1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Considering Coal AND The Carbon Neutral Debate

Post in 'The Green Room' started by tjnamtiw, May 29, 2011.

  1. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,047
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    I have two Quad pellet stoves but have often said here that, if I had coal available, I would switch to a coal stoker in a second. I also question those in eastern Pa who are considering pellet stoves why they don't consider modern coal burning stoves. For those on the fence, here is the suppler that my brother in law uses for his new stoker.

    AA130FIREMAN wrote:
    South Tamaqua Coal Pockets phone # (570)386-5445

    804 W Penn Pike
    Tamaqua, PA 18252-5658

    Give them a call and then compare the price to pellets using the many cost comparison charts available.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,830
    Loc:
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    Burning pellets helps the earth. Burning coal is destroying the earth.
  3. The Radiator

    The Radiator Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Messages:
    89
    Loc:
    Central CT
    Coal came out of the earth, its not going to destroy it. Man will do it all by himself. I burnt pea coal in two different stoves, a Sudiac and then a surdiac/jotul. They heat much better than a pellet stove but are difficult to control and a lot dirtier. Both stoves were the hopper type and if they went out were alot of work to get going again. Pellets are much more convenient and the stove can go on and off with a stat. I still have my second stove in the garage, didn't even consider putting it in the house we are in now. I can remember having to open the windows because it would cook you out of the house on a warmer day. I do remember having to purchase only about 1.25 tons for a season vs 3 ton of pellets. Coal is cheaper to burn for sure but wood pellets are way more convenient.
  4. Centurion

    Centurion Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2008
    Messages:
    111
    Loc:
    Nr Albany, NY
    tjnamtiw.
    There is one very important thing to consider with coal. One, is the ash. One third the volume of coal results in ash. The thought alone of having to dump smelly coal ash once a day is enough to make me stay a pellet burner. Another thing to consider is the black mess of cleaning it. It is a very messy chore to clean coal stoves and boilers compared to the pellet burning. Also, the dust that comes up in pouring pellets in the hopper is not BLACK! When they bag coal, they bag it wet to help control the black dust. That water can really mess up the stoker slide feeder plus it will cause rust, yuck!! How do I know?? I owned one. Coal may be a cheaper fuel but it still needs to be shipped by truck.

    Stay with pellets tjnamtiw. I'm certain you won't regret it.

    John
  5. hossthehermit

    hossthehermit Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,362
    Loc:
    Maine, ayuh, by gorry
    A friend of mine has one of the new types, it's 2-3 years old he loves it, I'm impressed after seeing it run, don't know where you get this 1/3 coal volume is ash crap from, he dumps his once a month.
  6. Singed Eyebrows

    Singed Eyebrows New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,420
    Loc:
    Midwest
    If I had cheap anthracite coal thats what I would burn. I'd probably use a Hitzer(self feeding top load) stove instead of a boiler for simplicity. I would not burn soft coal unless it was free. Randy
  7. jpd989

    jpd989 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    nepa
    I have a hand fired DS Machine wood and coal stove. I have and still do burn anthracite coal. I like the fact it will burn for 12 to 24 hours on a full load of coal. Depending on the outside temps. The coal i get ranges from 10 to 13 percent ash. And its only as dirty as you make it. If you are careful there is little ash and dust. I have mine in my basement, and if it got to dusty or dirty I would hear about it from the wife.
  8. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    7,108
    Loc:
    N.E. Penna
    Yes, we will make the world uninhabitable by humans one way or another, but in the event that is going to take a while it doesn't hurt to try and keep things as low impact as possible.

    At the end of the day the coal is worse for the globe than the pellets. Pellets come from carbon that is part of the current (living) carbon cycle. Coal uses carbon that has been out of the cycle for millions of years thereby increasing the CO2 in the atmosphere. At the time it was in the atmosphere, our planet was much like Venus (a very uninhabitable place).

    As far as the idea of burning coal, I live in / near coal mines here in Pa and many have switched to pellets because they are cleaner in the house.

    A good place to head to w/ more coal burning experience than here is www.nepacrossroads.com

    pen
  9. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,047
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    The coal I burned for about 10 years was less than 10% ash so I don't know where you come up with 1/3...???~~~ Like someone else said, it's only as messy as you make it on the cleanup. I NEVER had a problem. Smelly coal ash???? These two statements make me wonder what the H you were burning.

    As far as water on the coal goes, it isn't water. Many breakers coat the coal in a light spray of heating oil to keep the dust down. You can also go to the breaker with your pickup and get a load of coal at very reasonable costs.

    Look at the new coal stoves made around Reading, Pa and you will see that they are nothing like the older versions.
  10. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,047
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    I don't really understand how using our natural resources is destroying the earth.. Maybe you better move that comment over to the radicals in the other discussion group. :)

    China sure doesn't care about ruining the earth as they are on a ten year plan to build a coal fired electric plant every week for 10 years. Somehow I think that will out-'destroy' the earth more than a few coal burning heaters here. Oh, we are going to sell the coal to them too.......................
  11. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,533
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    The one thing that folks forget about pellets is the use of them is predicated on removing nature's atmospheric scrubbers and a large CO2 sink from the system. In short there is no method of burning that is neutral in any form.

    But that having been said the view that CO2 as a major player in doing in the planet is a bunch of malarkey. One would be better served by considering the influence of atmospheric water vapor and what influences the hydrological cycle (hint it isn't CO2 which is likely the reason the models always diverge from actual temperature readings.)
  12. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,830
    Loc:
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    This would only be true if trees were being cut for the sole purpose of making pellets. If pellets are made from wood waste, which is from trees grown for purpose and harvested in a sustainable manner, then the opposite is true. Making pellets and burning then for heat and displacing the use of fossil fuels with said pellets is actualy somewhat carbon negative. Additionaly, if the wood waste were not made into pellets but allowed to decompose, the result would be the release of methane gas, a greenhouse gas some 24 times as powerful as CO2.
  13. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,830
    Loc:
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    Just because you don't understand something doesn't make it untrue TJ. I thought we cleared that up a long time ago.

    Furhtermore, just because a communist asian nation is doing something bad for the earth, that does not make it O.K. for us to do it, given there is a choice.
    If one were elderly, infirm or extremely poor, I could see burning coal.
  14. RIDGERUNNER30

    RIDGERUNNER30 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Messages:
    226
    Loc:
    Eastern, Kentucky
    I live in coal country and myself a underground coal miner, I'am thankful that god put coal in these hills were i live, because without it, I would be able to give my family the nicer things in life, I don't think coal is destorying earth, god put it here for us to use and we have let these green people tell us that the earth is warming up and this past winter i believe it snowed in every state but two of them, I myself burn wood because i can get it for free and there is so much of it around and i believe thet coal will cost much more in the future due to all these regulations that the epa and those crazy green people are trying to put in place, put coal heat is some of the best heat you can have and super long burn times, I know china is buying every ton of coal we can ship them and our country is playing second fiddle while these green people try to find another place to put up another wind fan to save the earth. we need to focus on getting our country back to work and creating jobs, going green will drive us to depression.
  15. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,830
    Loc:
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    God also put polio and cancer on the earth. Don't worry, your job is secure. Even if we stopped burning coal it's use as a chemical building block will never stop.
  16. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,533
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    A lot of trees are being cut and debarked for exactly the purpose of turning them into pellets. In addition to this the bark is also mulched to used as a moisture retainer

    In fact the amount of methane released only by biomass burning is more than the net annual increase in atmospheric methane levels.

    So do not assume that biomass burning results in just CO2 being released.

    So once again there is nothing neutral about burning wood pellets. The carbon neutral line is a line of bull.
  17. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,830
    Loc:
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    Umm, sorry but you left out one major factor which ruins your argument; roots. As much as 45% of the mass of a tree is underground, a true carbon sink even if the tree is burned. For this reason, pellets are not just neutral, but actualy carbon negative compared to fossil fuels.
  18. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,533
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    The roots decay producing methane which is released. It isn't sequestered unless it gets deeply buried (see those wetlands (which over a long time span one obtains coal from) and discover they are the largest source of methane emissions). The other thing that you haven't figured out is that burning wood in general isn't even carbon dioxide neutral.

    Dune the methane released is almost twice the annual increase. You should see what plain old wood burning does.

    The last time I did the division the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere was some 222 times that of methane and just to add to the fun water vapor still leads the list and also that while methane is some 25 times worse than CO2 as a GHG its effects are shorter lived than CO2.
  19. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,830
    Loc:
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    If methane didn't get trapped underground, there wouldn't be natural gas (methane) deposits all over the continent.

    The thing you keep missing is that burning wood or pellets is carbon neutral compared to burning fossil fuels. Burning wood in Florida in the summer would not be carbon neutraL.


    Further, and most important, much of the carbon is not released as methane from the wood upon decay, under the ground. It is simply carbon held in the soil, not in the atmosphere.
  20. hossthehermit

    hossthehermit Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,362
    Loc:
    Maine, ayuh, by gorry

    HELLO, something is carbon neutral, or it isn't. It's not "carbon neutral compared to" something else. It's like "just kinda pregnant, but not compared to her".
  21. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    7,108
    Loc:
    N.E. Penna
    Meanwhile back at the ranch, while the Lone Ranger was still polishing silver, Tonto cleverly disguised as a door knob came off in the ranger's hand.....

    While the off topic argument here is valid (and I too took place in it) we are getting far off of the original posters request for info.

    Any further posts should be to aide in the OPosters situation or else a new thread should be created in the green room.

    If a new thread is created I'd be happy to move those posts which are related to that thread.

    pen
  22. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,047
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    EXACTLY, we all know Dune is a tree hugger and can't or won't admit that others could be right. I was the OP and merely posted some info where those previous posters from the coal regions could find a source for coal or at least consider it as a more cost effective alternative to the rising cost of pellets. From there things got too BS'd with untruths and way off topic. Those topics belong over on the Ash Can or Green zone.
  23. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,830
    Loc:
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    No point starting a thread in the green room, it has all been covered before. Deniers don't change their minds because of an internet discussion.
  24. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,533
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    Actually the methane that gets trapped is rarely from tree roots in the forest those get the conversion of the wood to methane via termites, ants, and various bacteria and fungi. You have to get the carbon mass well buried to remove the action of natures scavengers.

    The other thing about harvesting wood for any purpose is that you remove atmospheric scrubbers from the environment. In other words you destroy sinks.
  25. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,830
    Loc:
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    Starting thread in green room.

    Be obliged if you move the relevant posts, Pen. Thanks.

Share This Page