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Coal and What We Get from It   By:

Coal and What We Get from It by Raphael Meldola

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COAL; AND WHAT WE GET FROM IT.

THE ROMANCE OF SCIENCE.

COAL AND WHAT WE GET FROM IT.

A Romance of Applied Science.

EXPANDED FROM THE NOTES OF A LECTURE DELIVERED IN THE THEATRE OF THE LONDON INSTITUTION, JAN. 20th, 1890.

BY RAPHAEL MELDOLA, F.R.S., F.I.C., &C.,

PROFESSOR OF CHEMISTRY IN THE FINSBURY TECHNICAL COLLEGE, CITY AND GUILDS OF LONDON INSTITUTE.

PUBLISHED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE COMMITTEE OF GENERAL LITERATURE AND EDUCATION APPOINTED BY THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.

LONDON: SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE, NORTHUMBERLAND AVENUE, CHARING CROSS, W.C.; 43, QUEEN VICTORIA STREET, E.C. BRIGHTON: 135, NORTH STREET. NEW YORK: E. & J. B. YOUNG & CO. 1891.

TO WILLIAM HENRY PERKIN, PH.D., F.R.S., THE FOUNDER OF THE COAL TAR COLOUR INDUSTRY, THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED BY THE AUTHOR.

PREFACE.

This is neither a technical manual, nor a treatise dealing with the history of a particular branch of applied science, but it partakes somewhat of the character of both. It is an attempt perhaps somewhat bold to present in a popular form an account of the great industry which has arisen out of the waste from the gas works. In the strictest sense it is a romance of dirt. To render intelligible the various stages in the evolution of the industry, without assuming any knowledge of chemical science on the part of the general reader, has by no means been an easy task, and I have great misgivings as to the success of my effort. But there is so much misapprehension concerning the history and the mode of production of colouring matters from coal tar, that any attempt to strip the industry of its mystery in this, the land of its birth, cannot but find justification. Although the theme is a favourite one with popular lecturers, it is generally treated in a superficial way, leaving the audience only in possession of the bare fact that dyestuffs, &c., have by some means or other been obtained from coal tar. I have endeavoured to go somewhat beyond this, and to give some notion of the scientific principles underlying the subject. If the reader can follow these pages, in which not a chemical formula appears, with the same interest and with the same desire to know more about the subject that was manifested by the audience at the London Institution, before whom the lecture was delivered, my object will have been accomplished. To the Board of Managers of that Institution my thanks are due for the opportunity which they have afforded me of attempting to extend that popular knowledge of applied science for which there is such a healthy craving in the public mind at the present time.

R. M. 6 Brunswick Square, W.C.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

Origin of Coal, 9. Coal of various ages, 11. Graphite, 12. Recent Vegetable Deposits, 13. Mode of occurrence of Coal, 13. Structure of Coal, 15. Uses of Coal, 16. Coal a source of Energy, 17. Mechanical Equivalent of Heat, 19. Value of Coal as a Fuel, 20. Small efficiency of Steam engines, 21. Mechanical value of Coal, 22. Whence Coal derives its Energy, 22. Chemical Composition of Coal, 23. Growth of Plants, 26. Solar Energy, 28. Transformation of Wood into Coal, 30. Destructive Distillation of Coal, 33. Experiments of Becher, 34; of Dean Clayton, 35; of Stephen Hales, 37; of Bishop Watson, 37; of the Earl of Dundonald, 39. Coal gas introduced by Murdoch, 40. Spread of the new Illuminant, 41. Manufacture of Coal gas, 42. Quantitative results, 45. Uses of Coke, 47. Goethe's visit to Stauf, 48. Bishop Watson on waste from Coke ovens, 50. Shale oil Industry, 50. History of Coal mining, 57. Introduction of Coal into London, 58. The Coal resources of the United Kingdom, 60. Competition between Electricity and Coal gas, 62.

CHAPTER II.

Ammoniacal Liquor of Gas works, 64. Origin of the Ammonia, 65. Ammonia as a Fertilizer, 65... Continue reading book >>




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