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Smokeless Fuel FAQs

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Smokeless Fuel FAQs

Big K sell a range of smokeless fuels including Big K’s Smokeless Coal Fire Fuel, Instant Lighting Coal Fire, Anthracite Coal and Homefire. All of these products are smokeless fuels, so they can be burnt in smoke free zones.

What is smokeless fuel?

The term "smokeless fuel" refers to various types of solid material that are used as fuel to produce energy and provide heating, usually released through combustion but which do so, without creating smoke. It is the ideal fuel for burning in areas that have been classified as smokeless zones.

Examples of this type of fuel are Anthracite, Coke and Charcoal.

Anthracite - Often called hard coal, has a calorific value of 9kW/kG, the highest carbon content of all the coals and the lowest moisture content. Anthracite has no smoke producing constituents; these have been compressed out of the material

Coke - The smoke-producing constituents of this type of coal are driven off by the coking process, making coke a great fuel for fires, stoves and furnaces in which the burning of bituminous or smoke producing coal would create smoke.

Charcoal - Charcoal burns hotter and cleaner than wood. It is often used for cooking and industrial applications since it, like coke and anthracite, gives of no smoke when burned

Is smokeless fuel the same as solid fuel?

Smokeless fuel is a type of solid fuel but not all solid fuels are smokeless. Take wood for example; wood is solid but when burned, it creates smoke so it cannot be termed a smokeless fuel. The term “solid fuel” refers to various types of solid material that are used as fuel to produce energy and provide heating, usually released through combustion.

What is a smokeless zone?

A smokeless zone is an area of the country where in the local council has declared it illegal to burn fires that produce smoke, with the exception of garden fires and barbecues and only then, if they do not happen regularly and do not cause hazard or offence.

Where are the UK smokeless zones?

There are smokeless zones in almost every major council in the country and if you live in a large city you can be virtually guaranteed that there will be a smokeless zone in your area. Check with your local authority

What smokeless fuel products do Big K sell?

Big K produce an extensive range of products which are ideal for use on fires located within a smokeless zone.


Our instant lighting "firestarter" provides a quick, clean and very easy way to light your fires. All you need to do is light the wrapper with a match and it will burn for about 45 minutes, which is more than enough time to provide a good start to your fire. It is environmentally friendly, safe to use and authorised for use within smokeless zones.

Instant Lighting Fire Log

We produce an instant lighting fire log that comes in a 3 pack. Each fire log lasts for up to 3 hours, producing a hassle-free fire. They are ideal for stoves, open fires, fire pits and bonfires. They can be stored easily, are very clean and easy to handle. All you need to do is light the wrapper with a match or a lighter; you don’t need to mess around with any fire lighters or kindling. They are very safe to use as they do not produce sparks, they are environmentally friendly and suitable for smoke-controlled areas.


Homefire is a branded smokeless fuel that is suitable for use in open fires and multi fuel stoves. Easily lit, it burns slowly with an intense heat that is easily controlled. Homefire does not require refuelling as regularly as coal and is environmentally friendly. It burns much cleaner with a bright and attractive flame

Smokeless Coal Fire

Smokeless coal was needed to create smoke free areas across the UK in response to public demand after the terrible London smog of 1952 which is thought to have lead to the deaths of 12000 people. An effective smokeless fuel source had to be found that would provide heat for all those living in the newly created "smoke less zones"

The term "smokeless coal" is used to refer to natural or manufactured coal products that don’t produce smoke when burnt. Anthracite is a natural form of smokeless coal which is mined in South Wales. Manufactured smokeless coal is produced by reducing the volatile content of coal and then grinding and mixing it with a combination of other fuels to form uniformly sized and shaped briquettes.

These briquettes provide efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly heating and release less carbon in to the atmosphere than standard house coal. Smokeless coal also produces a high heat output, is easy to light and creates less ash, making it a cleaner choice of fuel.

Instant Lighting Coal Fire

This is a multi-purpose smokeless coal that can be used on open fires, in room heaters, on multi-fuel stoves and in cast iron chimneas for garden use. It is very clean and quick lighting, ideal for busy people who haven’t got the time to fiddle around with fire-lighters and kindling wood. Simply place the bag in the grate and light for instant heat. This environmentally friendly fuel is a good choice of product for smoke control areas.

Anthracite Coal

Anthracite coal is a naturally occurring smokeless fuel that is burnt to provide heat. Sometimes referred to as hard, black or stone coal, its appearance is black and shiny. Anthracite coal is low in sulphur and high in carbon and it has a calorific value of 9kW/kG.

Anthracite coal can be burnt in room heaters, cookers, boilers, multi fuel stoves and open fires. It is suitable for use in smoke control areas and is an efficient, economical and environmentally friendly form of heating.