A New Artificial Fuel

It is gradually dawning upon engineers the world over that the world's coal supply is not likely to last forever, and that the time is not very far distant when artificial fuel must be resorted to. At the present time the need of an efficient artificial fuel has been brought home to us, not because of any fear of the world's supply of coal giving out, but because of the prohibitive prices of anthracite, due to the strike of the coal miners. Inventors innumerable have drawn upon their chemical knowledge in the endeavor to produce a fuel which could compete with coal in efficiency, if not in price. Not so many years ago a prize was offered for a method of solidifying petroleum, or reducing petroleum to such form that it could be carried about readily and used for fuel in fire-boxes. The research thus stimulated resulted in the patenting of several fuels, among which is one that is a combination of peat and petroleum.

The peat is raised from the bog by a clam-shell digger or dredger. It is then conveyed to a disintegrator which separates all coarse material, such as roots. From this disintegrator it is conveyed to a press where it is reduced from eighty per cent of water to forty per cent. After leaving the press it passes through another disintegrator. Lime is then added, which tends further to dry the peat. The resulting mixture is conveyed to a drier, which is a steel cylinder, varying in length according to the capacity required. Petroleum in which bituminous pitch is dissolved is then added in a pug-mill or mixing-mill. After the thorough mixture to which the oil, lime, and peat are subjected in this mill, the final briquetting process is all that is necessary to produce the finished product.

Secreted Valuables
September 11, 1902

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