Not any around me here in Florida. Where I was at in ND there was lots of it! Had you yelled a few days ago, I could have had a chunk or two sent your way easily, have a buddy up there that just retired last weekend that would've been easy to get a chunk shipped out of.
@David Van Asperen
Might be able to find you a chunk or two. As might some of the other members in Tennessee, Kentucky, possibly Ohio...
I do know several folks still working in the mine, could possibly get some if you can't find it elsewhere, but it would take finding phone numbers/media accounts and getting hold of a few folks.
As for it's working properties, as Cody pointed out, quality of the coal might be an issue. I do know however, that there was someone in Beulah, ND carving it. Did awesome work too!! I had a piece or two of his somewhere, but I have no clue where they might be, (crazy X-girlfriend might have made off with them), and I gave several of his pieces as gifts over the years. Don't have a clue if he was stabilizing, but I know he was sealing it, so it didn't rub off.
Basically an assumption on my part, but I do believe it would stabilize. While it is dense, it is a somewhat porous material even in it's denser forms. Wyoming coal is excellent quality, probably a little denser stuff. Most of the stuff mined around central ND is iffy on quality. It varies from location to location in the coal seam, and is frequently blended when burned in the power plants there. Not unusual to see them haul coal in from Wyoming to blend with some of it.
Also, it's not going to catch fire after stabilization and bein in the oven to cure? I don't need a house fire happening.....
A Google search says that the auto ignition temp of coal is somewhere over 700 F. I'll dry it at 220F and, after stabilizing, cure it at about 190F. Highest temp it's likely to see on my end is about 230F.
But, I am planning to park the toaster oven outside, in the driveway, and away from the vehicles, shop, and house just to be on the safe side.
If you read the article I linked above, coal was shyed away from as a home heating fuel for many many years because it is difficult to light. The more dense it is, the more difficult to light it, from what is was saying. Most of what we saw in ND was lignite, the article was pointing to Anthracite as being more dense and more easily carved. The anthracite is more common up there in your neck of the woods Marc.
Ex-brother-in-law used to heat his house with the lignite, he was supervisor in the coal yard at the power plant, it was free. But, as best I recall he used a propane torch to light the coal stove. Or, built a wood fire and got a good hot bed of coals going before tossing a chunk of coal in on top of it. In the power plants, I believe it's crushed and then ground to a fine dust and essentially shot into the boiler more or less as a liquid would be. Same principle as dumping sawdust over and open flame, or grain dust blowing up an elevator. In dust form, it's extremely combustible; in chunks pretty stable.
Interesting...so trying to find any pens made fom coal, it seems from the less than 5 I saw, it needs to be crushed up and then cast...