Burning Coke

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Post Sun. Oct. 10, 2010 10:44 am

Hi all I am new to the forum and am considering a coal fired appliance. I was wondering if any one has any experience with using coke as a fuel , I am in Indiana and hard coal is at a premium But coke is plentiful ( steel manufacturing as a reducing agent ). I am a blacksmith and use coke in a forge for fuel as well


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Post Sun. Oct. 10, 2010 10:50 am

Welcome to the forum. I'm moving your post to the "Bituminous" heading, you should have some answers soon.

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Post Mon. Oct. 11, 2010 12:38 am

There is nothing wrong with using coke as a fuel. Having said that, here's a few reasons I don't like it. 1. although the btu/lb is decent, coke is not a dense fuel like coal, a whole firebox full of coke will burn up much, much faster than a full firebox of coal. 2. It's often more expensive than anthracite, and far more than good bituminous coal. 3. It can be a pain to burn - coke is very "picky" about the firebox temp, airflow etc., not enough draft, too low firebox temp and the fire will quickly go out.

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Post Mon. Oct. 11, 2010 10:59 am

Coke is an excellent fuel,but that said, requires a much different approach.

As Berlin has said coke is very light,some will float on water, thereby you

need a large firebox in a hand fed stove to be able to get reasonable burn

times between filings.In a large tractor dump trailer (40') you can heap the load

and still be legal <80,000#.

Coke is very pure form of carbon so has a need to have a forced air draft to

keep a good burn,also a very narrow burning range and works best in a

steady burn condition for maximum efficiency.

When coke is made the bituminous coal is heated (Burned) in a closed

oven driving off the volatile compounds leaving a carbon sponge full of

holes but still retaining some of the ash and other not burnable compounds.

The very pure nature of the product is why it is used in the steel making

process,it doesn't add undesirable elements to the steel.

I wouldn't use it in a hand feed stove because of the short burn times,and

usually the absence of a forced draft.


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