Coal is known as an un-renewable fuel source because our supplies are finite. After all, it took over 300 million years for the coal we use today to develop from the organic matter it once was. History places a huge emphasis on coal and actually credits the industrial revolution with kickstarting its popularity. Read on as the Pearson Fuels team go through key points in order to analyse the role of coal during the industrial revolution…

Increase of Demand

Before the 1700’s, Britain was producing coal in very limited quantities. In fact, coal pits were very small and the coal was only sold in local areas. Plus, coal mining was a very dangerous industry to work in and many workers would drown or suffocate on the job. This all changed when iron and steam were introduced as the demand for coal quickly soared. In fact, production increase by 50% between 1700 and 1750, and just a century later in 1850 when the industrial revolution was in full swing, the rate of increase soared by 500%!

Steam, Iron and Transport

Steam engines were used in locomotives, mills and factories during the industrial revolution, however they required a constant supply of coal which increased the demand for the fossil fuel even further. Interestingly, steam power was also used in coal mines in order to allow workers to dig deeper than ever before and gather more coal to sell for profit.

In addition to this, a form of processed coal known as coke was first used to smelt iron in 1709. Eventually, coal became the go-to material for iron smelting, which also contributed to its demand, with the two industries supporting one another. Interestingly, the iron smelting by coal was used to create tramways, which in turn allowed more coal to be moved easier and faster.

With coal on the rise, it was even more important that transport links were improved. The roads before 1750 were incredibly poor which meant that heavy loads were impossible to move. The coal industry had to rely on ships to take coal from port to port. During the industrial revolution, transport links improved considerably with the introduction of canals, however the beginning of the 19th century saw the first moving steam engine hit the tracks, which subsequently aided the coal industry by providing an easier way to transport large quantities of coal very quickly.

Economy

At first, coal was an expensive luxury, but the prices began to fall as it increased in demand. After all, it was a vital part of the iron and steel industries and homeowners who didn’t live near a forest in order to gather wood or create charcoal relied on it too. In addition to this, the coal industry also boosted the economy, producing 6% of British national income by 1900.

The experts suggest that our supply of coal is substantial enough to last another two centuries as long as we continue at the current rate of consumption. In fact, one could say that coal played such an important role in the industrial revolution that it also helped technology progress too. Here at Pearson Fuels, we have a wide range of house coal and smokeless coal that can be used in open fires and stoves alike. To find out more information about coal and its role in the industrial revolution, get in contact with the best coal merchants around and speak to a member of the Pearson Fuels team today!

In order to create an efficient fire, it is important that you invest time into choosing your fuel. After all, purchasing poor quality firewood will not only leave you out of pocket, it will leave you with unusable fuel for your fire. Here at Pearson Fuels, we want our clients’ fires to burn bright and beautifully which is why we have decided to go over some of the key characteristics of high-quality firewood…

Moisture

If firewood has a lot of water in it then it will not be able to hold a flame very well. That is why it is important to take moisture content into consideration when you are trying to identify high-quality firewood. As a general rule, heavier wood tends to have a higher moisture content, somewhere between 50%-70%. This means that you can spot firewood that has been correctly seasoned – a lengthy process used to remove moisture – by checking its weight. For best results, your firewood should have a moisture content between 20% and 25% and thus, be lightweight.

Appearance

Well-seasoned firewood is often light in colour and will have visible splitting marks through it which occur when the logs are starting to become scare of moisture. If you see firewood that is dark with a visible green tinge with bark that is difficult to peel, then it is a good indication that the wood is not in a suitable enough condition to burn yet.

Size

Firewood that has been correctly seasoned will have been pre-cut into sizes suitable for burning as this helps speed up the seasoning process. This means that you shouldn’t have to do anything to the firewood you purchase in order to make it suitable for burning. Always pay attention to the firewood you are inspecting as large sizes may not be completely seasoned.

When it comes to firewood, there is nothing more important than moisture content. After all, the percentage will determine how hot your fire burns and how bright its flames are. Here at Pearson Fuels, we have a wide range of kiln dried logs and important firewood to choose from that come with some of the lowest moisture contents around. Get in contact with the best coal merchants around to find out more information today!

Despite being less well known than house fuel alternatives, smokeless coal is said to provide a higher heat output and last 40% longer. It may come with a costly upfront fee but the benefits of smokeless coal can actually help stove users save more money in the long run. Read on as the Pearson Fuels team go through 3 reasons why you should consider swapping out your bituminous coal for smokeless alternatives…

Eco-Friendly

Burning smokeless fuel releases 80% less smoke into the atmosphere (hence the name) and produces 40% less carbon dioxide when it is burned. This means that it is a much more eco-friendly option that can help benefit the environment whilst ensuring that we still have good access to fuel sources. In fact, if we switch to smokeless coals that contain natural binders and materials, we can also successfully reduce our carbon footprint too.

Better Health

Many people are unaware that our reliance on coal as a house fuel could actually be contributing to things like hay fever, asthma and eczema. By switching to a smokeless alternative and ensuring that your home is correctly ventilated in order to remove any pollutants, you can do wonders for your health, and the environment. After all, smoke is a common cause of respiratory disorders!

Stove Approved

It is said that bituminous coal can be bad for your stove over a long period of time. After all, house coal can burn at incredibly hot temperatures and cause your stove to become clogged with soot very quickly, gradually reducing the efficiency of your stove. On the other hand, smokeless fuels are designed for stove use; allowing you to reap the benefits of a hot fire without suffering from irreparable stove damage in the process.

Here at Pearson Fuels, we have a wide range of smokeless coals for those who are looking to make the switch. After all, you don’t have to live in a smoke control zone to do your part for the environment, and your health, by opting for the more environmentally friendly fuel type! Get in contact with a member of the team to find out more information about smokeless coal today!

Many first time fireplace owners tend to underestimate the amount of work that is involved in the burning of fuels like coal and wooden logs. After all, it is important that you do your research in order to ensure that everybody stays safe. Here at Pearson Fuels, we have a wide range of fuels on offer, however we recognise the lack of information that is available when it comes to storing them which is why we have decided to go over the basics. Read on to find out more…

Coal

As the most popular type of house fuel, bituminous coal can be difficult to handle due to its soot residue. As a result, it is important to invest in an effective way to store it. Ideal locations include the garage, shed or outside in a coal bunker. Interestingly, coal can be stored in damp locations without being spoiled which means that is the easiest fuel to store. With this said, there is nothing wrong with covering your coal with a tarp to keep it dry as this will make it easier to light.

Un/Seasoned Logs

If you are seasoning your own logs then you need to store them in a crate that has a shelter and is mounted above the ground in order to prevent excess moisture from affecting the seasoning process. After all, it takes a long time and isn’t something you want to ruin. On the other hand, if you are purchasing pre-seasoned logs then you can store them indoors or outdoors as long as you are actively preventing moisture from compromising them.

Kiln Dried Logs

As one of the most difficult fuels to store, kiln dried logs require a lot of patience. After all, they can be difficult to handle. One of the most important things to watch out for is humidity as this makes the kiln drying of the logs counterproductive. Ideally, this fuel should be stored inside because it is too risky to store them outside where they can be compromised by rainfall.

Storing your fuel is a very important preservation as it influences the efficiency of your fire when you come to burn it. As the best coal merchants around, the Pearson Fuels team are the experts you can trust. After all, we have over 35 years in the coal business under our belts! To find out more information about your preferred type of fuel, get in contact with a member of the Pearson Fuels team today!

As the oldest form of coal, anthracite has spent a lot of time deep underground, subjected to intense pressure and heat over the course of hundreds of thousands of years. Here at Pearson Fuels, we have decided that this type of coal is incredibly misunderstood. After all, it has a lot of potential! Read on as we go over everything you need to know about anthracite and how its unique properties make it the cleanest form of coal around…

Characteristics

With an incredibly high carbon content between 80-95% and a sulphur and nitrogen content at less than 1%, anthracite is the most environmentally friendly coal around. it also has a moisture content of 15% or below and due to its high density, it burns very slowly and can be troublesome to light. In terms of availability, anthracite is a scare variation of coal because it was heavily mined during the 19th and 20th century. Plus, it is deep in the earth so the remaining supplies have become difficult to mine.

Uses

Due to its low volatile matter of 5%, anthracite is a great smokeless fuel to use in smoke control areas that aim to reduce pollution. In fact, it is very brittle so it produces an incredibly hot blue flame when it is burned without letting off as much smoke as bituminous alternatives. Plus, it can burn much longer than wood which makes it a very efficient and cost effective fuel source.

Unique

When anthracite is burned, it does not expand and fuse together in order to create a material known as ‘coke’. This means that is it considered a ‘free burning’ type of coal which is incredibly unique. In addition to this, anthracite has an impressive carbon content which can also be used in steel making by smelting together the fossil fuel with iron ore.

Known as ‘hard coal’, anthracite is the fossil fuel that people tend to forget about. After all, its shiny surface is overshadowed by the abundance of bituminous ‘house’ coal. Perhaps the best thing about anthracite is its low sulphur content which makes it incredibly clean-burning. In fact, we even stock it as a smokeless coal here at Pearson Fuels! To find out more information about anthracite, get in contact with a member of the team today!

For people who don’t like to burn coal, firewood offers a cost-effective alternative. With this said, it is important to ensure that you do your research and get your hands on well-seasoned logs or else you could end up overpaying. Here at Pearson Fuels, we have a wide selection of imported firewood and kiln dried logs that can be purchased seasoned and ready for use. With this said, many wood burners like carrying out the seasoning process themselves. Read on as we go over everything you need to know…

Seasoning firewood is just a fancy term that details the process of removing moisture from wood. After all, if you try to burn fresh cut wooden logs then you are going to have a very poor quality fire, if you even manage to light one at all. Wood is made up of tubes called ‘cavities’ and they run through the length of a tree. Inside these tubes is where water flows, however when we cut down a tree the cavities begin the dry out. Seasoning is a long process that encourages ‘free water’ and the water that is found in the cell wall of a trees structure to evaporate so that the wood can be burned efficiently.

As stated above, firewood is seasoned in order to produce a better quality and efficient fire. In fact, when a tree is cut down, the wood has a moisture level of about 50% and seasoning it down to 20% or less is a lengthy process that can take between 6 and 12 months. With this said, when seasoning is done correctly, wood will burn incredibly hot and result in an energy efficient and cost effective fire.

Since seasoning takes so long, it is important to be prepared. In fact, most people who self-season their wood will start the whole process again after winter in order to prepare for the following year. You should cut down trees for burning during winter (Nov – Jan) as they are considered dormant. In addition to this, the wood should also be cut down to the size you wish to burn it at and you should have sturdy place to store it that is mounted above the ground during the seasoning time as this will help reduce the length of time it takes to season the wood.

Burning firewood in a stove or open fire is an incredibly cost effective way to heat your home during the winter months. After all, it is hard to beat the aesthetics of an authentic crackling wooden fire. When seasoning your own logs, you should ensure that you carry out as much research as possible in order to prevent mistakes. For those who like to purchase pre-seasoned firewood, the Pearson Fuels team are always on hand! Get in contact with the best coal merchants around today to find out more information.

Whilst the experts predict that November will be relatively mild, it is only a matter of time until winter rears its ugly head. After all, British weather may not be reliable but it is certainly brutal. Luckily, there are a few ways you can prepare your home for the drop in temperature and there’s no time like the present to start. Read on as we go over the top three things that can help keep you warm this winter…

Draught Prevention

A draught is one of the biggest causes of wasted heat and energy in the home. In fact, they can make you feel cold even when you have the heating on full blast. Luckily, if you get yourself in a habit of conscious draught prevention, you can ensure that your home is prepared this winter. For example, close the doors behind you and invest in a draught excluder to place in from of troublesome doorways.

Declutter the Gutters

Although  everybody knows that the leaves fall during autumn, gutter blockages tend to go unnoticed until they cause a serious problem. After all, your gutters are essential at draining water away from your roof and if they become obstructed, you can end up forking out for an expensive repair job. In order to ensure that your home isn’t vulnerable this winter, you should ensure that your gutters are clear of leaves, birds nests and other debris.

Stock Up on Fuel

With gas bills increasing every year, it can be beneficial to invest in an alternative way to heat your home. After all, there are numerous benefits to investing in fireplace or stove fuel like coal or seasoned firewood. With this said, the prices tend to increase the closer it gets to the winter months so you should stock up on fuel ahead of time in order to get yourself the best price.

Whether you want to heat your home for less this winter or love the crackle of a real wooden fire, the team here at Pearson Fuels can help! In fact, we have a wide variety of fuels to suit every preference including house coal, smokeless coal, kiln dried logs and event imported firewood! To find out more information and get yourself prepared for winter in 2018, get in contact with the best coal merchants around and speak to a member of the Pearson Fuels team today!

As one of the most important fossil fuels around, coal takes around 300 million years to come about during a process known as coalification. In fact, there are many different varieties of coal that can be repurposed for a range of different uses depending where in its life cycle it is when it is excavated. Here at Pearson Fuels, we supply house coal on a regular basis and in this blog we are going to go over the life cycle of coal…

Peat

Thought of as the predecessor of coal, peat is a soft material that is made up of decaying vegetation matter. Whilst it isn’t as effective as coal at generating power and heat due to its high moisture levels, its is very effective at cleaning up fuel and oil spills.

Lignite

The first stage of coal is known as lignite and is often brown in colour. It has a high moisture content of around 45% which makes it the lowest rank of coal and reserves it primarily for generating electric power.

Sub-bituminous

Coal that isn’t quite lignite but isn’t yet bituminous is known as sub-bituminous coal and is primarily used to generate steam electric power. It contains much less sulphur than lignite and it often found near the surface during mining, making it a relatively cost effective coal to source.

Bituminous

Characterised by its shiny black appearance, bituminous coal is the stage of coal that is used as house coal in order to light fireplaces and stoves. With this said, it is also used during steel production in order to creating coking coal.

Anthracite

As the most brittle type of coal, anthracite produces an incredibly hot blue flame when it is burned. In fact, it is thought to be the cleanest coal around and can sometimes be used instead of bituminous coal in residential properties. With this said, it is a slow burning coal that struggles to hold a flame because it has a high density.

As it stands, our remaining supplies of coal are said to be able to last anywhere between 150 and 200 years at current consumption rates. Luckily, there are still great sources of peat and lignite that can be found and repurposed. If you’re looking for a house coal supplier, get in contact with the best coal merchants around and speak to a member of the Pearson Fuels team today!

As one of the most essential components in the UK’s economy, the mining industry has been thriving for almost two centuries. After all, the industrial revolution wasn’t the only thing to establish Britain as a factory nation. Here at Pearson Fuels, we are familiar with the ins and outs of the coal mining industry which is what makes us the best merchants around. Read on as we touch upon some of the most common jobs related to the coal mining industry…

Underground Mining

Often thought of as the front line, underground miners will operate heavy machinery in order to extract coal from the walls of coal mines. These mines are often very cramped, humid and dark which means that it is important for workers to wear safety gear in order to protect their hearing, eyesight and respiratory health. In addition to this, many underground miners will also specialise in safety roofing, which is put in place in order to ensure that a coal mine is structurally sound.

Surface Mining

Unlike underground mining, surface coal mining involves removing the topsoil of an area of land in order to access the coal seams directly without digging tunnels. These types of miners will use equipment like crawler tractors and wheel loaders in order to excavate the earth, as well as heavily controlled explosives. Since surface mining is thought to be less dangerous than underground mining, the hourly wage tends to be slightly lower.

Coal-Preparation

Once coal has been excavated from the earth, it has to be prepared so that it can be purchased for use. In fact, there is a job that specialises in just this. Coal preparers will crush and size coal in order to ensure that it fits the order requirements for every customer. Since the industry is built upon mass production, this is often done by heavy machinery that the staff have to keep running efficiently and safely.

Although working in a coal mine is said to be a well paying career choice, it is also incredibly dangerous. After all, statistics show that an average of 10 coal miners suffer fatal injuries on the job every single year. With this said, these figures  are incredibly promising when compared next to numbers from the early 20th century, which saw over 1,000 coal miners die every year. Luckily, you don’t have to dig for your own coal in 2018 as the best coal merchants around take care of everything behind the scenes. Get in contact with a member of the Pearson Fuels team today to find out more information!