Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What Do You Do With the Ashes?

Visitors occasionally ask: "What do you do with the ashes?" Its a fair question given that all coal contains a certain amount of material which won't burn, generally referred to as ash. 
By law, in the State of Connecticut, the coal we burn must contain less the 2% sulfur. Another characteristic of our coal is that it has a low volatile content, which means it produces little or (if the fireman is doing a good job) no smoke.  
Since ash generates no heat, it is to our advantage to burn coal which is low in ash, ours generally runs between 8 and 10%, which means that if we burn about 500 tons per year we are left with about 50 tons of ash per year. So, what is done with the ash? Years ago, the railroads used it on their tracks for fill and ballast (e.g. - the Lyman Viaduct in Colchester). 
Fireman Ron Olsen loads ash for return to Pennsylvania
Today, it goes back where it came from: the coal mine. A couple of times per year, the truck that brings us a load of coal is loaded with ash which is returned to the mine.
J. David 

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