Education in Coal Please!

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Tryingitout
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Location: Western Michigan

Post Wed. Jan. 29, 2014 8:34 am

Can someone give a little education in anthracite? I have been reading the topics about different ash types, btu's, mines, and breakers. Being from Michigan I have not seen a coal mine, though I would love to poke around one and learn a little. Ever since I put in my stove, I have burned bagged Blaschak nut, so I don't know the difference in how the other coal veins burn. I understand that there are different areas in Pa. where the coal is mined. Is there really that much difference in the way they burn, their btu's, and their content? I would love to try something other than Blaschak, if anyone knows of different suppliers in Western Michigan area. I have tried to Google suppliers and nothing comes up, the stove companies and Tractor Supply around me handle Blaschak.

Garey
Keystoker KAA-2 with coil in furnace
Hitzer Model 30-95 E-Z Flo Sadly Retired

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freetown fred
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Post Wed. Jan. 29, 2014 8:44 am

I guess you don't just want to continue with what you've got & be real happy with it? ;) Type anthracite compared to bitimus in the search box--top right--it's at least a start
"A people that values it's privileges above it's principals, soon loses both"--Dwight D Eisenhower

Tryingitout
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Location: Western Michigan

Post Wed. Jan. 29, 2014 9:01 am

I know the difference between soft and hard, but I will try the search maybe it goes into more explanation of anthracite . I am happy with the Blaschak, because that is all I know. I would just like to experiment to see if there is a difference, like the others are posting about.
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freetown fred
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Post Wed. Jan. 29, 2014 9:26 am

T, not sure if this will help--type introduction to coal burning in the search box--now if you want to get into all the scientific, didactic stuff--yo'll have to wait for someone that also cares--ME??? been burnin Blaschak for 6 seasons in my Hitzer 50-93 with outstanding results
"A people that values it's privileges above it's principals, soon loses both"--Dwight D Eisenhower

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coalnewbie
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Post Wed. Jan. 29, 2014 9:35 am

Type anthracite compared to bitimus in the search box
That's OK, Freds drunk again :)

Try bituminous
Posted by an unreasonable adult.

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dcrane
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Post Wed. Jan. 29, 2014 9:54 am

Tryingitout wrote:I know the difference between soft and hard, but I will try the search maybe it goes into more explanation of anthracite . I am happy with the Blaschak, because that is all I know. I would just like to experiment to see if there is a difference, like the others are posting about.
The fact is that there is a world of difference between coals (even when comparing one anthracite coal to another anthracite coal)... akin to burning Oak vs Birch vs Hickory vs Apple.
having said that... the good news for you is that your burning one of the better (if not THE BEST) quality anthracite coals available to anyone (even those in PA)!
What you wish to achieve by trying, testing, burning different anthracite coals has been done by many very experienced coal burners and trust me when I say this... your not going to obtain any significantly better anthracite than blaschak currently (it would be time/money/effort wasted). THIS IS THE BEAUTY OF THIS FORUM!

On another note... trying to get better pricing, best supplier, etc... is worthy of a lil' time for sure! but in terms of quality anthracite it is an agreed consensus among almost everyone here that Blaschak is #1 or #2 in most peoples opinions.

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SMITTY
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Post Wed. Jan. 29, 2014 10:00 am

Yep - Blaschak worked great for me in nut form in the Mark III for 4 seasons, and it's currently keeping us warm in rice form. Can't complain.

In the Mark III it was 100x better than Kimmel's, I can tell you that!
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hcarlow
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Post Wed. Jan. 29, 2014 10:16 am

I have only burned bagged blaschak rice and it burns well for me also but what I have found this year that didn't happen last year is large pieces of coal in the bags, not alot but to many . I mean pieces up to 2 inches in dia. . I dump my coal in a wheel barrow to help it dry out overnight some so I am catching these large pieces before they go in the hopper . I can only imagine what would happen if they got into the feed mechanism .

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Lightning
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Post Wed. Jan. 29, 2014 11:01 am

Tryingitout wrote:Can someone give a little education in anthracite? I have been reading the topics about different ash types, btu's, mines, and breakers. Being from Michigan I have not seen a coal mine, though I would love to poke around one and learn a little. Ever since I put in my stove, I have burned bagged Blaschak nut, so I don't know the difference in how the other coal veins burn. I understand that there are different areas in Pa. where the coal is mined. Is there really that much difference in the way they burn, their btu's, and their content? I would love to try something other than Blaschak, if anyone knows of different suppliers in Western Michigan area. I have tried to Google suppliers and nothing comes up, the stove companies and Tractor Supply around me handle Blaschak.

Garey
Anthracite comes in different species if you will, kinda like there are different species of trees.. The two main types of anthracite (that I know of) are white ash and red ash. There are varying degrees of red and white ash too. Some pink, some deep red with a Martian color , then some white is kinda gray and dark shades of grey like powdered rock.. Red ash, with it's higher iron content, tends to fuse more easily with its lower ash fusion temperature which will make for more clinkering in the coal bed. The white ash tends to not have such a problem with it, although I have been finding some small clinkers in my white ash coal.. Other than those main two kinds on anthracite, they each can vary in ash content, sulfur content and volatile matter content. Since we use coal pretty much unrefined other than for sizing (unlike gasoline or other petroleum distillates) , we pretty much get what comes right out of the ground molded from natural processes.. Each mine location will have a slightly different specs (or species) depending on the conditions of that particular location hundreds of millions of years ago and the conditions that its been under since then.. Each species of coal (coal from different mines) will have slightly different burning characteristics, ash content and BTU output based on all these variables.. :D

Fred into the booze again??
:shots:

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titleist1
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Post Wed. Jan. 29, 2014 12:53 pm

good summary by lightning.... :up:

Only thing to add is that if you aren't getting a lot of fines in your bags or other junk (rocks, wood pieces, etc) and you don't have a lot of unburned slate pieces in the ash pan and the size of the coal is pretty consistent then you probably won't see a big improvement going to another brand of coal.

Those are complaints that others have listed in the past with some coal suppliers and when they switched suppliers indicated a better burn result.
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Tryingitout
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Location: Western Michigan

Post Wed. Jan. 29, 2014 2:10 pm

Thanks for the responses, I did not want it to sound like I wasn't happy with the Blaschak. I have been burning it for over 10 years, I just do not have a comparison. I was pretty amazed to find out that there is bituminous out the that burns as hot as anthracite. It sure is crazy how much heat the coal bed has when it is -10 :up: Thanks again Garey
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tcalo
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Post Fri. Jan. 31, 2014 8:36 pm

Coal here on Long Island NY is quite expensive. I've burned Blaschak for several seasons and decided to try a different supplier this season in hopes of getting the coal cheaper. Well I got the coal a bit cheaper but it doesn't compare to Blaschak. The coal I switched to this season has produced great heat, but I'm drowning in ash. Twice the ash as Blaschak coal. The coal is from the South Tamaqua mine. Lesson learned, why fix it if it ain't broke!

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dcrane
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Post Fri. Jan. 31, 2014 8:56 pm

tcalo wrote:Coal here on Long Island NY is quite expensive. I've burned Blaschak for several seasons and decided to try a different supplier this season in hopes of getting the coal cheaper. Well I got the coal a bit cheaper but it doesn't compare to Blaschak. The coal I switched to this season has produced great heat, but I'm drowning in ash. Twice the ash as Blaschak coal. The coal is from the South Tamaqua mine. Lesson learned, why fix it if it ain't broke!
Great post again Mr. Lightning!

I agree with Tcalo very much since I did the same thing but im a coal "freek" and went out trying 6 different brands this season alone... some more $$$, some less $$$.... ALL brought me back to blaschak and I read a lot on this forum early in season to get ratings, prices, etc. of coal (I think that was the initial basis this forum began for ages ago?)... I think it evolved into coal stoves, products, services, etc as years went on. the testing has been done for you for this season already (maybe next season Blaschak starts pulling from another mine since they have several.... but we are ontop of this shyt like a mission here!)

If you cant help yourself and simply want to learn differences than by all means buy a few bags of whatever you can and post up your results (we love em'), if you wish to try another well spoken of brand I would suggest Reading Coal.

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