Recycle coal dust and make the Winter Fuel Allowance go further

To say coal dust = gold dust may be a bit of an exaggeration, but with coal now £13 or more per 50 Kilo bag, one can ill afford to waste any of it. If you find yourself with coal dust in your coal bunker here’s a suggestion on how to make best use of it by converting the dust to briquettes. (Bear in mind that throwing dry coal dust on a fire may cause a mini explosion !)

The main problem is how to make the dust bind into a usable briquette, and to use materials that are on hand and wouldn’t therefore require additional expense. Unused wallpaper paste is one way forward, and the methodology used as follows:

Mix a quantity of wallpaper paste sufficient to fully dampen the amount of coal dust available, mix thoroughly into the coal dust, trying to achieve a thick consistency, with all the coal dust being of the same consistency. The next requirement is suitable molds – plastic plant pots are an ideal answer, especially those that you get when buying a strip of plants from a nurseryman. Put the mix into the molds and press in firmly.
Briquettes from coal dust
All you need to do now is wait for drying out – damp coal will burn, but a much better result was obtained on an open fire with briquettes that were dry, and in order to do this they need to be turned out of whatever mold you have used after an initial period of drying. (It is going to be better to do this in the warmer months of the year if you want to dry them in the garden shed or wherever, in the winter months one risks incurring the wrath of ‘she who must be obeyed’ by leaving the drying briquettes in the warmth of the house)

Once fully dry the briquettes can be handled and won’t fall apart when placed on the fire, and may help you to stretch the Winter Fuel allowance a bit further.

Others may have found better ways – we’d be interested in hearing your comments or tips.

9 thoughts on “Recycle coal dust and make the Winter Fuel Allowance go further

  1. barrie thomas udall

    be very very carfull if contemplating compession of coal dust….mr diesel …of diesel engine fame tried to do that and it did not go well for him…his coal fired diesel engine blow up taking most of the lab…..and nearly killing him…not good…..

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  3. Joan Byrne

    I actually have too much “dust”.. not slack, or chippings..
    The dust is very dusty, and I want to get rid of it.ecen while filling coal the dust is likely to find its way up my nise and into my bronchi. This is bad for my health.
    Any helpful suggestions will be welcomed.
    Thank you. JB

  4. barrie udall

    standard mix is………6 parts coal dust slack…..1 part sawdust…….quarter part cement…………this translates as a 25 kg bag cement…100 kg sawdust…600 kg coal dust …so amount of cement is very tiny…………..and upgrade cane be done if you soak the sawdust in used engine oil as it burns way hotter …but used veggie oil may be easy to come by ………also some engine oils on oily rags can spontanously catch fire because of drying qulity of the oil so stick to used veg oil….

  5. j hill

    my grandad used to pack coal dust in a tin can & put it in the fire to make it last longer 🙂 no additives just the dust, used to work well.

  6. admin Post author

    I’m not sure about the cement, but the sawdust would be interesting.
    I’m about to experiment with just coaldust compressed a bit. The coaldust & wallpaper paste worked ok but I think reasonable adhesion may be achieved by pressing the coal.

  7. Bilge

    im thinking to mix 80%-coaldust 10%-sawdust 10%-cement but im not sure about cement is it harmful to health or environment? any suggestions advantages disadvantages?

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