What Makes Smokeless Fuel Smokeless?

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Posted by Keith Hirst on 31 October 2018

The fuel industry has shifted focus massively over the past decade to developing fuels that are less harmful to the environment. The development of smokeless fuel has been a big leap, and is now manufactured and supplied across the globe. Despite this, many people are unaware of what exactly makes smokeless fuel smokeless. Thompson Fuel & Skip Hire are here to dispel any myths (and we’ve heard a few!) and explain exactly how this innovative fuel manages to be (almost) smoke-free.

What is smokeless fuel?

Before we get into the finer details, we should take a step back and look at what smokeless fuel is. Smokeless fuel is a fuel that emits less than 5 grams of smoke per hour when burnt. This is around 80% less smoke and 25% less carbon dioxide than traditional fuels. In addition, smokeless fuel burns for a longer period of time and burns much hotter than traditional fuel. Multi-fuel stoves, remarkably, have a whopping 65% better heat output with smokeless fuel than regular fuel. The result is a vastly superior fuel. Not only does smokeless fuel function much better, but it also greatly reduces its environmental impact.

What makes it smokeless?

The key to a smokeless fuel is its lack of volatile materials. Volatile matter in fuel refers to certain compounds and elements that are released when the fuel is burnt. The higher the amount of volatile materials, the greater amount of smoke that is released. Smokeless fuels, therefore, are fuels that are comprised of very little volatile materials.

One of these fuels, and perhaps the most widely-used smokeless fuel, is Anthracite. This rocky solid combines an extremely high carbon content with a very low sulphur and moisture content. As carbon isn’t a volatile material, and Anthracite can be comprised of as much as 98% of carbon, the fuel manages to burn sufficiently without emitting much smoke.

Many smokeless fuels are manufactured by breaking the anthracite rock down into a fine dust. Often, this dust is then moulded using smokeless binding agents and made into briquettes. This creates smokeless coal, which we offer alongside anthracite beans, nuts and grain.

Why go smokeless?

Smokeless fuel is a big leap in helping to protect the environment. The reduction of smoke reduces the amount of toxic chemicals released into the air. In 1956, the Clean Air Act was produced to combat the ‘Great Smog of London’ four years prior. Smokeless fuel complies with this act, among other acts, by reducing its smoke emissions to less than 5g of smoke per hour and up to 25% less carbon dioxide. Choosing smokeless coal is one small step in our big goal for a greener, cleaner future.

Here at Thompson Fuel, we offer a wide range of coals, fuels (and skips!). Our smokeless range is hugely popular, and offers fantastic results with very little emissions. Whether needed for domestic use or commercial use, you’re sure to find a solution from the vast amount of fuels we stock. To enquire further, give our team a call today.


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