Hard or Medium Coal?

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Beanbuzz
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Post Sun. Oct. 17, 2010 12:51 am

Fairly new to burning coal and have been lurking on this forum for awhile. What a GREAT forum! Have learned much. This will be my second season with a Hitzer 503 and still have much to learn. When I called my local supplier about nut coal, he asked whether I wanted hard or medium. I said well gee I dunno!
He went on to explain that some stoves have trouble burning the hard.He suggested that I come in and get a few bags of the hard to try before buying a couple tons.
I used reading bagged coal last season, with pretty good success. I had my issues, but I attributed them with inexperience. Any advice on this issue would be greatly appreciated.
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ScubaSteve
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont castings Vigilant II model 2310
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Location: Barnegat NJ

Post Mon. Oct. 18, 2010 8:00 pm

I have never heard of the term "medium" Hard coal would be anthracite, soft coal Bituminous. Maybe it is something in-between? Is your stove an anthracite burner , or a bit-burner?

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ScubaSteve
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont castings Vigilant II model 2310
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Post Mon. Oct. 18, 2010 8:01 pm

I also know that some anthracite is harder and some people say it is very difficult to get going, but I have used Kimmels, Superior, Reading and I have never had a problem, red or white ash.

Beanbuzz
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Post Mon. Oct. 18, 2010 8:34 pm

My stove uses anthracite for sure. That is what the manual calls for. I guess it just might be that the coal comes from two different sources.
But the dealer definitely said he has hard nut and medium nut. Both anthracite. Same price.200.00 per ton for either.
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dave brode
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Post Mon. Oct. 18, 2010 11:50 pm

This map shows deposits of what was called "semi anthracite". I would ASSume it would be softer than "real" anth?

http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo/maps/map11.pdf

Dave
I love my Kaa-2. It replaced a small 5 section Red Square, and Iron Fireman, burned bituminous for 20 yr.

sharkman8810
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Post Sat. Oct. 23, 2010 7:17 pm

MY dealer uses the same terms even though they make no sense. The " medium" for him is superior red ash, and the "hard" is blaschak white ash. For me both are good sources. My dealers comments were the "medium" didnt need as strong a draft and was easier to get going, and the hard was more draft and the stuff lasted longer and burned hotter. I don't necessarily buy his thoughts, superior red ash is a good product and is easy to burn and the blashcak isnt worth the extra $$ .

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Richard S.
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Post Sat. Oct. 23, 2010 7:38 pm

This would be a new term to me and I was in the business for 15 years! :lol:

Sounds to me like they are referring to the differences between white and red ash.

Here's the basics.

White ash is common in the north, it will burn up to a more powder like consistency and generally has a lower ash content. The coal will have a dark black shiny look. The ash content can go as low as 4% and be a very dense product but you're unlikely to see anything like this unless you're getting it from the Hazleton area and they didn't mix it with some higher ash white ash. This can be a problem keeping lit, it's not bad coal but instead too good.

The red ash has a more gray appearance, has more volatiles and will be easier to light and maintain a fire. It will also generally have a higher ash content and the ash will be more "chunky". You may also run into problems with clinkering if you try and fire it real hard.
sharkman8810 wrote:The " medium" for him is superior red ash, and the "hard" is blaschak white ash. For me both are good sources. My dealers comments were the "medium" didnt need as strong a draft and was easier to get going, and the hard was more draft and the stuff lasted longer and burned hotter. I don't necessarily buy his thoughts, superior red ash is a good product and is easy to burn and the blashcak isnt worth the extra $$
Correct, the BTU content on Superior is very high but the ash content is something like 14%.... Generally speaking the BTU content on white or red is going to be in the same area.
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