Whereas coal is a notorious air pollutant in more than one way, one can’t help but wonder a few things about the smokeless type. For instance, is smokeless coal bad for the environment?
After all, coal emissions are the ones responsible for air pollution to a great extent. Consequently, using smokeless coal reduces one’s carbon print.
Whereas that is good for the environment, does that mean it is a perfect fuel? Is it bad for the environment in any way?
This article leaves no stone unturned regarding the impact of smokeless coal on the environment.
What is Smokeless Coal?
As its name suggests, it is a type of coal. However, unlike regular coal, smoking coal burns cleanly.
After all, it doesn’t produce as much waste, including carbon dioxide and smoke, as regular coal. That’s why it is more environmentally friendly than other varieties of coal.
Its producers usually pulverize bituminous coal to form a fine powder. Afterward, they compact the powder into ovals or pellets.
Compacting is responsible for reducing the waste that smokeless coal produces when burning. That’s why the fuel doesn’t emit much volatile matter and smoke as it burns.
The fuel is also known for burning more evenly and slowly than its counterpart. Consequently, it is quite environmentally friendly and efficient, especially with regular coal.
There also exists one natural smokeless coal called Anthracite. Since it is one of a kind, its popularity doesn’t surprise many people.
Thanks to its high quality, Anthracite smokeless coal emits a lot of heat and burns for a long period. It is suitable for commercial and home use alike.
You are free to use them in various fireplaces. Some of your options include stoves, open fires and multipurpose fireplaces.
Is Smokeless Coal Bad for the Environment?
As much as smokeless coal isn’t entirely harmless, one can’t compare it to typical coal regarding air pollution. Its emissions are a fraction of what the other coal produces, and that’s worth appreciating.
Let’s look at the two sides of the coin.
The Good of Smokeless Coal to the Environment
Only a few of its components are volatile. This characteristic ensures that the toxic smoke it releases is less than its counterparts, such as regular coal.
It also effectively reduces the amount of smokeless coal you need to use within a certain period. For instance, it outputs a lot of heat and can burn for a long time, thus sparing its raw materials significantly.
Besides, the less fuel you use, the lower your carbon footprint gets. Interestingly, you get to enjoy these benefits without compromising the heat output.
Its environmental friendliness can be summarized as follows;
- Smokeless coal has fewer emissions than regular coal
- The smoke it produces is also relatively less
- If one was to compare the carbon dioxide that of conventional coal, it is 20% less
- Lastly, it contains renewable components such as Anthracite
According to statistics, for every hour you keep your smokeless coal burning, expect it to release below 5 grams of smoke. Isn’t that commendable and ideal for the environment?
That’s a small fraction of what other fuels produce. It also translates to 25% less carbon dioxide emission and 80% less smoke.
These same reasons help the fuel burn for long hours while producing ample heat. Equally important, the fuel burns at low temperatures, enhancing its environmental benefits further.
Besides burning, even producing smokeless coal isn’t as bad for the environment as regular coal. So, it is good for the environment to a greater side.
The Bad of Smokeless Coal on the Environment
When pointing out the environmental friendliness of smokeless coal, we went for the comparative approach. So, it doesn’t mean the fuel doesn’t omit harmful emissions.
On the contrary, it omits less than its counterparts, especially typical coal. Therefore, it still exposes its users to smoke and carbon dioxide in smaller doses.
Regardless of how small these emissions are, they pollute the environment by jeopardizing the quality of the air living things breathe. However, burning smokeless coal isn’t as bad for the environment as producing and mining it.
It has proven to adversely affect the environment. So, it is only a better alternative to fuel worse than it but not the ultimate choice.
Important Tips When Using Smokeless Coal
Whereas it is a good choice, some things could water down its good side. They include the following actions;
- Mixing smokeless coal with wood logs since it reduces their efficiency
- Failure to clear the ashpan and the grate before making the fire which gives the fuel the air it requires to burn
- Using smokeless coal in inappropriate fireplaces, especially in multi-fuel stoves or smoke control areas, because not all options are suitable for these places
- Turning down your stove’s air controls when burning smokeless coal since it consumes the fuel but doesn’t produce any heat
- Burning damp smokeless coal since the moisture will destroy the flue, especially if the material of its liner is stainless steel
That’s because the above actions will increase the waste the smokeless coal produces. More carbon dioxide and smoke are bad for you and the environment.
Is smokeless coal bad for the environment? One would argue that fuel has a good and a bad side.
Like most fuels, smokeless coal emits harmful emissions that can affect its users and the environment. However, it is way less than what these fuels produce.
The bottom line is that smokeless coal is a lesser evil as far as environmental friendliness is concerned. It produces waste, but the amount is manageable.
The above discussion has also explained this type of fuel explicitly. It also differentiates it from typical coal to ensure you don’t confuse or use the two interchangeably.
You are also aware of things that could make smokeless coal extremely bad for the environment. They increase the number of waste emissions, such as smoke and carbon dioxide.
So, avoid them like the plague for your good. It is also a good thing for the environment, and you better play your part in protecting it from harmful emissions.