Posts Tagged ‘Coal’

Buy Anthracite Coal for Less Sooty Fires

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Anthracite is part of a geological formation that has spent a very long time under the ground, and has thus been subjected to a lot of pressure and heat. It is therefore coal which is highly compressed and very hard. When you buy anthracite coal, what you are essentially getting is a coal that can produce greater energy than other softer coals.

Anthracite is very brittle because of its hardness and will produce a blue flame that is very hot. Its main use is in the heating of homes for homes, and its easy availability in Pennsylvania, comes from the fact that most of anthracite coal is mined in this region. The coal is a very clean burning type, and when you buy anthracite coal you have coal that produces lesser smoke than other coals, while still producing more heat. It burns longer than wood, and that is what has made it a preferred fuel for stove systems used for heating homes. It has earned the nickname of “hard coal” from engineers who work on locomotives where such coal is used.

Anthracite has less than one percent of sulfur and nitrogen, which is what makes it a coal that is environmentally acceptable. The ash content is rarely above twenty percent, and is generally much lower. While it does have about five percent of volatile matter, its moisture content stays below fifteen percent. Its slow burning rate and high density make it difficult to ignite, so it is not the first choice for coal plants that use pulverized coal. Temperatures produced by anthracite are 900 degrees or more and you can get a heating of 15000 BTU per pound. Even the waste coal, discarded during mining will give about 5000 BTU per pound.

The very high density of anthracite does not allow it to expand or fuse together, thus rendering it ineffective for coking.  There are not many sources for such anthracite, and Pennsylvania continues to remain the main source of anthracite. The mines are very deep and this continuously acts to deter the mining because of the high costs involved. The coal in Pennsylvania was accidentally discovered by a hunter whose campfire ignited an outcrop on which he was camping. It mainly found its use for domestic heating, but even now it is used in public buildings and schools in this state. When railway engines were running on steam, anthracite was the favorite of engineers because the burning produced less soot and travelers considered such trains cleaner. Anthracite Coal is a leading provider of coal for businesses.

Coal mining of anthracite led to the railways that were used to transport coal, adopting a narrower gauge of railways as this led to lesser cutting of mountainsides that led to the anthracite coal mines. Even though the mining industry is in the doldrums, these narrow gauge railways are an attraction for tourists and enthusiasts of railways. When you are considering buying anthracite for home heating make sure you use closed combustion devices. Also be aware of the fact that this coal is two or three times costlier than standard coal. It is only the high calorific value and low soot production that make it a variety of coal that is to be preferred.