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Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 286 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PBS, Mane& Goad medium-sized Atlantic steamer, and a collateral gain of about Ioo,000 cub. ft. of measurement cargo, by reason of the ordinary bunkers being left quite free, and the oil being stored in the double bottom spaces hitherto unutilized except for the purpose of water ballast. The cleanliness and saving of time from bunkering by the use of oil fuel is also an important factor in passenger pulverized and sprayed into the furnace. Fig. 3 is a profile and plan of a steamer adapted for carrying oil in bulk, and showing all the storage arrangements for handling liquid fuel. Fig. 4 shows the interior arrangement of the boiler furnace of the steamship " Trocas." A is broken fire-brick resting on the ordinary fire-bars, B is a brick bridge, C a casing of fire-brick intended to protect the riveted seam immediately above it from the direct impact of the flame, and D is a lining of fire-brick at the back of the combustion-box, also intended to protect the plating from the direct impact of the petroleum flame. The arrangement of the furnace on the Meyer system is shown in fig. 5, where E is an annular pro- jection built at the mouth of the furnace, and BB are spiral passages for heating the air before it passes into the furnace. Fig. 6 shows the rings CC and details of the casting which forms the projection or exterior elongation of the furnace. The brickwork arrangement adopted for the double-ended boilers on the Hamburg-American Steamship Company's " Ferdinand Laeisz " is represented in fig. 7. The whole furnace is lined with fire-brick, and the burner is mounted upon a circular disk plate which covers the mouth of the furnace. The oil is injected not by steam pulverization, but by pressure due to a steam-pump. The oil is heated to about 60° C. before entering the pump, and further heated to 90° C. after leaving the pump. It is then filtered, and passes to the furnace injector C at about 3o-lb pressure; and its passage through this in- jector and the spiral pass- ages of which it consists pulverizes the oil into spray, in which form it readily ignites on reaching the interior of the furnace. The injector is on the Korting principle, that is, it atomizes by fracture of the liquid oil arising from its own mo- mentum under pressure. The advantage of this system as compared with FIG. 1o.-Section through Furnace the steam-jet system is the of ss. " Murex." saving of fresh water, the abstraction of which is so injurious to the boiler by the formation of scale. The general arrangement of the fuel tanks and filling pipes on the ss. " Murex " is shown in fig. 8; and fig. 9 represents the furnace gear of the same vessel, A being the steam-pipe, B the oil-pipe, C the injector, D the swivel upon which the injector is hung so that it may be swung clear of the furnace, E the fire-door, and F the handle for adjusting the injector. In fig. to, which represents a section of the furnace, H is a fire-brick pier and K a fire-brick baffling bridge. It is found in practice that to leave out the fire-bars ordinarily used for coal produces a better result with liquid fuel than the alternative system of keeping them in place and protecting them by a layer of broken fire-brick. Boilers fitted upon all the above systems have been run for thousands of miles without trouble. In new construction it is desirable to give larger combustion chambers and longer and narrower boiler tubes than in the case of boilers intended for the combustion of coal alone. (F. F.*) Gaseous Fuel. Strictly speaking, much, and sometimes even most, of the heating effected by solid or liquid fuel is actually performed by the gases given off during the combustion. We speak, however, of gaseous fuel only in those cases where we supply a combustible gas from the outset, or where we produce from ordinary solid (or liquid) fuel in one place a stream of combustible gas which is burned in another place, more or less distant from that where it has been generated. The various descriptions of gaseous fuel employed in practice may be classified under the following heads: I. Natural Gas. II. Combustible Gases obtained as by-products in various technical operations. IV. Combustible Gases obtained by the partial combustion of coal, &c. I. Natural Gas.—From time immemorial it has been known that in some parts of the Caucasus and of China large quantities of gases issue from the soil, sometimes under water, which can be lighted and burn with a luminous flame. The " eternal fires" of Baku belong to this class. In coal-mines frequently similar streams of gas issue from the coal ; these are called " blowers," and when they are of somewhat regular occurrence are sometimes conducted away in pipes and used for underground lighting. As a regular source of heating power, however, natural gas is employed only in some parts of the United States, especially in Pennsylvania, Kansas, Ohio and West Virginia, where it always occurs in the neighbourhood of coal and petroleum fields. The first public mention of it was made in 1775, but it wasnot till 1821 that it was turned to use at Fredonia, N.Y. In Pennsylvania natural gas was discovered in 1859, but at first very little use was made of it. Its industrial employment dates only from 1874, and became of great importance about ten years later. Nobody ever doubted that the gas found in these localities was an accumulation of many ages and that, being tapped by thousands of bore-holes, it must rapidly come to an end. This assumption was strengthened by the fact that the " gas-wells," which at first gave out the gas at a pressure of 700 or 800, sometimes even of 1400 lb per sq. in., gradually showed a more and more diminishing pressure and many of them ceased to work altogether. About the year 18go the belief was fairly general that the stock of natural gas would soon be entirely exhausted. Indeed, the value of the annual production of natural gas in the United States, computed as its equivalent of coal, was then estimated at twenty-one million dollars, in 1895 at twelve millions, in 1899 at eleven and a half millions. But the output rose again to a value of twenty-seven millions in 1901, and to fifty million dollars in 1907. Mostly the gas, derived from upwards of 10,000 gas-wells, is now artificially compressed to a pressure of 300 or 400 lb per sq. in. by means of steam-power or gas motors, fed by the gas itself, and is conveyed over great distances in iron pipes, from 9 or 10 to 36 in. in diameter. In 1904 nearly 30,000 M. of pipe lines were in operation. In 1907 the quantity of natural gas consumed in the United States (nearly half of which was in Pennsylvania) was 400,000 million cub. ft., or nearly 3 cub. m. Canada (Ontario) also produces some natural gas, reaching a maximum of about $746,000 in 1907. The principal constituent of natural gas is always methane, CH4, of which it contains from 68.4 to 94.0 % by volume. Those gases which contain less methane contain all the more hydrogen, viz. 2.9 to 29.8%. There is also some ethylene, ethane and carbon monoxide, rarely exceeding 2 or 3 %. The quantity of incombustible gases—oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen—ranges from mere traces to about 5 %. The density is from 0•45 to 0.55. The heating power of l000 cub. ft. of natural gas is equal to from 8o to 120 113, on the average ro0 lb, of good coal, but it is really worth much more than this proportion would indicate, as it burns completely, without smoke or ashes, and without requiring any manual labour. It is employed for all domestic and for most industrial purposes. The origin of natural gas is not properly understood, even now. The most natural assumption is, of course, that its formation is connected with that of the petroleum always found in the same neighbourhood, the latter principally consisting of the higher-boiling aliphatic hydrocarbons of the methane series. But whence do they both come ? Some bring them into connexion with the formation of coal, others with the decomposition of animal remains, others with that of diatomaceae, &c., and even an inorganic origin of both petroleum and natural gas has been assumed by chemists of the rank of D. I. Mendeleeff and H. Moissan. II. Gases obtained as By-products.—There are two important cases in which gaseous by-products are utilized as fuel; both are intimately connected with the manufacture of iron, but in a very different way, and the gases are of very different composition. (a) Blast furnace Gases.—The gases issuing from the mouths of blast-furnaces (see IRON AND STEEL) were first utilized in 1837 by Faber du Faur, at Wasseralfingen. Their use became more extensive after 186o, and practically universal after 1870. The volume of gas given off per ton of iron made is about 158,000 cub. ft. Its percentage composition by volume is: mostly about 26 % 3 % „ „ 0.5% 9.5% 56 % ,, 5 % „ o i00% There is always a large amount of mechanically suspended Carbon monoxide . 21.6 to 29.0, Hydrogen 1.8 „ 6.3, Methane o•1 „ o.8, Carbon dioxide . . 6 „ 12, Nitrogen 51 „ 6o, Steam 5 „ 12, flue-dust in this gas. It is practically equal to a poor producer-gas (see below), and is everywhere used, first for heating the blast in Cowper stoves or similar apparatus, and secondly for raising all the steam required for the operation of the blast-furnace, that is, for driving the blowing-engines, hoisting the materials, &c. Where the iron ore is roasted previously to being fed into the furnace, this can also be done by this gas, but in some cases the waste in using it is so great that there is not enough left for the last purpose. The calorific power of this gas per cubic foot is from So to 120 B.Th.U. Since about 1900 a great advance has been made in this field. Instead of burning the blast-furnace gas under steam boilers and employing the steam for producing mechanical energy, the gas is directly burned in gas-motors on the explosion principle. Thus upwards of three times the mechanical energy is obtained in comparison with the indirect way through the steam boiler. After all the power required for the operations of the blast-furnace has been supplied, there is a surplus of from 10 to 20 h.p. for each ton of pig-iron made, which may be applied to any other purpose. (b) Coke-oven Gases.—Where the coking of coal is performed in the old beehive ovens or similar apparatus the gas issuing at the mouth of the ovens is lost. The attempts at utilizing the gases in such cases have not been very successful. It is quite different where coke is manufactured in the same way as illuminating gas, viz. by the destructive distillation of coal in closed apparatus (retorts), heated from the outside. This industry, which is described in detail in G. Lunge's Coal-Tar and Ammonia (4th ed., 1909), originated in France, but has spread far more in Germany, where more than half of the coke produced is made by it; in the United Kingdom and the United States its progress has been much slower, but there also it has long been recognized as the only proper method. The output of coke is increased by about 15% in comparison with the beehive ovens, as the heat required for the process of distillation is not produced by burning part of the coal itself (as in the beehive ovens), but by burning part of the gas. The quality of the coke for iron-making is quite as good as that of beehive coke, although it differs from it in appearance. Moreover, the gases can be made to yield their ammonia, their tar, and even their benzene vapours, the value of which products sometimes exceeds that of the coke itself. And after all this there is still an excess of gas available for any other purpose. As the principle of distilling the coal is just the same, whether the object is the manufacture of coal gas proper or of coke as the main product, although there is much difference in the details of the manufacture, it follows that the quality of the gas is very similar in both cases, so far as its heating value is concerned. Of course this heating value is less where the benzene has been extracted from coke-oven gas, since this compound is the richest heat-producer in the gas. This is, however, of minor importance in the present case, as there is only about.' % benzene in these gases. The composition of coke-oven gases, after the extraction of the ammonia and tar, is about 53% hydrogen, 36% methane, 6% carbon monoxide, 2 /° ethylene and benzene, 0'5% sulphuretted hydrogen, 1'5% carbon dioxide, x °/a nitrogen. One cubic metre of such gas weighs 568 grammes. Rich gas, or gas made by the destructive distillation of certain bituminous schists, of oil, &c., contains much more of the heavy hydrocarbons, and its heat-value is therefore much higher than the above. The carburetted water gas, very generally made in America, and sometimes employed in England for mixing with coal gas, is of varying composition; its heat-value is generally rather less than that of coal gas (see below). IV. Combustible Gases produced by the Partial Combustion of Coal, &c.—These form by far the most important kind of gaseous fuel. When coal is submitted to destructive distillation to produce the illuminating gas described in the preceding paragraph, only a comparatively small proportion of the heating value of the coal (say, a sixth or at most a fifth part) is obtained in the shape of gaseous fuel, by far the greater proportion remaining behind in the shape of coke. An entirely different class of gaseous fuels comprises those produced by the incomplete combustion of the total carbon contained in the raw material, where the result is a mixture of gases which, being capable of combining with more oxygen, can be burnt and employed for heating purposes. Apart from some descriptions of waste gases belonging to this class (of which the most notable are those from blast-furnaces), we must distinguish two ways of producing such gaseous fuels entirely different in principle, though sometimes combined in one operation. The incomplete combustion of carbon may be brought about by means of atmospheric oxygen, by means of water, or by a simultaneous combination of these two actions. In the first case the chemical reaction is C+O=CO . . . . (a); the nitrogen accompanying the oxygen in the atmospheric air necessarily remains mixed with carbon monoxide, and the resulting gases, which always contain some carbon dioxide, some Constituents. Volume Weight Heat-value Heat-value Heat-value per Cubic per Quantity p Hee a cent. per cent. per cent. Metre contained in e Total. Calories. x Cub. Met. Hydrogen, H2 47 7.4 2,582 1213 22.8 Methane, CH4 34 42.8 8,524 2898 54'5 Carbon monoxide, CO 9 19'9 3+043 273 5' 1 Benzene vapour, C6H6 1.2 7'4 33,815 405 7'7 Ethylene, C2H4 3.8 8.4 13,960 530 9'9 Carbon dioxide, CO2 2.5 8.6 Nitrogen, N2 2 5 5'S Total loo.o 100.0 5319 100.0 Cd-H20=CO+H2 . . . (b); that is to say, the carbon is converted into monoxide and the hydrogen is set free. As both of these substances can combine with oxygen, and as there is no atmospheric nitrogen to deal with, the resulting gas (wader gas) is, apart from a few impurities, entirely combustible. Another kind of water gas is formed by the reaction C +2H20 = CO2 = 2H2 . . . (c), but this reaction, which converts all the carbon into the incombustible form of CO2, is considered as an unwelcome, although never entirely avoidable, concomitant of (b). The reaction by which water gas is produced being endothermic (as we shall see) ,this gas cannot be obtained except by introducing the balance of energy in another manner. This might be done by heating the apparatus from without, but as this method would be uneconomical, the process is carried out by alternating the endothermic production of water gas with the exothermic combustion of carbon by atmospheric air. Pure water gas is not, therefore, made by a continuous process, but alternates with the production of other gases, combustible or not. But instead of constantly interrupting the process in this way, a continuous operation may be secured by simultaneously carrying on both the reactions (a) and (b) in such proportions that the heat generated by (a) at least equals the heat absorbed by (b). For this purpose the apparatus is fed at the same time with atmospheric air and with a certain quantity of steam, preferably in a superheated state. Gaseous mixtures of this kind have been made, more or less intentionally, for a long time past. One of the best known of them, intended less for the purpose of serving as ordinary fuel than for that of driving machinery, is the Dowson gas. An advantage common to all kinds of gaseous fuel, which indeed forms the principal reason why it is intentionally produced from solid fuel, in spite of inevitable losses in the course of the operation, is the following. The combustion of solid fuel (coal, &c.) cannot be carried on with the theoretically necessary quantity of atmospheric air, but requires a considerable excess of the latter, at least so%, sometimes 10o% and more. This is best seen from the analyses of smoke gases. If all the oxygen of the air were converted into CO2 and H2O, the amount of CO2 in the smoke gases should be in the case of pure carbon nearly 21 volumes %, as carbon dioxide occupies the same volume as oxygen; while ordinary coal, where the hydrogen takes up a certain quantity of oxygen as well, should show about 18.5% CO2. But the best smoke gases of steam boilers show only 12 or 13%, much more frequently only 1o% CO2, and gases from reverberatory furnaces often show less than 5%. This means that the volume of the smoke gases escaping into the air is from 12 to 2 times (in the case of high-temperature operations often 4 times) greater than the theoretical minimum; and as these gases always carry off a considerable quantity of heat, the loss of heat is all the greater the less complete is the utilization of the oxygen and the higher the temperature of the operation. This explains why, in the case of the best-constructed steam-boiler fires provided with heat economizers, where the smoke gases are deprived of most of their heat, the proportion of the heat value of the fuel actually utilized may rise to 70 or even 75 %, while in some metallurgical operations, in glass-making and similar cases, it may be below 5%. One way of overcoming this difficulty to a certain extent is to reduce the solid fuel to a very fine powder, which can be intimately mixed with the air so that the consumption of the latter is only very slightly in excess of the theoretical quantity; but this process, which has been only recently introduced on a somewhat extended scale, involves much additional expense and trouble, and cannot as yet be considered a real success. Generally, too, it is far less easily applied than gaseous fuel. The latter can be readily and intimately mixed with the exact quantity of air that is required and distributed in any suitable way, andmuch of the waste heat can be utilized for a preliminary heating of the air and the gas to be burned by means of "recuperators." We shall now describe the principal classes of gaseous fuel, produced by the partial combustion of coal. A. Producer Gas, Siemens Gas.—As we have seen above, this gas is made by the incomplete combustion of fuel. The materials generally employed for its production are anthracite, coke or other fuels which are not liable to cake during the operation, and thus stop the draught or otherwise disturb the process, but by special measures also bituminous coal, lignite, peat and other fuel may be utilized for gas producers. The fuel is arranged in a deep layer, generally from 4 ft. up to 10 ft., and the air is introduced from below, either by natural draught or by means of a blast, and either by a grate or only by a slit in the wall of the " gas producer." Even if the primary action taking place at the entrance of the air consisted in the complete combustion of the carbon to dioxide, CO2, the latter, in rising through the high column of incandescent fuel, must be reduced to monoxide: CO2+C=2CO. But as the temperature in the producer rises rather high, and as in ordinary circumstances the action of oxygen on carbon above r000° C. consists almost entirely in the direct formation of CO, we may regard this compound as primarily formed in the hotter parts of the gas-producer. It is true that ordinary producer gas always contains more or less CO2, but this may be formed higher up by air entering through leakages in the apparatus. If we ignore the hydrogen contained in the fuel, the theoretical composition of producer gas would be 33'3% CO and 66.7% N, both by volume and weight. Its weight per cubic metre is 1.251 grammes, and its heat value 1013 calories per cubic metre, or less than one-fifth of the heat-value of coal gas. Practically, however, producer gas contains a small percentage of gases, increasing its heat-value, like hydrogen, methane, &c., but on the other hand it is never free from carbon dioxide to the extent of from 2 to 8%. Its heat-value may therefore range between 800 and xtoo calories per cubic metre. Even when taking as the basis of our calculation a theoretical gas of 33'3% CO, we find that there is a great loss of heat-value in the manufacture of this gas. Thermochemistry teaches us that the reaction C+O develops 29'5% of the heat produced by the complete oxidation of C to CO2, thus leaving only 70.5 % for the stage CO+O=CO2. If, therefore, the gas given off in the producer is allowed to cool down to ordinary temperature, nearly 30% of the heat-value of the coal is lost by radiation. If, however, the gas producer is built in close proximity to the place where the combustion takes place, so that the gas does not lose very much of its heat, the loss is correspondingly less. Even then there is no reason why this mode of burning the fuel, i.e. first with " primary air " in the producer (C+O = CO), then with " secondary air " in the furnace (CO+O= CO2), should be preferred to the direct complete burning of the fuel on a grate, unless the above-mentioned advantage is secured, viz. reduction of the smoke gases to a minimum by confining the supply of air as nearly as possible to that required for the formation of CO2, which is only possible by producing an intimate mixture of the producer gas with the secondary air. The advantage in question is not very great where the heat of the smoke gases can be very fully utilized, e.g. in well-constructed steam boilers, salt-pans and the like, and as a matter of fact gas producers have not found much use in such cases. But a very great advantage is attained in high-temperature operations, where the smoke gases escape very hot, and where it is on that account all-important to confine their quantity to a minimum. It is precisely in these cases that another requirement frequently comes in, viz. the production at a given point of a higher temperature than is easily attained by ordinary fires. Gas-firing lends itself very well to this end, as it is easily combined with a preliminary heating up of the air, and even of the gas itself, by means of " recuperators." The original and best-known form of these, due to Siemens Brothers, consists of two brick chambers filled with loosely stacked fire-bricks in such manner that any gases passed through the chambers must seek their way through the interstices left between the bricks, by which means a thorough products of the destructive distillation of the coal, &c., are known as producer gas or Siemens gas. In the second case the chemical reaction is mainly interchange of temperature takes place. The smoke gases, instead of escaping directly into the atmosphere, are made to pass through one of these chambers, giving up part of their heat to the brickwork. After a certain time the draught is changed by means of valves, the smoke gases are passed through another chamber, and the cold air intended to feed the combustion is made to pass through the first chamber, where it takes up heat from the white-hot bricks, and is thus heated up to a bright red heat until the chamber is cooled down too far, when the draughts are again reversed. Sometimes the producer gas itself is heated up in this manner (especially when it has been cooled down by travelling a long distance); in that case four recuperator chambers must be provided instead of two. Another class of recuperators is not founded on the alternating system, but acts continuously; the smoke gases travel always in the same direction in ilues contiguous to other flues or pipes in which the air flows in the opposite direction, an interchange of heat taking place through the walls of the flues or pipes. Here the surface of contact must be made very large if a good effect is to be produced. In both cases not merely is a saving effected of all the calories which are abstracted by the cold air from the recuperator, but as less fuel has to be burned to get a given effect, the quantity of smoke gas is reduced. For details and other producer gases, see Gas, II. For Fuel and Power. Gas-firing in the manner just described can be brought about by very simple means, viz. by lowering the fire-grate of an ordinary fire-place to at least 4 ft. below the fire-bridge, and by introducing the air partly below the grate and partly behind the fire-place, at or near the point where the greatest heat is required. Usually, however, more elaborate apparatus is employed, some of which we shall describe below. Gas-firing has now become universal in some of the most important industries and nearly so in others. The present extension of steel-making and other branches of metallurgy is intimately connected with this system, as is the modern method of glass-making, of heating coal gas retorts and so forth. The composition of producer gas differs considerably, principally according to the material from which it is made. Analyses of ordinary producer gas (not such as falls under the heading of "semi-water gas," see sub C) by volume show 22 to 33% CO, I to 7% CO2, 0'5 to 2% H2, 0'5 to 3% hydrocarbons, and 64 to 68% N2. B. Water Gas.—The reaction of steam on highly heated carbonaceous matter was first observed by Felice Fontana in 1780. This was four years before Henry Cavendish isolated hydrogen from water, and thirteen years before William Murdoch made illuminating gas by the distillation of coal, so that it was no wonder that Fontana's laboratory work was soon forgotten. Nor had the use of carburetted water gas, as introduced by Donovan in 183o for illuminating purposes, more than a very short life. More important is the fact that during nine years the illumination of the town of Narbonne was carried on by incandescent platinum wire, heated by water gas, where also internally heated generators were for the first time regularly employed. The Narbonne process was abandoned in 1865, and for some time no real progress was made in this field in Europe. But in America, T. S. C. Lowe, Strong,Tessie du Motay and others took up the matter, the first permanent success being obtained by the introduction (1873) of Lowe's system at Phoenixville, Pa. In the United States the abundance of anthracite, as well as of petroleum naphtha, adapted for carburetting the gas, secures a great commercial advantage to this kind of illuminant over coal gas, so that now three-fourths of all American gas-works employ carburetted water gas. In Europe the progress of this industry was naturally much less rapid, but here also since 1882, when the apparatus of Lowe and Dwight was introduced in the town of Essen, great improvements have been worked out, principally by E. Blass, and by these improvements water gas obtained a firm footing also for certain heating purposes. The American process for making carburetted water gas, as an auxiliary to ordinary coal gas, was first introduced by the London Gas Light and Coke Company on a large scale in 189o. Water gas in its original state is called " blue gas," because it burns with a blue, non-luminous flame, which produces a very high temperature. According to the equation C+1120= CO+112, this gas consists theoretically of equal volumes of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. We shall presently see why it is impossible to avoid the presence of a little carbon dioxide and other gases, but we shall for the moment treat of water gas as if it were composed according to the above equation. The reaction C+H2O=CO+H2 is endothermic, that is, its thermal value is negative. One gram-molecule of carbon produces 97 great calories (1 great calorie or kilogram-calorie= rood gram-calories) when burning to CO2, and this is of course the maximum effect obtainable from this source. If the same gram-molecule of carbon is used for making water gas, that is, CO+H2, the heat produced by the combustion of the product is 68.4+ 57.6=126 great calories, an apparent surplus of 29 calories, which cannot be got out of nothing. This is made evident by another consideration. In the above reaction C is not burned to CO2, but to CO, a reaction which produces 28.6 calories per gram-molecule. But as the oxygen is furnished from water, which must first be decomposed by the expenditure of energy, we must introduce this amount, 68.5 calories in the case of liquid water, or 57.6 calories in the case of steam, as a negative quantity, and the difference, viz. +28.6- 57.6= 29 great calories, represents the amount of heat to be expended from another source in order to bring about the reaction of one gram-molecule of carbon on one gram-molecule of H2O in the shape of steam. This explains why steam directed upon incandescent coal will produce water gas only for a very short time: even a large mass of coal will quickly be cooled down so much that at first a gas of different composition is formed and soon the process will cease altogether. We can avoid this result by carrying on the process in a retort heated from without by an ordinary coal fire, and all the early water gas apparatus was constructed in this way; but such a method is very uneconomical, and was long ago replaced by a process first patented by J. and T. N. Kirkham in 1854, and very much improved by successive inventors. This process consists in conducting the operation in an.upright brick shaft, charged with anthracite, coke or other suitable fuel. This shaft resembles an ordinary gas producer, but it differs in being worked, not in a continuous manner, which, as shown above, would be impossible, but by alternately blowing air and steam through the coal for periods of a few minutes each. During the first phase, when carbon is burned by atmospheric oxygen, and thereby heat is produced, this heat, or rather that part of it which is not carried away by radiation and by the products of combustion on leaving the apparatus, is employed in raising the temperature of the remaining mass of fuel, and is thus available for the second phase, in which the reaction (b) C+1120 = CO+112 goes on with the abstraction of a corresponding amount of heat from the incandescent fuel, so that the latter rapidly cools down, and the process must be reversed by blowing in air and so forth. The formation of exactly equal volumes of carbon monoxide and hydrogen goes on only at temperatures over 12oo° C., that is, for a very few minutes. Even at'Too° C. a little CO2 can be proved to exist in the gas, and at goo° its proportion becomes too high to allow the process to go on. About'65o° C. the CO has fallen to a minimum, and the reaction is now essentially (c) C+2H20= CO2+2H2; soon after the temperature of the mass will have fallen to such a low point that' the steam passes through it without any perceptible action. The gas produced by reaction (c) contains only two-thirds of combustible matter, and is on that account less valuable than proper water gas formed by reaction (b); moreover, it requires the generation of twice the amount of steam, and its presence is all the less desirable since it must soon lead to a total cessation of the process. In ordinary circumstances it is evident that the more steam is blown in during a unit of time, the sooner reaction (c) .will set in; on the other hand, the more heat has been accumulated in the producer the longer can the blowing-in of steam be continued. The process of making water gas consequently comprises two alternating operations, viz. first " blowing-up " by means of a current of air, by which the heat of the mass of fuel is raised to about 1200° C.; and, secondly " steaming," by injecting a current of (preferably superheated) steam until the temperature of the fuel had fallen to about 900° C., and too much carbon dioxide appears in the product. During the steaming the gas is carried off by a special conduit into a scrubber, where the dust mechanically carried away in the current is washed out, and the gas is at the same time cooled down nearly to the ordinary temperature. It is generally stored in a gas-holder, from which it is conducted away as required. It is never quite free from nitrogen, as the producer at the beginning of steaming contains much of this gas, together with CO or CO2. The proportion of hydrogen may exceed 50%, in consequence of reaction (c) setting in at the close of the steaming. Ordinary " blue " water gas, if, as usual, made from coke or anthracite, contains 48-52 % H2, 40-41% CO, r-5% CO2, 4-5% N2, and traces of hydro-carbons, especially methane. If made from bituminous coal, it contains more of the latter. If " carburetted " (a process which increases its volume 50% and more) by the vapours from superheated petroleum naphtha, the proportion of CO ranges about 25%, with about as much methane, and from to to 15% of " illuminants " (heavy hydrocarbons). The latter, of course, greatly enhance the fuel-value of the gas. Pure water gas would possess the following fuel-value per cubic metre: o•5 cub. met. H2 = 1291 calories 0.5 „ CO=1522 „ 2813 Ordinary "blue" water gas has a fuel-value of at least 2500 calories. Carburetted water gas, which varies very much in its percentage of hydrocarbons, sometimes reaches nearly the heat-value of coal gas, but such gas is only in exceptional cases used for heating purposes. We must now turn to the " blowing-up " stage of the process. Until recently it was assumed that during this stage the combustion of carbon cannot be carried on beyond the formation of carbon monoxide, for as the gas-producer must necessarily contain a deep layer of fuel (generally about 6 to ro ft.), any CO2 formed at first would be reduced to CO; and it was further assumed that hardly any CO2 would be formed from the outset, as the temperature of the apparatus is too high for this reaction to take place. But as the combustion of C to CO produces only about 30% of the heat produced when C is burned into CO2, the quantity of fuel consumed for " blowing-up " is very large, and in fact considerably exceeds that consumed in "steaming." There is, of course, a further loss by radiation and minor sources, and the result is that 1 kilogram of carbon yields only about 1.2 cub. met. of water gas. Each period of blowing-up generally occupies from 8 to 12 minutes, that of steaming only 4 or 5 minutes. This low yield of water gas until quite recently appeared to be unavoidable, and the only question seemed to be whether and to what extent the gas formed during blowing-up, which is in fact identical with ordinary producer gas (Siemens gas), could be utilized. In America, where the water gas is mostly employed for illuminating purposes, at least part of the blowing-up gas is utilized for heating the apparatus in which the naphtha is volatilized and the vapours are " fixed " by superheating. This process, however, never utilizes anything like the whole of the blowing-up gas, nor can this be effected by raising and superheating the steam necessary for the second operation; indeed, the employment of this gas for raising steam is not very easy, owing to the irregularities of and constant interruptions in the supply. In some systems the gas made during the blowing-up stage is passed through chambers, loosely filled with bricks, like Siemens recuperators, where it is burned by " secondary " air: the heat thus imparted to the brickwork is utilized by passing through the recuperator, and thus superheating, the steam required for the next steaming operation. In many cases, principally where no carburetting is practised, the blowing-up gas is simply burned at the mouth of the producer, and is thus altogether lost; and in no case can it be utilized without greatwaste. A very important improvement in this respect was effected by C. Dellwik and E. Fleischer. They found that the view that it is unavoidable to burn the carbon to monoxide during the blowing-up holds good only for the pressure of blast formerly applied. This did not much exceed that which is required for overcoming the frictional resistance within the producer. If, however, the pressure is considerably increased, and the height of the column of fuel reduced, both of these conditions being strictly regulated in accordance with the result desired, it is easy to attain a combustion of the carbon to dioxide, with only traces of monoxide, in spite of the high temperature. Evidently the excess of oxygen coming into contact with each particle of carbon in a given unit of time produces other conditions of chemical equilibrium than those existing at lower pressures. At any rate, experience has shown that by this process, in which the full heat-value of carbon is utilized during the blowing-up stage, the time of heating-up can be reduced from ro to 1.1 or 2 minutes, and the steaming can be prolonged from 4 or 5 to 8 or ro minutes, with the result that twice the quantity of water gas is obtained, viz. upwards of 2 cub. metres from x kilogram of carbon. The application of water gas as a fuel mainly depends upon the high temperatures which it is possible to attain by its aid, and these are principally due to the circumstance that it forms a much smaller flame than coal gas, not to speak of Siemens gas, which contains at most 33% of combustible matter against 90% or more in water gas. The latter circumstance also allows the gas to lie conducted and distributed in pipes of moderate dimensions. Its application, apart from its use as an illuminant (with which we are not concerned here), was formerly retarded by its high cost in comparison with Siemens gas and other sources of heat, but as this state of affairs has been changed by the modern improvements, its use is rapidly extending, especially for metallurgical purposes. C. Mixed Gas (Semi-Water Gas).—This class is sometimes called Dowson gas, irrespective of its method of production, although it was made and extensively used a long time before J. E. Dowson constructed his apparatus for generating such a gas principally for driving gas-engines. By a combination of the processes for generating Siemens gas and water gas, it is produced by injecting into a gas-producer at the same time a certain quantity of air and a corresponding quantity of steam, the latter never exceeding the amount which can be decomposed by the heat-absorbing reaction, C+H20=COd-H2, at the expense of the heat generated by the action of the air in the reaction C-]-0= CO. Such gas used to be frequently obtained in an accidental way by introducing liquid water or steam into an ordinary gas-producer for the purpose of facilitating its working by avoiding an excessive temperature, such as might cause the rapid destruction of the brickwork and the fusion of the ashes of the fuel into troublesome cakes. It was soon found that by proceeding in this way a certain advantage could be gained in regard to the consumption of fuel, as the heat abstracted by the steam from the brickwork and the fuel itself was usefully employed for decomposing water, its energy thus reappearing in the shape of a combustible gas. It is hardly necessary to mention explicitly that the total heat obtained by any such process from a given quantity of carbon (or hydrogen) can in no case exceed that which is generated by direct combustion; some inventors, however, whether inadvertently or intentionally, have actually represented this to be possible, in manifest violation of the law of the conservation of energy. Roughly speaking, this gas may be said to be produced by the combination of the reactions, described sub A and B, to the joint reaction: 2C+O+H2O=2CO+H2. The decomposition of H2O (applied in the shape of steam) absorbs 57.6 gram calories, the formation of 2CO produces 59 gram calories; hence there is a small positive excess of 1•4 calories at disposal. This in reality would not be sufficient to cover the loss by radiation, &c.; hence rather more free oxygen (i.e. atmospheric air) must be employed than is represented by the above equation. All this free oxygen is, of course, accompanied by nearly four times its volume of nitrogen. The mixed gas thus obtained differs very much in composition, went many changes and much of its early prosperity returned. Hotels and villas were built in the new part of the town that sprang up outside the picturesque walled fortress, and there is quite a contrast between the part inside the heavy, half-ruined ramparts, with its narrow, steep streets and curious gable-roofed houses, its fine old church and castle and its massive town hall, and the new suburbs and fishermen's quarter facing the estuary of the Bidassoa. Many industries flourish on the outskirts of the town, including rope and net manufactures, flour mills, saw mills, mining railways, paper mills. Fuenterrabia formerly possessed considerable strategic importance, and it has frequently been taken and retaken in wars between France and Spain. The rout of Charlemagne in 778, which has been associated with Fontarabia, by Milton (Paradise Lost, i. 587), is generally understood to have taken place not here but at Roncesvalles (q.v.), which is nearly 40 M. E.S.E. Unsuccessful attempts to seize Fuenterrabia were made by the French troops in 1476 and again in 1503. In a subsequent campaign (1521) these were more successful, but the fortress was retaken in 1524. The prince of Conde sustained a severe repulse under its walls in 1638, and it was on this occasion that the town received from Philip IV. the rank of city (muy noble, muy leal, y muy valerosa ciudad, " most noble, most loyal, and most valiant city "), a privilege which involved some measure of autonomy. After a severe siege, Fuenterrabia surrendered to the duke of Berwick and his French troops in 1719; and -in 1794 it again fell into the hands of the French, who so dismantled it that it has never since been reckoned by the Spaniards among their fortified places. It was by the ford opposite Fuenterrabia that the duke of Wellington, on the 8th of October 1813, successfully forced a passage into France in the face of an opposing army commanded by Marshal Soult. Severe fighting also took place here during the Carlist War in 1837.
End of Article: PBS
PETER PAZMANY (1570–1637)

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