We all know and recognise coal as that little black fossil fuel that can provide a roaring fire during winter time however very few people are aware of the other places that coal creeps up in. From the food we eat to industrial materials, there are actually a range of weird and wonderful places that you can spot this funny little rock. Here are a few…

Bowling Balls

When coal is burned something known as coal ash is created. In fact this can then be subcategorised into three more types called boiler slag, fly ash and bottom ash. The fly ash is very adaptable and can be used to create concrete cement, the handles of tools and even bowling balls! On the other hand the first category, boiler slag, is a form of liquified ash that builds up at the bottom of furnaces and once saturated with water creates a crystallized pellets that’s can be used to make roofs.

Medicines

When we say medicine we aren’t talking about you antibiotics or thyroid medication, we’re referring to lotions and soaps that are used to treat things like eczema and mild psoriasis. In order to create coal gas or coke, the coal has to undergo a carbonisation process which forms a tar with a gooey texture. Using this tar product in the above products has proven to ease the symptoms of many skin conditions.

Fizzy Drinks

When you see a food or drink that has an artificial yellow or orange colour it tends to contain a derivative product of coal that is known as tartrazine. In fact, it is this that gives the product its appealing texture and taste and it is all thanks to something called a coal feeder. Without this product providing coal to processing plants, we would be consuming a lot of bland tasting and dull coloured food!

Whilst we do not supply any of these products here at Pearson Fuels, we do have an exciting range of the fossil fuel perfect for its original use; fires! From the house variety to the eco-friendly smokeless variety; we have a product for everybody! To find out more information get in contact with the best coal merchants around today!

A popular addition to most modern gardens is the chimenea. Perfect for when summer days start to cool in the evening so the family can finish their BBQ and stay outside longer. Flickering flames have a therapeutic quality, and can be quite hypnotic as it starts to get dark.

Essentially an outdoor fireplace; chimeneas come in many different shapes and sizes. And although they are fairly durable, ensuring you take good care to maintain your chimenea will ensure it will last a long time.

Choosing A Chimenea

Chimenea’s are made from cast iron or clay. Each type has its own special requirements for maintaining they stay looking good and work properly:

  • Cast Iron: Metal chimeneas last longer than clay versions as they won’t break as easily and can be easily repainted. The biggest problem facing them though is that they rust. Surfaces get extremely hot so be careful when they are lit for long periods.
  • Clay: Some clay chimeneas look like genuine pieces of art, which is one of the reasons that make them so popular. They are also a little safer as they don’t get as hot as metal versions. They do, however, require more maintenance as they can crack if they are not handled with care.

Setting up

Clay chimeneas can’t be disassembled as they are one unit, but others come with instructions on how to assemble. Always keep instructions to make sure you can break it down and re-build it if it needs moving.

When you choose a spot for your chimenea, make sure you position somewhere flat, fireproof (not on grass), clear of overhanging branches and far away from fences that might catch fire.

Safety

Chimeneas are designed for burning small amounts so don’t overload them; and ensure the materials you burn are suitable to be burned. Don’t use your chimenea to burn household waste and plastics.

Make sure you have the right safety equipment; gloves, fireplace tools, extinguisher in case of emergency and a cover for when it’s not in use.

Never try to extinguish the fire with water as this can break your chimenea due to rapid changes in temperature.

Here at Pearson Fuels, we like to think that we are known for our amazing range of smokeless fuels and house coals on offer to the general public which they can use for all they fire needs however not many people know our about range of kiln dried logs! As an alternative fuel source to coal it is no wonder why people have been making the switch recently. Here are a few advantages you can get from kiln dried logs…

Low Moisture

The moisture content of kiln dried logs is considerably less when compared to other types of burnable wood. Currently it stands at around 20% which is not only good in term of how easy the fuel will be to light, it also means that it will reach a high temperature at a much faster rate since there is less excess moisture that must be burned off.

Last Longer

In comparison to unseasoned logs burning kiln dried logs results in a fire that can last around three times longer, making them a very efficient and beneficial purchase. This also means that clients will also save money in the long run because they will not have to keep stocking up on seasoned wood every couple of months.

No Limit

Kiln dried logs can be used on a range of different fire types which means that they are a very versatile fuel. From open fires to wood burners, the applications for burning kiln dried logs offers a wide range of variety that seasoned firewood just cannot compete with.

Whilst many people advocate for the use of coal on their fire is not uncommon for others to decide that the fossil fuel just isn’t for them. Luckily, there is an alternative and kiln dried logs are here to fill in the gap! After all, they are undoubtedly the best choice of wood and can be purchased from the best coal merchants around who know how to care for their clients properly! For more information, speak to a member of the Pearson Fuels team today!

Whilst coal mining is still a profitable industry today it was the be all and end all of many peoples livelihood 30 years ago which meant that funding cuts could jeopardise the income of thousands. In fact, this is exactly what happened in 1984 and led to the infamous UK Miner Strike. Since our industry relies on all things coal, we are going to tell the story of what happened during that tumultuous year…

When and Why?

The UK Miner’s Strike began on the 5th of March 1984 and came to an end of the 3rd of March 1985; lasting just short of one year. The 1980’s saw the National Union of Miners as a very strong organisation that had high links to the Labour Party however in 1981 the threat of pit closure were discussed widely and without distain, causing the government to back down. Two years later in 1983, Thatcher appointed a man by the name of Ian MacGregor as the head of National Coal Board who was known for closures and cutbacks. By the end of the very same year, Thatcher, who had grown more comfortable in her position, began tackling the unions and announced in 1984 that 20 mining pits were to close, leaving 20,000 jobless which led to the beginning of the UK Miner’s Strike.

What Happened?

The strain of the strike on the miners was immense since they were earning no money nor were they eligible for benefits since the government had deemed the strike illegal. This meant that they had to rely on savings and handouts in order to survive. In fact, some strikers broke and decided to work, becoming known as ‘scabs’.

The End of the Strike

Whilst the strike officially ended in 1985, the death of David Wilkie accelerated its closure. The incident which occurred in November 1984 saw a 21kg concrete block dropped from a bridge onto the taxi which Wilkie was driving, killing him instantly. The taxi taking a miner by the name if David Williams to Methyr Vale Miner with a police escort at the time. The tragic death and public relations disaster managed to turn sympatric members of the public against the miner’s and eventually the strike came to an end when a vote was passed; decreeing that the miners would return to work without a new agreement with management. Over the following few years, the mining pits closed very rapidly and the industry became privatised in 1994.

Striking is a protest that people use to show distain in response to a government decision. Most of the time they are successful and manage to bring people together however other times they can split a nation just like the Miner’s Strike did. Being able to understand some of the history behind our industry is very beneficial and eye opening, especially since coal is so readily available. For more information or to order your own fuel supply, speak to the best coal merchants around today!