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  #21  
Old 10-27-2012, 12:54 PM
JarDude Male JarDude is offline
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Originally Posted by oldtimer View Post
.I wouldn't burn corn if you paid me. My grandfather always said that corn was meant for feed, not fuel. He said in the 1920's corn was cheap and coal high. Lots of people burned corn instead of coal and then God sent us the dirty thirites so we had no crops.
LOL.
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  #22  
Old 10-27-2012, 09:01 PM
Plowpoint Male Plowpoint is offline
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This does not sound right to me, at least for those burning anthracite. I get a little dust off the coal, but I do not get any soot, and even the coal dust is no worse then what my late dog used to bring in for dust. I even asked many of my coal burning friends if they got soot in their houses, and these people have different models of stoves and burn a lot more tons of it then I do, and the consensus was the same...no soot.

When you were house-hunting, was it in Ohio as well? I am thinking that because Ohio has a lot of coal mines, but none being anthracite, the coal burning places you speak of, have always burned bituminous coal, also called soft coal, which is a lot different from anthracite coal. That stuff contains a lot of soot.


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Originally Posted by Tod View Post
My sister and BIL used to burn coal and found the following:

The extra heat with which it burned shortened the life of the furnace.

Black soot began to slowly coat the inside of the house.

I'll add the following extra observation: When I was looking for a house to buy, I toured several that had had coal furnaces. Every single one of them had soot-coated walls throughout the house.

My sister and BIL have stopped burning coal and now use exclusively wood.
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  #23  
Old 10-27-2012, 09:04 PM
Plowpoint Male Plowpoint is offline
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One bad thing about coal however that I did not mention, is that you get a lot more ash then you do from burning wood. In fact you get about 3 times as much ash, and this ash has no benefit on your gardens and other crops. It is not alkaline so it does not make your acidic soil less so by acting like a lime alternative.

It won't do any harm in your garden, and it may actually lighten the soil, but it has no real value either.

We spread the ash on our driveway to keep from slipping on the snow and ice, but this comes with a caveat as well...we are a shoeless house, meaning we take our shoes off at the door. If you do not do that, then you will track the coal into the house.
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  #24  
Old 10-28-2012, 03:11 AM
Tod Tod is offline
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Plowpoint: yes, in Ohio. I expect the coal was bituminous.
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  #25  
Old 10-29-2012, 01:28 AM
oldtimer oldtimer is offline
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Wow, plowpoint, what must it be like to live where you can get hard coal.

We don't live in the "snowbelt" apparently. We live in an area where the winters are alway below zero and there's nothing to stop the wind that blows down from the artic circle but a few barb wired fences.

Coal was the fuel that built this country. I had some dude came up here from Texas some years ago looking to relocate and buy one of our many abandoned farm places here but he wouldn't buy a place because we had no houses with fireplaces. This was coal stove country, not fireplace country.

Read Laura Ingalls Wilder, we had no trees so burning wood was out. You soon burned up the buffalo chips, those pioneering forefathers burned coal they had shipped in from back east.

In later years, we got coal from ND or Wyo. because the freight was less. This is true soft coal as it is Lignite. Lignite is extremely dirty and dusty. It is also not very good at giving off heat.

When I was a kid we used to get hard coal brought in from back east and buy it at the lumber yard. Folks with stoves usually burned anthracite from West. Va, but if you had a furnace, you burned lignite from Wyo. or ND.

Then we lost our railroads and that was the end of coal burning for most folks though there are some with large boilers who are still burning coal but they're burning lignite brought in from Wyo. becuase you have to buy your own coal and have it brought in by the semi load.

Yep, I wish we could get coal at Wally's. We can't get heating pellets there either.
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  #26  
Old 10-29-2012, 06:51 AM
Plowpoint Male Plowpoint is offline
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We can get it, but it is expensive. Here you are going to pay $354 per ton, where as in other states that have access to rail cars of it, they are only paying $220 a ton. This is a hard pill to swallow for me because when I started burning it 20 years ago, it was a mere $150 per ton.

It's gone up for two reasons: in order for the Presidents green power agenda to be cost effective, they have had to make regulations on the alternatives to green power more expensive, and thus have made the regulations to mine coal a lot harder. And because #2 furnace oil and natural gas have increased, coal has gone up simply because it has kept pace with these other fuels on a cost per btu basis.

I worked for the railroad out in Wyoming a lot, working what is known as the Powder River Loop which is a team effort between Union Pacific and BNSF because there is no way a single railroad could move that much coal coming from that region. One Sunday I set up a coal mine tour with Black Thunder Mine in Wright, Wyoming and got a long tour of that operation. It was amazing, but like you say, the coal is not all that great. The guy told me that in order to get it to burn, "you gotta practically soak it in diesel fuel." Their mine price per ton was $10 and was shocked that I was paying $150 per ton retail for anthracite. We had a nice long talk over coal and so it was a great tour with lots of pictures of HUGE equipment.
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  #27  
Old 10-29-2012, 03:40 PM
Tod Tod is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plowpoint View Post
We can get it, but it is expensive. Here you are going to pay $354 per ton, where as in other states that have access to rail cars of it, they are only paying $220 a ton. This is a hard pill to swallow for me because when I started burning it 20 years ago, it was a mere $150 per ton.
Price is probably only going to go up up up, too. Probably be a good investment to buy a lifetime supply.

I wonder how coal would work in a rocket mass heater?
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  #28  
Old 10-29-2012, 03:42 PM
Bones Bones is offline
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Wish I could get it but tried to find a source in Western Tennessee and none close by
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  #29  
Old 10-29-2012, 04:06 PM
grumble Male grumble is offline
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"I wonder how coal would work in a rocket mass heater?"

Should work pretty well. It's the same idea as a coal-fired blacksmith's forge.
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  #30  
Old 10-29-2012, 10:05 PM
Plowpoint Male Plowpoint is offline
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You know Tod I was wondering this myself.

This is a bit different thinking, but along the same lines...

Here in the house, my little Vogelzang Pot Bellied stove really cranks, as I type this I am in the farthest room in the house from it, and it is a cool 76 degrees. In the kitchen where the stove sits, it is so hot that our real salted butter has completely melted, the floor it sits on is so hot you can barely walk on it with bare feet, and I was honestly breaking a sweat just eating supper!

That is pretty warm.

So warm that I have to put a piece of tin up to keep the wall 3 feet away from getting too hot. As you know, coal radiates heat better then wood, so I was thinking, maybe if I placed rock behind my stove, and on that rock run pex tubing throughout. I would think the rock would get warm, and thus warm the water in the pex, and then I could run that to a pre-heater for my hot water heater.

I have all the parts to do it; pex, fittings and even a circulation pump, but have yet to try it.

I originally thought about fixing copper tubing to the tin shield that protects my wall, but the cost of copper pipe in the amount I would need would be prohibitive. But PEX is cheap, and if embedded in the rock surround, it would not melt, but still get warm enough to pre-heat my domestic water...maybe??? It just seems ike such a waste of waste heat.
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  #31  
Old 10-29-2012, 10:37 PM
Jon Male Jon is offline
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Plowpoint, that sounds like it should work to me. My only thought would be how far the water heater is from your stove. Woulnt want to get it nice and warm then through radiant loss be cooler as it enters the tank. Maybe making several courses or laps around the back of the stone to get the most heat in the water as possible before it heads to your tank?
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  #32  
Old 10-30-2012, 04:28 AM
oldtimer oldtimer is offline
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Time we pay for freight, our cost is about eighty bucks a ton for lignite out of Gillette, WY. You're right, you pretty near have to soak it in diesel to get it to burn.

In fact, the stoker coal that comes out of Wyoming is soaked with oil to help it burn but I burn lump and not stoker.

Wyo. coal supplies much of the electricity used in this country, when O is done, we won't be able to afford electricity. Green is in, ha ha.

We've wasted millions and millions on wind energy and it's not feasible.
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