There’s nothing better than rounding up your friends and family for a summer’s evening around the firepit. But, how much do you really know about the coal or fuel that you’re burning? Here’s an insight into everything you need to know about coal.
Coal is one of the most important primary fossil fuels. It’s a solid, carbon-rich material that is usually brown or black and most often occurs in stratified sedimentary deposits.
The History of Coal
Coal cinders found among Roman ruins in England suggest that the Romans were familiar with coal use before 400 CE. Many references to coal mining in England, Scotland and on the European continent began to appear in the writings of the 13th century but coal was used only on a limited scale right up until the early 18th century.
Up to the time of the American Revolution, most coal used in the American colonies came from England or Nova Scotia. By the early 1830s, mining companies had emerged along the Ohio, Illinois, and Mississippi rivers and in the Appalachian region. Similar to European countries, the introduction of the steam locomotive gave the American coal industry a tremendous incentive.
Modern Coal as an Energy Source
Coal is an abundant natural resource that can not only be used as a source of energy but for much more.
It can be used as a chemical source from which numerous synthetic compounds (for example; dyes, oils, waxes, pharmaceuticals and pesticides) can be derived. It is also required for the production of coke for metallurgical processes.
Coal is a major source of energy in the production of electrical power using steam generation. In addition, gasification and liquefaction of coal produce gaseous and liquid fuels that can be easily transported (e.g. by pipeline) and conveniently stored in tanks.
Different varieties of coal arise because of differences in the kinds of plant material (coal type), degree of coalification (coal rank), and range of impurities (coal grade). At Coal Hut, we have a number of different coals, all fit for different purposes.
Colombian Group 2 Coal - Sourced exclusively from Colombian mines, this coal is considered by many as the premium house coal on the market. It burns with a natural high flame, concentrated low heat and residual ash. It’s suitable for use in both open fires and multi-use stoves.
Five Star Coal - This coal is selected for its high heat output. It has a long burn time, low fluffy residual ash content and is suitable for use in both open fires and multi-fuel stoves. Bituminous coal should not be burnt in smoke control areas, however.
House Coal - This premier grade coal also has a long burn time and low fluffy residual ash content. This high-quality coal is favoured by traditionalists.
Singles - Perfect for small and medium open fires as well as pot-belly stoves. This coal is often used with other fuels to extend burn time, tame a roaring fire and maintain heat.
Homefire - Our Homefire Smokeless Coal is a premium grade manufactured smokeless ovoid that offers you the quality and experience of a traditional fire whilst being suitable for use in smoke control areas.
Surelite - A compact manufactured ovoid that sits neatly in the grate. Maintains heat output over a sustained fire life before burning to a tight fine ash. This is a great fuel for open fires and multi-fuel stoves.
Glolite - A value for money, manufactured smokeless ovoids in an oval shape. Easy to light, providing sustained and controllable heat and burns to a fine residual ash. Glolite is an ever-popular smokeless fuel that is suitable for open fires and multi-fuel stoves that can be burnt in smoke control areas.
There you have it! You’re now well-versed and ready to select the perfect coal for your stove or firepit this summer.