Broad Top Coal

 
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LDPosse
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Post by LDPosse » Fri. Feb. 01, 2013 11:02 pm

After some careful online research, I was able to secure a load of ROM coal, it was mined from the Broad Top field. It is located in South Central PA, where Huntingdon, Fulton, and Bedford counties meet. There is very little mining being done in this area today. I wanted to try some of this coal since it was historically billed as "smokeless bituminous", high BTU, and good for hand firing.

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

According to the DCNR it's the highest BTU coal in the state.
http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo/education/coal/es7.pdf

I threw some pieces between stove and lump size on the fire, approx 20 lbs worth. The volatile content burned off quickly with little fanfare, with a mix of blue and yellow flames. I'll have to wait till tomorrow to see how the ash content is.

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Last edited by LDPosse on Fri. Feb. 01, 2013 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by LDPosse » Fri. Feb. 01, 2013 11:19 pm

Update : Lookin good 2.5 hrs after loading. 17° outside and 72° inside! Just simmering along.

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Berlin
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Post by Berlin » Sat. Feb. 02, 2013 9:33 am

Looks good. Some of that low and mid volatile bituminous coal is very high in btu, as high as 15,000+/lb. As long as it's not a strong coking coal (which most of the low/mid vol are, unfortunately) It will probably be excellent coal for hand-firing.

I didn't know anyone was still mining that central pa low/mid vol coal? They stopped mining the northern fields years ago, it was very good coal. Had family that worked in NYSEG powerplants that burned it years ago, I still have a few buckets of it. How much did it cost you for the load of Rom?

 
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Post by LDPosse » Sat. Feb. 02, 2013 5:10 pm

This stuff does swell some in the firebox, but it doesn't seem to be as bad as the stuff from Somerset and MD. I noticed that it did bridge in the firebox, but it seems to burn down OK anyway. It burns down to a fine, gray powder ash. It doesn't make too much smoke, but it's definitely not "smokeless"...

This is the first time I've purchased ROM.... This is kind of a pain to deal with, sifting out fines and picking out pieces of slate that are stuck to the coal. The truckload was $130, I think it was about 2 tons worth. The guy just filled the bed up, didn't even bother with the scale. He didn't have any house coal prepped, but he said his house coal runs from 1/2" up to lump size, and gets $80/ton for it. I would gladly pay the premium for that. In the meantime, I guess I'm going to need to pick up some mesh to put the smaller stuff on and shake it down.

Supposedly there are 3 or 4 other outfits doing small-time mining at Broad Top, but this was the only one that would sell me any coal. The owner said he wants to try to get into the house coal market, since demand from coal fired power plants is down.

 
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Post by LoschStoker » Sun. Feb. 03, 2013 2:16 pm

I remember the late 50's or early 60's my dad went up to New Gernada I think and got a pickup load of soft coal.
It burned great so he got Ralph Scott to get him a truck load.
When the wood went out so did the coal.

 
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Post by catpowrd » Sun. Feb. 03, 2013 2:41 pm

That pickup looks like about 3200lbs unless that coal weights up a lot different than the rom that I have.

 
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Post by LDPosse » Sun. Feb. 03, 2013 5:19 pm

catpowrd wrote:That pickup looks like about 3200lbs unless that coal weights up a lot different than the rom that I have.
Your estimate is probably better than mine. I'm basing my estimate on a similar sized load of nut sized anthracite.

I am really liking this coal so far. I can just shake it down, give the fire a few pokes to smooth it out, dump a fresh bucket of coal in, close it up and walk away. I wasn't comfortable doing that with the other low vol coal, and certainly not with the high vol bit. The stove temp had a tendency to spike too much. I was able to control the MD and somerset coals by using the "Nut and Slack" method I mentioned in another thread :D but that is totally unnecessary with the Broad Top coal.

 
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Post by LDPosse » Sun. Feb. 03, 2013 8:24 pm

Berlin wrote:They stopped mining the northern fields years ago, it was very good coal.
Do you know which county/counties it was mined in?

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Post by Rob R. » Sun. Feb. 03, 2013 9:17 pm

Nice looking coal and fire.

 
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Post by lowfog01 » Mon. Feb. 04, 2013 5:13 am

Ok, I've been following this thread to find out what ROM coal is. I give up - what is ROM coal? Is that the mine it came from or what? Lisa
Last edited by lowfog01 on Mon. Feb. 04, 2013 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

 
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Post by Short Bus » Mon. Feb. 04, 2013 5:17 am

Run of Mine, fines and chunks, straight from the coal seam. No real effort is made to size ROM coal.

 
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Post by catpowrd » Mon. Feb. 04, 2013 9:34 am

The two mines I haul out of refer to ROM as raw coal. Which is just the coal as is comes from the mine before it goes through the wash plant and is sized. It can contain rock, slate, dirt with everything from dust to 100lb chunks. It seems they don't want to sell lump coal, either raw or stoker. I think I am going to need to build my own screening and sizing device. Does anyone have any pictures or design plans? I want to be able to screen and size about 60 to 80 ton per year into 4 sizes.

 
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Post by LDPosse » Mon. Feb. 04, 2013 9:50 am

catpowrd wrote:The two mines I haul out of refer to ROM as raw coal. Which is just the coal as is comes from the mine before it goes through the wash plant and is sized. It can contain rock, slate, dirt with everything from dust to 100lb chunks. It seems they don't want to sell lump coal, either raw or stoker. I think I am going to need to build my own screening and sizing device. Does anyone have any pictures or design plans? I want to be able to screen and size about 60 to 80 ton per year into 4 sizes.
I am thinking along the same lines.... I'd like to be able to get a few tri-axles of this stuff. The owner of the place I got the broad top coal from said he can supply coal that ranges from lump down to 1/2", but he said they hand pick all the slate/shale. I saw this article online that shows how to separate coal from other materials, which they refer to as "jigging".....

http://www.rsc.org/Education/Teachers/Resources/j ... achers.pdf

Looks like the best way to do this would be to run the coal across a conveyor first and spray it off with water before "jigging". Not sure what I'd do with the waste water and shale/slate.

 
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Post by lowfog01 » Mon. Feb. 04, 2013 9:52 am

Thank you, I learn something new everytime I log on to the NEPA Crossroads. Lisa

 
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Post by Short Bus » Mon. Feb. 04, 2013 2:31 pm

I have run a small mineal Jig, they are used for sorting by specific gravity or weight of paticals. jigging involves alot of water and that attracts the EPA.
Here is a picture of a small Jig http://graymfg.com/mineral.html when in operation you can put your fingers on the screen and it feals like a calf sucking on your fingers.
In our aplication the gold ended up on the screen and in the bottom of the unit. For coal I understand you need to put mushroom like structures on the screen that allow the rocks to go out a pipe in the side of the unit, that is a option these pictures don't have, and I have never seen.

Sizing coal is a whole different and simpler project. Probably the easiest way is to get some top soil proccessor to screen it for you, he will want money, they might want winter work.
Maybe get one of these for that bobcat that loads your trailer :D .

everybody loves bobcats.
I sorta like the bucket tromel

these come from other manufactures for loader backhoes. How about diping it in a pond to get rid of fines. :)

Caution I love spending other peoples money. 8-) :P
Last edited by Short Bus on Mon. Feb. 04, 2013 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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