JW513

Does this look like bituminous coal?

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Someone is selling this in my area, this is the only picture. Its listed as bituminous coal.  Could someone please confirm that it is or isn't, or that its too hard to tell from the picture? I think it looks  like it, but I'm still a novice. 

 

Thanks

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Hard to really tell from a photo. It "looks" to me to be anthracite. I say this because of the sheen of it. The bituminous I have dealt with generally has less sheen and usually has a darker color to it where anthracite I have dealt with looks more like what is pictured. 

Any chance of getting a small batch to try, or atleast seeing it in person to see how it breaks up? 

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How does it burn?  There are many many varieties of bituminous coal.  That looks a lot like some of the better bituminous coal I used to get when I lived in Ohio; but how easy to light and how much smoke is the test.

 

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Ask him to provide an analysis for the coal, or the coal seam, or the mine source. Tell him you want it for blacksmithing and need to know these things so you can get the right stuff.

If he can not provide the information purchase a small quantity and take it home and test it in the forge.

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Thanks for the responses. I'll contact the seller later on today.

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There is also a sub-bituminous coal, usually used for power plants (especially in the western USA as much comes from WY) and not a great grade.   It sometimes shows up on the smithing market because it's cheap and available.  Below is a photo of the 4 basic types of coal...but be aware that variations in how coal looks are actually quite wide so it's hard to determine from a single photo.  For an average joe,  anthracite is usually easy to spot because when you break it, it tends to have a glassy looking surface.  Bituminous tends to look more grainy when it's broken (again, variations are pretty wide ranging)

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Try to avoid the stuff with visible lines of sulfur in it!

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