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coal in rocket stove

tera singh

Joined: Oct 06, 2010
Posts: 3
Hello, wondering if one could burn coal in a rocket stove mass heater.  I know coal is not an environmental fuel source.  I am trying to convince an uncle to let me build him a rsmh in his home and he currently uses coal for 70% of his winter fuel.  (we live in carbon county, utah)
Joel Hollingsworth

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
It might be difficult to feed in fuel, but I bet it would work just fine.

You might supply some twigs, for use in pushing the coal into the burn zone, also getting it going, and perhaps eventually as the only fuel source if that turns out to be easier.

"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men.  They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
Kathleen Sanderson

Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Posts: 985
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
If you use a J feed tube, what about having the bottom of the J slanted towards the burn chamber so the fuel would fall into the fire?  Keep in mind that coal burns hotter than wood, so you'll need to make the parts extra durable.  And also will need to be able to remove the clinkers and ash.  (I think there would still be some even with the rocket stove.)

Brice Moss

Joined: Jul 28, 2010
Posts: 700
Location: rainier OR
I'd be very sure of having a good draft before putting coal in a rocket stove, it would not take a lot of smoke back with cheap high sulfur coal to be a serious health risk
tera singh

Joined: Oct 06, 2010
Posts: 3
thanks for the feedback
Ernie Wisner

Joined: Oct 16, 2009
Posts: 789
Location: Tonasket washington
no problem if you have the right air intake so you get a clean burn. if you try it make sure that your exhaust is in-fact Co2 and water and not Co. you will have to fiddle with the system a great deal to get the right configuration.

Need more info?
Ernie and Erica
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Adam Poddepie

Joined: Nov 11, 2012
Posts: 68
I know this is a slightly old thread, but do you think the process would work better starting out with a wood fire and slowly incorporating coal into it? I understand that it will burn hotter overall, but what are the dangers of using coal besides that? Worse deposits within the rstmh? Combustion is combustion, so I assume that if everything is set up properly there should still only be CO2 and water vapor at the end. I haven't built a rstmh, I'm still in the conceptual stage, but I would like to put a good variable design together and incorporate several different ideas for each part.

Perhaps I should just start a new thread. Anyways, thoughts?
subject: coal in rocket stove