Coal gas (also town gas and illumination gas) is a flammable gaseous fuel made by the destructive distillation of coal containing a variety of calorific gases including hydrogen, carbon monoxide, methane and volatile hydrocarbons together with small quantities of non-calorific gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen. It was the primary source of gaseous fuel for the United States and the UK until the widespread adoption of natural gas during the 1940s and 1950s in the US, and the late 1960s and 1970s in the UK. It was used for lighting, cooking, and heating and was often supplied to households via a municipally owned piped distribution system.
Originally created as a by-product of the coking process, its use developed during the 19th and early 20th centuries tracking the industrial revolution and urbanization. By-products from the production process included coal tars and ammonia, which were important chemical feedstock for the dye and chemical industry with a wide range of artificial dye colours being made from coal gas and coal tar. Facilities where the gas was produced were often known as a manufactured gas plant, or MGP.
The discovery of large reserves of natural gas in the North Sea off the UK coast during the early 1960s led to the expensive conversion or replacement of most of the nation's gas cookers and gas heaters, with the exception of Northern Ireland, from the late 1960s onwards.
The production process is distinct, both physically and chemically, from that used to create a range of gaseous fuels known variously as manufactured gas, syngas, hygas, Dowson gas, and producer gas. These gases are made by partial combustion of a wide variety of feed stocks in some mixture of air, oxygen, or steam, to reduce the latter to hydrogen and carbon dioxide although some destructive distillation may also occur.
Other articles related to "coal gas, gas, coal":
... Coal gas was initially manufactured by independent companies but many of these later became municipal services ... Both the private and the municipal companies were nationalised under The Gas Act 1948 and further re-structuring took place under The Gas Act 1972 ... For further details see British Gas plc ...
... July – The Confederate States Navy steamer Teaser operates a coal-gas silk observation balloon to reconnoitre Union Army positions along the James River in ... Known Airship With a Semi-rigid Frame," envisioned to have a coal-gas-burning engine which draws its fuel from the craft's envelope, which is filled ...
... manufactured gasses Manufactured gas Feedstock Manufacture Composition Heat yield at STP (BTU/ft3) Light yield at STP (std candle/ft3) Notes Coal gas Primarily ... Carbonization (pyrolysis) of the coal feedstock (the heating of the coal feedstock in the absence of oxygen.) The gas produced by the hot coal is the ... contains a moderate proportion of marsh gas (methane, CH4), hydrogen (H2), carbonic oxide (carbon monoxide, CO), and simple hydrocarbon "illuminants", including oliefant gas (ethyle ...
... earlier experiments in the use of coal gas ... at Sowerby Bridge, near Halifax and finding the necessity for some simpler method of purifying the gas, he invented the lime purifiers ... After removing to London, he lighted in 1813 with gas the establishment of Mr ...
... In the past, coal gas, a mixture of hydrogen, carbon monoxide and other gases, was also used in balloons ...
Famous quotes containing the words gas and/or coal:
“Papa died in the gas chamber,
slipping blue as an undressed minnow,
gulping in the shower to wash the Jew off him.”
—Anne Sexton (19281974)
“The rooms very hot, with all this crowd, the Professor said to Sylvie. I wonder why they dont put some lumps of ice in the grate? You fill it with lumps of coal in the winter, you know, and you sit round it and enjoy the warmth. How jolly it would be to fill it now with lumps of ice, and sit round it and enjoy the coolth!”
—Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson] (18321898)