Coal Gas Research


    AT the eighth Autumn Research Meeting of the Institution of Gas Engineers held in London on November 3-4, the papers showed current trends of thought in the gas industries. The thirty-ninth report of the Joint Research Committee of the Institution and the University of Leeds gave the first instalment of a study of the complete gasification of coal in oxygen-steam mixtures. Such a process, if successful, might make the industry less dependent on the choice of coal, and less would be required. At the same time it would have far-reaching consequences on the distributions of fuel. This report contained a study of the conditions within a fuel bed during gasification. Three papers dealt with the sulphur impurity in coal gas. Coal gas is the purest fuel in general use, but this very purity renders possible its use in flueless apparatus, and the small quantity of sulphur compounds present may become noticeable even if innocuous. The paper shows that the coal gas of the future may be purified of sulphur compounds to a degree hitherto unknown. The paper by H. Hollings on the formation and removal of gum in coal gas reveals the solution of a baffling problem which has arisen following the use of the practice of drying gas before distribution. Traces of unsaturated hydrocarbons almost inconceivably minutecondense or polymerize to form gummy substances which may cause trouble in appliances. The solution of this puzzle is a marked achievement of industrial chemical research. A. R. Bennett and H. Hartley described an instrument for measuring the radiation from heating appliances, which should be serviceable for other uses.

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    Coal Gas Research. Nature 138, 876–877 (1936).

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