Letter Re: Some Thoughts on Burning Coal

It’s been interesting to see the buzz about coal lately. Certainly something worth looking in to. I’m not for or against it, but I do have a few comments:

If you are into blacksmithing, a coal supply will serve multiple purposes.

Not all coal is equal. High grade coal is less sulfurous than low grade coal, though I only notice that when I am working with open burning coals like over a forge. It may not be an issue in a stove. I don’t know but it might be worth washing low grade coal. It’s something I want to look into.

When I worked over coal every day for a few months, I developed a bad cough and wheeze. Ventilation in any context is important when dealing with coal.

Also, machine dug coal (which is all coal now) can be dusty. This too can be adverse to your health.

The spent coke from your coal could have many useful purposes, like as a substitute for vermiculite as a soil additive [, in moderation]. – J.D.D.