The wonderful carburetting power of benzol vapour is well known, a large proportion of the total illuminating power of coal gas being due to the presence of a minute trace of its vapour carried E in suspension.
Oxygen is also administered in chloroform poisoning, and in threatened death from the inhalation of coal gas or nitrous oxides.
The most soluble of the constituents of crude coal gas is ammonia, 780 volumes of which are soluble in one volume of water at normal temperature and pressure, and the water in the hydraulic main absorbs a considerable quantity of this compound from the gas and helps to form the ammoniacal liquor, whilst, although the liquor is well agitated by the gas bubbling through it, a partial separation of tar from liquor is effected by gravitation.
Mixing the coal gas with water gas, which has been highly carburetted by passing it with the vapours of various hydrocarbons through superheaters in order to give permanency to the hydrocarbon gases.
The chief applications are found in the analysis of flue gases (in which much information is gained as to the completeness and efficiency of combustion), and of coal gas (where it is necessary to have a product of a definite composition within certain limits).
The series of operations connected with the manufacture and distribution of coal gas embraces the processes of distillation, condensation, exhaustion, wet purification by washing and scrubbing, dry purification, measuring, storing and distribution to the mains whence the consumer's supply is drawn.
A partly successful attempt to make use of certain portions of the liquid products of distillation of coal before condensation by the second method was the Dinsmore process, in which the coal gas and vapours which, if allowed to cool, would form tar, were made to pass through a heated chamber, and a certain proportion of otherwise condensible hydrocarbons was thus converted into permanent gases.
The fundamental objections to oil gas for the enrichment of coal gas are, first, that its manufacture is a slow process, requiring as much plant and space for retorting as coal gas; and, secondly, that although on a small scale it can be made to mix perfectly with coal gas and water gas, great difficulties are found in doing this on the large scale, because in spite of the fact that theoretically gases of such widely different specific gravities ought to form a perfect mixture by diffusion, layering of the gas is very apt to take place in the holder, and thus there is an increased liability to wide variations in the illuminating value of the gas sent out.
In carburetting poor coal gas with hydrocarbons from mineral oil it must be borne in mind that, as coal is undergoing distillation, a rich gas is given off in the earlier stages, but towards the end of the operation the gas is very poor in illuminants, the methane disappearing with the other hydrocarbons, and the increase in hydrogen being very marked.
Per thousand, so that the economic value of using it in admixture with coal gas and then enriching the mixture by any cheap carburetting process is manifest.