Production of town Gas, from c1920s/1930s Encyclopedia

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The manufacture of gas is to-day a great industry, and on these pages We show, from drawings made at the South Metropolitan Gas Company’s works in London, how gas is produced from coal and sent into our homes. The pictures largely explain themselves. Starting at the top left-hand corner we see the coal arriving at the works, where it is carried up by an elevator and dropped into an automatic charger. A hydraulic ram then pushes it into a retort, where heat extracts the gas from the coal. The gas, however, is very impure and it passes through a water main where tar is deposited and collected. Then it goes through a valve into the exhauster, an ingenious apparatus consisting of one drum within another. The inner drum‘ turns and within it revolves a blade which moves up and down and pushes the gas through a pipe into a condenser. Here cold water passing upward through pipes condenses further tar which is collected and the gas passes down through a pipe into a washer. It travels down spaces between boxes containing perforated metal tubes.

[some of the following section missing due to torn page] Then it goes through the perforations and passes through water to a scrubber. It enters at the bottom and goes up through a staging.. of broads over which water is sprayed sprayed by revolving pipes. The water dro.. known as ammonia liquor.  The gas then goes to a purifier, passing ov[er] … Then it goes through a meter with curved vanes which, as the mov[e]… The quantity passing through the meter is registered on a dial. In the … perforated sheets of absorbent material soaked in oil. These …. a gas holder (often erroneously called a gasometer) Then i… district, and eventually enters the mains under the street.. [the residues left after ?] the making of the gas were once a  nuisance, as it was diffi[cult]…  and other commodities, such as road-making materials an[d]…‘

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