Practically all the coal used by the navy on the Pacific Coast and in the Orient is shipped from the Atlantic Coast of the United States. It is obviously highly desirable to obtain coal from a source near the point of consumption for both economic and strategic reasons. It is also desirable to have information of all the coals which are suitable for naval use.
With these points in view many of the coals of the Pacific Coast of America and of the Orient have been tested by practical steaming tests on board ships of war but none of those tested has been found to have all the qualities necessary for naval fuel, which qualities may very briefly be summed up as follows:
(1) A fair proportion of lump (40$) and free from sulphur bands and from slate, bone, shale and other inert material.
(2) Volatile matter 12 to 22%, preferably 14 to 18% (the necessarily limited combustion spaces of naval boilers make this a most important requirement).