Does Anthracite Produce Clinker?

A Coal stoker furnace or stove controls most operations including automatically feeding the coal. They are quite similar to any conventional oil and gas units and easily operated for extended periods of time. They commonly use rice coal but may use larger sizes like buckwheat. They can be used as primary heat, supplementary heat or have a dual set up with your existing oil/gas furnace.
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NJJoe
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Post Mon. Apr. 30, 2012 10:30 am

Or is this something bit coal does when burning?

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Berlin
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Post Mon. Apr. 30, 2012 11:07 am

any coal fired hot enough will produce a clinker. It is dependent on the coal's ash fusion temp or AFT. Most anthracites will typically have a little higher ash fusion temp, but many do not. Some bit coals have low ash fusion temp (typically with high pyritic sulfur - red ash coal) but many bit coals have very high ash fusion temps and clinkers don't happen under normal conditions with these coals. The easiest way to tell if your coal will be prone to producing clinkers if fired hot will be to look at the color of the ash - with most eastern coals a pink or white ash coal will be less likely to clinker than a dark orange or deep red ash coal.
Burning western Pennsylvania Bituminous in WNY using model 77 stoker furnace. BITUMINOUS equiptment: 2 hand fired stoves of my own design, Many Combustioneer Model 77 stokers, stokermatic furnace, Many Will-Burt stokers, & and Two Iron firemen.

NJJoe
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Post Mon. Apr. 30, 2012 11:17 am

Thanks Berlin for the reply. The reason why I ask is because I was on a hike and realized that the hiking trail was an old railroad right-of-way that fell into disuse and eventually the rails were removed. The town converted the line into a hiking path. I didn't know this until I spotted some curious black rocks and upon closer examination, it was coal. Anthracite to be specific.

I also found plenty of clinker. I walk this trail alot and come across some coal here and there, I just take it home and build up a nice collection of it. I've only found anthracite coal so far and no bit. But the abundance of clinker made me think that the trains may have burned some bit. This is Massachusetts so I figured that anthracite was more common due to geographical proximity to nepa. Until your post, I was under the impression that bit was the source coal for clinker and anthracite burned "cleaner". Thanks for clearing this up.

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Richard S.
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Post Mon. Apr. 30, 2012 4:33 pm

Red ash is more likely to clinker than white ash as far as anthracite goes, the big factor is the how fast you're burning it. The hotter you tey and burn it the more likely it will clinker.

The ash you saw along the trail was most likely the result of a mine fire and mostly rock, it was a bright orange?

http://www.undergroundminers.com/olyphantfire.html

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NJJoe
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Post Wed. May. 02, 2012 8:57 am

Nice pics, especially the night time shot. Actual flames can be seen..wow.

I will take a pic of the clinker the next time I go and hike this trail. From what I remember the clinker I saw looked like it was very porous, like lava rock or a pumice of some kind except it was metallic in nature and somewhat heavy. I would say it had some streaks of orange, possibly rust. Pretty brittle and easy to break when smashed on another rock and the freshly broken clinker smelled of sulfur inside.

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Berlin
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Post Thu. May. 03, 2012 2:50 am

depending on the engine setup, design fuel, and how much money the railroad wanted to spend, they occasionally would burn high sulfur (pyritic sulfur, not organic creates clinkers) coal and then dump the clinkers along the track. Sometimes you'll find that the ballast is made of cinders from industrial furnaces and sometimes slag. The old D&H in the ADK's had slag ballast in places because of the Iron industry in the northeast ADK's.
Burning western Pennsylvania Bituminous in WNY using model 77 stoker furnace. BITUMINOUS equiptment: 2 hand fired stoves of my own design, Many Combustioneer Model 77 stokers, stokermatic furnace, Many Will-Burt stokers, & and Two Iron firemen.

NJJoe
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Post Mon. May. 21, 2012 9:57 pm

Here are some pics of the coal and clinker that I found on the railway. You can see in the clinker pic what looks to be some sort of melted rusting metal fused to what seems like unburned coal. The klinker is also found in rocks comprised of many brittle layers, similar to mica and can be peeled off one another.

I speculate that both bit and anth coals were used in the history of the railway. I tested this with a torch and some coals glowed at the edges yet were impossible to light but still smoked upon removal of the flame. Other coals lit easily, swelled and fractured into smaller pieces often burning with considerably more smoke.
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Clinker

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