed Carbon 58% (48% or higher)
Ash Content 7% (3-8%)
Sulfur 1% (0-3%)
Ash Fusion Temp 2700F all four stages (1850-2400F)
Btu per pound 13,400 (12,000+)
Coke Button - Free swelling index 5.5 (Not more than 4)
Size 1-1/2"x1/4" (1"x1/4")
Fines: 10-15% (Not over 25%)

So, looks like all is ok except for ash fusion temp and free swelling (and the size is a tad large....)

I'm going to send this email to Dan at willburt too and see what he has to say about it......

What do you guys think?

-Matt
deerefanatic
 

Re: Bituminous in a Keystoker??

PostBy: europachris On: Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:39 pm

You're going to have issues with "coke trees" with that coal due to the swelling index. You'll get this tall column of coke rising out of the firepot that will interfere with proper burning unless broken up frequently. The high ash fusion temp will mean the coal ash will not want to fuse and clinker together for removal as a chunk. Mostly, tho, I think the swelling/coking will be the biggest problem.

Only way to really know is to try it.

Otherwise, we have coal downstate that will work superbly in the Willburt.

Chris
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: Bituminous in a Keystoker??

PostBy: deerefanatic On: Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:16 pm

As far as the ash not fusing, that would probably be fine as I could use the ash on my driveways to help build them up.

But, those coke-trees you speak of sound rather un-friendly...... How often do you think they'd be a problem? Every few days, every few hours? etc.......

Thanks.

-Matt
deerefanatic
 

Re: Bituminous in a Keystoker??

PostBy: europachris On: Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:29 am

Hard to say, really. It depends on burn rate, etc. Lsfarm (Greg) has some pictures of a coke tree when he was testing bituminous in his Iron Fireman. You might be able to find them if you search his posts - I'd say about 1-1/2 years ago maybe? Try this: http://tinyurl.com/6wnqz7

Chris
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: Bituminous in a Keystoker??

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:31 am

Here is a coke tree growing out of my Iron Fireman burner. It took only an hour to grow.. But this is not in a proper burn chamber, so it probably woud not grow the same inside a stove or boiler.

Greg L
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LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland