;. > I9iy
WILLIAM J. DICK, M. Sc
Commission of Conservation
COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
WILLIAM J. DICK, M. Sc.
COMMITTEE ON MINERALS
DR. FRANK D. ADAMS, Chairman HON. T. A. CRERAR
MR. J. P. BABCOCK ... MR. J. F. MACKAY
HON. MARTIN BURRELL HON. ARTHUR MEIGHEN
MGR. C. P. CROQUETTE DR. HOWARD MURRAY
and the ex-officio members of the Commission who represent
the various provinces
541641 OTTAWA, 1919
Commission of Conservation
Constituted tinder "The Conservation Act," 8-9 Edward VII, Chap. 27, 1909, and
amending Acts 9-1 Edward VII, Chap. 42, 1910, and 3-4
George V, Chap. 12, 1913.
ers: /. J ;;;.. ......
Dr. How&i/MJTftA,*>ea,nj fi^lho^sie University, Halifax, N.S.
Dr. CECIL C. JONES, M.A., Ph.D., Chancellor, University of New Brunswick,
Mr. WILLIAM B. SNOWBALL, Chatham, N.B.
Hon. HENRI S. BELAND, M.D., M.P., St. Joseph-de-Beauce, Que.
Dr. FRANK D. ADAMS, Dean, Faculty of Applied Science, McGill University,
Mgr. CHARLES P. CHOQUETTE, M.A., St. Hyacinthe, Que., Professor, Seminary of
St. Hyacinthe, and Member of Faculty, Laval University.
Mr. EDWARD GOHIER, St. Laurent, Que.
Mr. W. F. TYE, Past-president, Engineering Institute of Canada, Montreal, Que.
Dr. JAMES W. ROBERTSON, C.M.G., Ottawa, Ont.
Hon. Senator WILLIAM CAMERON EDWARDS, Ottawa, Ont.
Mr. CHARLES A. McCooL, Pembroke, Ont.
Sir EDMUND B. OSLER, M.P., Governor, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.
Mr. JOHN F. MACKAY, Toronto, Ont.
Dr. B. E. FERNOW, Dean, Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.
Dr. GEORGE BRYCE, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Man.
Dr. WILLIAM J. RUTHERFORD, B.S.A., Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, University of
Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Sask.
Dr. HENRY M. TORY, M.A., D.s.c., President, University of Alberta, Edmonton,
Mr. JOHN PEASE BABCOCK, Assistant Commissioner of Fisheries, Victoria, B.C.
Hon. T. A. CRERAR, Minister of Agriculture, Ottawa.
Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN, Minister of the Interior, Ottawa.
Hon. MARTIN BURRELL, Secretary of State and Minister of Mines, Ottawa.
Hon. AUBIN E. ARSENAULT, Premier, Prince Edward Island.
Hon. ORLANDO T. DANIELS, Attorney-General, Nova Scotia.
Hon. E. A. SMITH, Minister of Lands and Mines, New Brunswick.
Hon. JULES ALLARD, Minister of Lands and Forests, Quebec.
Hon. G. H. FERGUSON, Minister of Lands, Forests and Mines, Ontario.
Hon. THOMAS H. JOHNSON, Attorney-General, Manitoba.
Hon. CHARLES STEWART, Premier, Minister of Railways and Telephones, Alberta.
Hon. T. D. PATTULLO, Minister of Lands, British Columbia.
Assistant to Chairman, Deputy Head:
Mr. JAMES WHITE.
USE OF PULVERIZED FUEL
IN a country of such enormous proportions as the Dominion of Canada,
extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and northward to the
Arctic, and with its severe winters, the question of lin adequate ftjeHoipply
as a source of heat, light and power, and for use to'thfe" metallurgical indus-
tries, must always be of paramount importance.;, To'2*,|/ea~^xte<n1' ,the
requisites of power and light can be suppliea oy" the utilization of the
numerous waterfalls with which the country is so abundantly supplied.
Based upon investigations by the Commission of Conservation, the total
water-power in Canada is estimated at 18,953,000 horse-power. 1 Assuming
that, under average conditions, one horse-power-hour can be produced in
a steam plant from three pounds of coal, one-half of the 17,000,000
horse-power, if developed, would, on a basis of twelve hours a day, and
a load factor of 50 per cent, represent a saving of nearly 24,000,000 tons
of coal per year. Although hydro-electric energy will, where available, to
a great extent replace the use of coal for light and power purposes and for
certain metallurgical work, the necessary uses of coal will continue on a
The coal deposits of Canada, in respect of quality, quantity, and
accessibility for mining purposes, compare favourably with those of other
countries. About one -sixth of the coal resources of the world is possessed
by Canada. The deposits are, however, confined to the eastern and western
portions of the Dominion, the large central market being supplied by
imported coal. Previous to the war, Nova Scotia bituminous coal was
used as far west as Montreal, while United States bituminous was sold
within the area extending from Montreal to Swift Current and Saskatoon,
Sask., the railways being the principal users of this fuel. Portions of
Manitoba and Saskatchewan are supplied with coal also from Crowsnest,
Lethbridge, Canmore, Drumheller, Edmonton, Yellowhead Pass and Souris
Eastern Canada possesses no deposits of anthracite, and, as this class
of coal is suitable for heating and domestic purposes, considerable quantities
are imported from the United States. Prior to the war, it was sold over
an area extending from Nova Scotia to Battleford, Sask., in the west. In
1913, imports exceeded 4,640,000 tons, more than double those of 1906;
thus it is apparent that the demand for anthracite is rapidly increasing,
notwithstanding the upward tendency of prices. The supply of anthracite
coal in the United States, also, is limited, and there is no Assurance that its
'Not all the water-power can be economically developed. This estimate was made by Mr. Arthur V.
White, Consulting Engineer, Commission of Conservation.
4 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
export to Canada will be long continued. If mined at the present rate,
the anthracite coal reserves of United States will be exhausted in about
100 years. We may, therefore, expect the price to gradually increase,
until only the wealthy can afford it. Coincidently with the rising price,
production will decrease, thus prolonging the life of the mines. Thus,
during the four-year period, 1913-16, production decreased from 91,524,922
tons in 1913 to 88,312,000 tons in 1916, or rather more than one per cent
Of the total consumption during 1916, 45 per cent was domestic coal
and 55 peY ceri^ini^pi-ted coal, or, in other words, we imported more coal
than we produced.' 'The. importance of this fact may be more fully
rex5gn|z4ci-fiv3Jrt:it is Rallied that the value of the coal production, in
1916 $38,857,557 greatly exceeded that of any other mineral, and
amounted to nearly 22 per cent of the total mineral production of Canada
during that year. Although we have over 17 per cent of the world's re-
serve of coal, our production is small, and we import more than we produce.
It is desirable that these conditions be changed, both from the
mining and national standpoint. If the United States was unable to
export hard or soft coal to Ontario and Quebec or if they placed an embargo
on its exportation, what would happen? In the spring of 1918 we had a
slight example, when some of our educational institutions were iorced to
close their doors because of the shortage of coal, due to a temporary freight
From the above it is evident that, before many years, Canada may
have difficulty in procuring supplies of anthracite coal from the United
States, except at a greatly increased cost; also, as we have no supplies of
this class of coal east of the Rocky mountains, we cannot supply the need
from our own resources. We arrive at the conclusion, therefore, that, to
take its place, some kind of substitute, of which we have large reserves,
must be developed.
The following conditions have to be dealt with :
(1) Domestic fuel problem in Ontario and Quebec.
(2) Imported bituminous coal used as fuel on railways and as a
source of power in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
(3) Domestic fuel problem in Prairie Provinces.
(4) Cheap power problem in Prairie Provinces.
(1) The following solutions of the domestic fuel problem in Ontario
and Quebec are suggested: (a) By the installation of by-product coke-
ovens at certain points on the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes system, the
coke being used for domestic purposes in place of anthracite coal; (6) by
the development of a peat industry, where peat deposits are near the market
for such fuel; (c) eventually, electric energy will, to a limited extent,
replace coal for heating and cooking purposes
(2) The establishment of the distribution system of the Ontario
Hydro-Electric Power Commission has been effective in largely replacing
PULVERIZED FUEL 5
imported coal as a source of power in Ontario by electric energy derived
from our water-powers. But for the work of this commission, many indus-
trial plants in Ontario would have been hampered during the war, if not
forced to shut down, for lack of power.
The economic solution of the railway fuel problem may be secured
by the electrification of our railways which, for obvious reasons, would be
undertaken step by step. So far as certain portions of the Prairie Provinces
and Western Canada are concerned, the problem may be solved by the use
of pulverized lignite or sub-bituminous coal, by the use of briquetted fuel
made from lignite or bituminous coal, and by the increased use of our
own bituminous coal, which is equal in every respect to that imported.
Consideration of this problem of importing coal requires that it be
discussed under two headings, viz. : "Anthracite Coal" and "Bituminous
Anthracite Coal This domestic fuel is a luxury, not a necessity; the
higher grades of sub-bituminous and lignite coals can be used in its place,
and have several advantages over hard coal. In 1918-19, for the first time,
Winnipeg used western coal to a very considerable extent, and it gave
good satisfaction, notwithstanding the fact that most people were not
familiar with the manner in which it should be used.
Bituminous Coal The imported bituminous coal is used largely for
railway use, but a portion is also used for ordinary power purposes.
The value of the imports of coal into Fort William, Port Arthur, and
Manitoba ports of entry amounts to from $14,000,000 to $18,000,000
annually. This figure represents actual money that goes out of the country.
This money would otherwise be spent in developing Western Canadian
That American coal is used to such an extent, particularly by the rail-
ways, is due to the fact that the United States coal is hauled from the lake
ports to the western markets in cars which have been used for hauling grain.
This, nevertheless, curtails the markets for Canadian coals. Transporta-
tion conditions on our railways during the winter months, from September
1st to February 1st, are not desirable, because, during that period, the
railways have two superimposed peak loads, viz., the grain haul from the
west, and the coal haul from Canadian mines, which amounts to several
millions of tons. The railways must, therefore, have double the roiling
stock and equipment that would otherwise be necessary. In fact every
year there is a scarcity of cars available for the movement of grain and coal.
The problem, which must be solved, therefore, is briefly this: How
can Canadian coal be used in place of imported coal, without costing the
consumer more, and at the same tinm solve the transportation problem?
The answer to this problem and the putting of it into practice will mean
twice the number of men employed in the coal mines in the west, and, at
the same time, retaining in the country the large amount of money above
6 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
The coal mines of Alberta and Saskatchewan have a capacity for
producing some 15,000,000 tons of coal per annum. This fact is of
importance when it is considered that the actual production of coal in
these provinces in 1918 did not exceed 6,319,663 tons. There is no doubt,
even under existing conditions, but that the production could be increased
some 4,000,000 tons if the demand should warrant it.
The enlargement of the markets for western coal would also be the
means of reducing the price of this coal to the consumer. For example,
practically all the domestic coal-producing mines in Alberta are closed
down from March 1 to August 15, which means that the fixed charges
during this period must be borne by the coal produced during the autumn
Actual operation shows that, in the same time, operating at 50 per
cent capacity as against 85 per cent capacity, the cost of production per
ton of coal amounted to over $1.10.
This situation could be improved by the Government carrying out
the recommendation made by the Conservation Commission* that a sup-
reme engineering authority be appointed, with full powers to prevent the
use of wasteful methods in the mining of coal ; also by the stocking of coal
during the summer months.
Under present conditions dealers will not stock coal during these
months, owing to additional costs necessary to cover carrying charges,
etc. A dealer who stocks coal also has to compete with those who deliver
direct from the cars during the winter. There are, therefore, no induce-
ments offered for stocking coal.
In order to secure a more equable distribution during the entire year,
and thus relieve the car shortage which occurs in winter, while at the same
time permit of the working of the coal mines during the summer months,
it appears desirable that special freight rates should be granted on coal
shipped eastward during this period and also that the mines should give
special summer prices for coal. The differential between the cost of
summer and winter coal should be great enough to encourage not only the
dealers to stock up, but also to induce consumers to lay in their winter
It is of first importance also that an investigation be carried out by
the Government to determine what special processes could be applied to
the more economical use of the low-grade fuels in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
In a report, Conservation of Coal in Canada, published by the Com-
mission of Conservation, in 1911, the briquetting of the lignites of the
west was advocated to obtain the above conditions. One of the first
problems cbnsidered by the Honorary Advisory Council for Scientific
Research was the possibility of the briquetting of carbonized lignite.
Indications point towards the establishment by the Dominion Govern-
ment, in conjunction with the Governments of Saskatchewan and
'Conservation of Cool in Canada, Commission of Conservation, 1914, pp. 3-5.
PULVERIZED FUEL 7
Manitoba, of a commercial plant to demonstrate the practicability of the
process. Should the result be satisfactory, it will not only provide a
suitable fuel for the farmers in place of imported anthracite coal, but will
cause a great development of the coal-mining industry of Saskatchewan.
DISTRIBUTION OF IMPORTED COAL
As the coal-fields are situated in the eastern and western portions of
Canada, the interior portion, from Cornwall, Ont., on the east, to Swift
Current, Sask., on the west, is supplied by coal from the United States.
The central and eastern portion, comprising central and eastern Ontario,
is supplied via St. Lawrence, Lake Ontario and Niagara River ports; coal
for the west is hauled by rail to Buffalo and Lake Erie ports, whence it is
carried by water and rail to its destination. The bituminous coal is used
principally for railway and the anthracite for domestic purposes.
Table I shows the imports of coal into Ontario and Quebec. Tables II,
III and IV show the imports of coal into Fort William, Port Arthur,
Fort Frances and Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta ports of entry.
TABLE I IMPORTS
1, in tons
, in tons
Quebec. . .
TABLE II IMPORTS OF ANTHRACITE COAL
386 , 109
8 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
TABLE III COAL IMPORTS BITUMINOUS SLACK, SUCH AS WILL PASS A I-INCH SCREEN.
Fort William .
46 , 092
TABLE IV COAL IMPORTS BITUMINOUS ROUND AND RUN-OF-MINE, AND COAL N.O.P.
1 500 034
641 , 293
Totals . . .
The coal brought up the Great lakes is carried as return freight in
snips engaged in the ore-carrying trade. Owing to the higher wages paid
the miners and higher transportation charges, industries in Canada
dependent on United States coal are handicapped. The increase of prices
will tend to increase the distribution of Canadian coal farther east and make
possible the development of uses for inferior coal.
The most important users of imported coal are the railways and
One of the most important factors in locomotive haulage is that of a
suitable and economic fuel. The extent to which coal is thus used in
Canada is shown by the following table: 2
Tons of coal
1916 . .
J Probably a considerable portion was all-rail coal via Emerson and Gretna, Man.
^Railway Statistics, Department of Railways and Canals, 1918, p. xxx.
PULVERIZED FUEL 9
The tonnage of coal used annually on railways in Canada is equiva"
lent to nearly 68 per cent of our total coal production for same period.
In 1918 the coal production of Canada was 14,977,926 tons, while in
the same year the railways consumed 10,173,344 tons of coal. In
addition, 52,507,528 gallons of fuel-oil was used as locomotive fuel.
The oil was imported from the United States and represented the equiva-
lent of 312,545 tons of coal.
The development of fuel-oil, for use on railways and steamships, has
resulted from the discovery of large oil-fields in California. Oil fuel has
many advantages over coal, but its use or non-use will largely depend
upon whether it is the most economical fuel under the circumstances.
Railway companies have adopted it, not on account of any compulsion
on the part of the Government, but from business considerations. On
account of the ease with which it can be loaded into boats and fired, and
because it occupies less space than coal, thereby giving greater freight-
carrying capacity to steamships, it will be used on this class of traffic even
after its price exceeds the price of its heat-equivalent in coal.
Fuel-oil has been used to a considerable extent on railways in the
United States since its introduction in 1900. The partial exhaustion of
adjacent oil-fields has caused some of these lines to revert to coal. The
reversion will be still more evident as the increasing prices for oil offset
its advantages. The use of fuel-oil in Western Canada will depend upon
the low price of crude oil from California or other states bordering on the
Pacific and from Mexico. With regard to this subject, David T. Day,
in The Production of Petroleum in 19 13 1 , states: "In California the
railways were the first to absorb large quantities of California oils. This
legitimate use has become permanent from lack of other fuel, and it has
extended to other kinds of generation of power, including marine trans-
portation for shipments coastwise and to foreign countries. A serious
menace to the continued use of oil for fuel in California 2 is the recent change
in the character of the crude oils of that state. Many of the new pools
yield oils suitable for refining and for the production of large quantities
of gasolene and kerosene. Up to the beginning of 1913, about 30 per
cent of the oils of California was refined and the rest was sold for fuel, as
crude, or after very slight distillation of the lighter products. This
practice changed materially during 1913, so that the proportion of crude
oil used direct as fuel became reversed, and, although no accurate figures
are available, 70 per cent is about the proportion of crude oil which was
refined during that year, before the heavier portions were sold for fuel.
The result of this, however, will be, not to decrease the use of oil for fuel,
but to change the method of its application, particularly to the internal-
combustion engine burning kerosene and heavier distillates". It is
another significant fact that in 1915 the number of producing wells was
increased, but the average yield per well per day dropped from 47 barrels
iMineral Resources of the United States, p. 952.
"The italics are the writer's.
10 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
in 1914 to 39 barrels in 1915. Although the petroleum business in
California during 1915 was poor, and the price of oil one and one-half
cents per barrel less, this was due largely to the effects of the war. The
price, however, will increase for the above reasons, and there will be a
greater demand for it for steamship use, incident to the placing in full
operation of the Panama canal. The writer is of the opinion that, in so
far as Canadian railways are concerned, the economic advantages of
fuel-oil for locomotive use over that of Canadian coal is more favourable
now than will be the case in the future. Should this prove to be the case
the railways will, no doubt, for economic reasons, revert to the use of coal.
The coal reserves of Canada are considerable, but a large proportion
is unsuitable for use in the ordinary way as locomotive fuel. The coals
of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and portions of Alberta are lignite or sub-
bituminous, high in moisture, and cannot be used as locomotive fuel on
account of the liability of setting out fires from excessive sparking.
In 1913, the Board of Railway Commissioners issued an order 1 calling
upon the railways to equip their locomotives with fire-preventive devices,
to discontinue the use of certain grades of lignite coal on their locomotives,
and to guard against outbreaks of fire along their rights-of-way.
In so far as supplies of fuel are concerned, the eastern portion of
Saskatchewan forms the competitive area between the United States coal,
on the one hand, and the high-grade bituminous coal of the Rocky mountains
and adjacent region, on the other. It is evident, therefore, that the cost
of fuel in this portion of the province is high. On account of our large
imports of coal and fuel-oil, which, under these circumstances, are costly
fuels, anything that can be done to increase the efficiency of generating
power from coal or economically curtail the use of fuel-oil by the substitu-
tion of coal or lower-grade fuels which formerly could not be used on ac-
count of their liability of setting out fires from sparks, should be welcome.
Nearly a century ago pulverized coal as a fuel was experimented with,
but its application to industrial purposes really commenced in 1895, when
used in connection with the burning of cement. Its comparatively slow
development was due largely to the fact that the advantages of thorough
drying and fine grinding were not fully recognized. It was not until the
pressing demands of the cement industry for a low-priced fuel of high
efficiency became imperative that pulverized coal was found almost ideal.
In this industry it is essential to grind cheaply the cement materials to a
high degree of fineness so that the pulverizing of coal fell naturally into the
hands of men able to powder cheaply, and to the same consistency, a
material much less resistant than cement rock or clinker. The next general
^General Order No. 107, Board of Railway Commissioners, July 14, 1913.
54164 p. 10.
PULVERIZED FUEL 11
application of this fuel was in certain metallurgical processes, such as a
source of heat for simple furnaces, where excessive temperatures were not
required and where the ash deposits were either continuously removed
with the heated material or could readily settle on the hearth and be
About sixteen years ago, the Manhattan Elevated railroad experi-
mented with pulverized coal as a fuel on one of its locomotives. The
equipment consisted of a combined pulverizer, blower and steam turbine
situated on the locomotive. It is understood that, as the coal was not
ground sufficiently fine, and because certain mechanical details were not
provided for, this method of burning coal was not successful.
During the last few years the Swedish Government and Swedish
Boiler Society have carried on tests, using pulverized peat as a fuel on
locomotives and stationary boilers, which have resulted in the successful
use of this class of fuel.
In 1914, the New York Central railroad placed in operation a
locomotive, of the ten-wheel type, having a tractive power of 31,000
pounds. This was the first locomotive of any size to be equipped and
successfully operated for burning pulverized coal in suspension. Since
then a similar application was made to an Atlantic-type locomotive of
the Chicago and Northwestern railroad. Early in 1917 the Delaware
and Hudson railroad installed the first complete commercial plant for
supplying pulverized coal to one of its locomotives operating in regular
In 1906 coal dust was experimented with in connection with reverbera-
tory copper smelting at the Highland Bay smelter. While these experiments
did not lead to its final adoption at this smelter, the results obtained showed
very clearly that increased tonnage, with decreased fuel consumption,
could be attained, and that such difficulties as were encountered were
largely mechanical and presumably removable. In 1909 the use of
pulverized coal as a fuel was investigated by Messrs. David H. Browne
and Geo. E. Silvester, of the Canadian Copper Co., and, as a result, it was
decided to install coal-dust firing in connection with the reverberatory
smelting of copper-nickel ore and flue-dust at their smelter Copper Cliff,
Ont. Construction of the plant was begun in 1910 and completed in 1911.
After investigating the work of the coal-dust fired reverberatories of the
Canadian Copper Co., the management of the Washoe Reduction Works,
Anaconda, Mont., decided to experiment with and ascertain the advan-
tages of using coal-dust as a fuel in their reverberatories. In 1914 a
reverberatory furnace was remodelled to use pulverized coal as a fuel, and
the results obtained showed a decided saving in cost of smelting, as com-
pared to grate-firing with lump coal.
In 1912 ,the American Iron and Steel Manufacturing Co. had carried
its experiments to a point where it was ready to publish statements of the
successful uses of this fuel. In their plant at Lebanon, Pa., pulverized
12 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
coal was used as fuel for puddling furnaces and small reheating furnaces
for nut, bolt and spike bars, and in large furnaces for continuous billet-
heating and open-hearth melting.
During the last few years pulverized coal has also been successfully
used in stationary boilers. In 1913 the Dominion Coal Co. installed
Bettington boilers, burning pulverized coal, in connection with its power
plant at New Waterford, N.S. This was the first installation of its kind
in North America.
PULVERIZED FUEL IN BOILER PLANTS
The development of the use of pulverized fuel in stationary boiler
practice is of much later occurrence than its use as a metallurgical fuel.
The early experimenters did not appreciate the necessity of fine grinding,
nor the influence of furnace design upon the temperature of the resulting
gases, consequently trouble was experienced through the action of the
high temperature flame upon the brickwork. The blow-pipe effect of the
high-velocity jet tended to melt the brickwork. A layer of slag, formed by
the fusing of ash and brickwork, accumulated in the bottom of the combus-
tion chamber and discouraged those who depended upon this fuel for
continuous service. Difficulty was also encountered in the minute particles
of liquid slag being carried in suspension and deposited upon the tube-sheet
or water-tubes of the boiler, therefore interfering with its operation.
The knowledge gained recently, both in experimental work and by
experience in equipped plants, has shown that these difficulties can be,
and have been, overcome. The economy secured by the use of pulverized
fuel in stationary boilers, instead of hand-fired coal, is not as great, in
comparison, as that derived from its use in locomotives. This is due,
largely, to the fact that, it is possible to equip stationary plants with the
best mechanical stokers. There is an advantage of two or three per cent
in combustion efficiency in favour of pulverized coal, but this is offset by
the additional cost of fuel preparation. While the above comparison is
made from the standpoint of efficiency, and where almost similar coal is
used, there are many localities, especially in Northern Ontario and portions
of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, where pulverized peat or pulver-
ized coal could be used to decided economic advantage instead of higher-
priced imported coal.
Boiler Plants This combined boiler and pulverizing plant is the
result of a long and expensive series of experiments, commenced in South
Africa, continued and first patented in United States, and finally completed
and commercially exploited in Great Britain. A summary of the diffi-
culties encountered in applying pulverized fuel to steam-boiler practice is
presented as follows in the catalogue published in the interest of this boiler:
DELIVERING PULVERIZED COAL BY TANK MOTOR TRUCK
The Crystal Pool, or Natatorium, Seattle, Wash.
bUILtH PLANT USING PULVERIZED FUEL
500-horse-power installation in the L. C. Smith building, Seattle, Wash. Cost of installation of pulverized fuel
54164 p. 16.
PULVERI ZE D FUEL
Pounds of water evaporated per 1 pound coal
Evaporative equivalent from and at 212 Fahr.
Evaporative equivalent from and at 212 Fahr.
Efficiency on gross calorific value
Percentage auxiliary power
Net efficiency on gross calorific value
Efficiency on net calorific value
Net efficiency on net calorific value
Babcock and Wilcox
PACIFIC COAST COAL COMPANY, SEATTLE, WASH.
This company was the pioneer in the development of the use of pul-
verized fuel on the Pacific coast, and, today, the industry has reached a
high stage of development, particularly in connection with the use of pul-
verized coal for boiler plants, and for power and heating purposes.
This company owns and operates the following mines in the state of
Washington: Black Diamond, Newcastle mine, and the Burnett or South
Prairie mine, all of which are in the vicinity of Seattle.
The following are analyses of these coals:
BLACK DIAMOND MINE
Moisture 2 5 per cent
Volatile matter , 47-25 "
Fixed carbon 46-70 "
Ash 3-55 "
Sulphur -40 "
Volatile matter 48-46 p^r cent
Fixed carbon 47-89 "
Ash 3-64 "
Sulphur -41 "
Moisture 7-8 per cent
Volatile matter 36-55 "
Fixed carbon 29-92 "
Ash ' ; 25-73 "
Sulphur -57 "
B.T.U 8 , 842
18 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
Volatile matter 39 -64 per cent
Fixed carbon 32-45 "
Ash 27-40 "
Sulphur -62 "
(As mined No. 4 vein)
Moisture -96 per cent
Volatile matter 39-24 "
Fixed carbon 46-33 "
Ash 13-47 "
Volatile matter 39-62 per cent
Fixed carbon 46-77 "
Ash 13-60 "
Sulphur 1-29 "
B.T.U 12, 169
This company owns and operates two pulverized coal plants, one
at the Newcastle mine and the other at Black Diamond mine.
Newcastle Plant This plant has a capacity of five tons per hour,
and consists of one Ruggles-Coles dryer and one'46-inch Fuller mill. The
pulverized coal is used in the mine power-plant, and for shipment to
Black Diamond Plant This plant has a capacity of five tons per
hour, and consists of one Ruggles-Coles dryer, and one Raymond mill.
The pulverized coal is used in the mine power-plant and for shipment to
The pulverized coal is shipped to Seattle in tank cars, and distributed
by tank motor trucks. This company has built up a commercial business
of about 30 tons per day, and the following buildings have converted
their boilers from oil-burners to the use of pulverized fuel: The L. C.
Smith building (42 stories), Pacific block, Broadway high school, New
Richmond hotel, Seattle natatorium (Crystal Pool), and Independent
laundry. The price of pulverized fuel, delivered, is $7.75 per ton, a saving
over fuel oil, which formerly cost $2 per bbl. of 42 gals.
PULVERIZED FUEL 19
PUGET SOUND TRACTION, LIGHT AND POWER Co.
In describing the results secured from the operation of a test plant
for the Puget Sound Traction, Light and Power Co., Mr. Henry Hull says:
Prompted by the large amount of unmarketable fine coal, which is
piled up at numerous nearby coal mines, the Puget Sound Traction, Light
and Power Company has investigated the practicability of burning
pulverized coal. This coal is a form of lignite particularly adapted to use
in the pulverized form, owing to the high volatile constituent and the very
high fusing point of the ash. To prepare this coal for burning it must
first be thoroughly dried and the moisture content reduced to approxi-
mately 1 per cent before it can be properly pulverized. It must then be
ground until approximately 85 per cent will pass through a 200-mesh
screen and 95 per cent through a 100-mesh screen if the best results are
to be obtained. It should then be fed directly to the furnace, or, if trans-
portation or storage is necessary, it should be kept air-tight so far as
possible to prevent absorption of moisture.
The coal which has been investigated by the Puget Sound Company
is dried and pulverized by the Pacific Coast Coal Company at its briquet-
ting plant, near Renton, which is equipped with a Raymond pulverizing
plant. It is then loaded in a box car having a metal-lined hopper. The
car is spotted at the steam plant over a chute which is connected to the car
by a flexible hose. The chute feeds a small metal-housed conveyor, which
elevates and dumps the coal into a bunker adjoining the power plant.
From the bottom of this the fuel is fed, by means of two motor-driven
screws, into a 3-inch (7-62-cm.) supply pipe, through which it is then
blown to the front of the furnace. At this point the fuel is discharged
into the side of an injector, consisting of a 16-inch (38-1-cm.) drum,
surrounding a nozzle on the end of a 10-inch (25-4-cm.) air-supply pipe.
Dampers are provided in the drum and air pipe to regulate the amount
of air supplied to the combustion chamber. In starting operation the coal
dust is allowed to drop on an oil flame, although any small fire built under
the fuel discharge pipe would have the same effect. An extended Dutch
oven, with a broad arch, is used to assist ignition, as considerable com-
bustion space is required to secure satisfactory results, a parabolic shape
being most desirable. Fire cannot travel back into the fuel supply pipe
as long as the rate of air supply is greater than that of fuel propagation.
A record of a 12-8-hour test on the equipment is given herewith.
The duration of the test was limited by the facilities for storage and
handling of the fuel. The coal was weighed in the car as delivered to
the plant and the net weight determined by a subsequent weighing of the
car after unloading. The test was run until all coal was consumed. The
water was measured by a Venturi water meter installed in an individual
feed line to the boiler, and all instruments were checked for accuracy
During the test it was noted that the boiler could be forced to 200
per cent of rating without any apparent damage to brick setting or tubes.
The stack was perfectly clear under these conditions, and there was no
fusing of the ash. About one-third of the ash was found deposited in the
second and third passes of the boiler, none whatever being found to have
collected on the tubes.
20 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
Test of 300-Horsepower B. fir W. Boiler Burning Pulverized Coal
Moisture 5-4 Ash 10-4
Volatile 37-2 Sulphur 0-56
Fixed carbon 47 B.T.U 11 , 760
SiO 2 .. . 44 CaO.. 7-75
FeO 10-45 MgO 2-40
(Screen Test of Coal)
Per cent of coal passing on 100 mesh 5 g
Per cent of coal passing through 100 on 200-mesh 34-6
Per cent of coal passing through 200-mesh 59-6
Duration of test (hours) 12-8
Average boiler-horsepower developed
Total water evaporated (Ibs.) 143 , 231
Average temperature of feed water (deg. Fahr.) 185
Average steam pressure (Ibs. gauge) 106-5
Average temperature of steam (deg. Fahr.)
Average flue-gas temperature (deg. Fahr.) 528
Average draft at uptake (ins. water) 0-17
Average flue-gas analysis, in per cent :
Total coal burned (Ibs.) 18,389
Actual evaporation per Ib. of coal (Ibs.) 7-8
Equivalent evaporation from and at 212 deg. Fahr. (Ibs.) 8-6
Boiler efficiency (per cent) 71
The result of the experiment tends to refute most of the adverse
criticism of this method of burning coal. There was no formation of slag
in the furnace or on the tubes, there was no shower of cinders and ashes
emitted from the smokestack, and there was no damage done the boiler
from heavy overload under these conditions.
From the experiments in burning these various fuels it was found that
assuming pea coal at $1.60 per gross ton ($1.76 per net ton) the prices
which could be paid for other fuels on the basis of equal heating values are
as follows: Pea coal on chain grates, $1.60 per gross ton, delivered; fuel
oil, 56 cents per barrel, delivered, and pulverized coal, $2.20 per gross ton,
The temporary plant was designed by E. B. Powell, of the Stone and
Webster Engineering Corporation, of Boston, Mass.
The Puget Sound Traction, Light and Power Company have recently
installed a pulverized fuel plant and have converted all their boilers for the
use of this class of fuel.
AMERICAN LOCOMOTIVE COMPANY, SCHENECTADY, N.Y.
Answering a request for information, the American Locomotive
Company wrote, under date of November 7, 1917, as follows:
" Replying to your letter of October 24, regarding the use of pulverized
fuel, I take pleasure in giving you the following information:
PULVERIZED FUEL 21
"(a) The advantages of using pulverized fuel in place of coal in its
natural state, fired either by hand or by stokers, are economy,
regulation of the fire, and quick starting of the fires. We have
been using pulverized fuel on one 300-h.p. Franklin-type boiler
for about four years, and we are getting results on this boiler
far superior to the results we are able to obtain on similar
boilers fired with stokers. We can get higher efficiency and
more overload capacity with less maintenance on this boiler
than on our stoker-fired boilers. The only disadvantage we
have found is the cost of drying and pulverizing the coal. This,
of course, varies according to local conditions.
" (b) We have never used producer-gas or oil on our stationary boilers
at this plant, hence cannot give you any comparative data for
steam generation. In industrial furnace work, however, we
have been using oil, but we are now changing as rapidly as
possible our furnaces over so that pulverized coal can be used.
The advantages of pulverized coal are chiefly economy and the
fast heats which are obtainable. The only disadvantage is the
first cost of the installation, which is somewhat higher than
where oil is used. This, however, is more than offset by the
saving effected by the use of coal.
" (c) Tests made on our pulverized fuel-fired boiler show that we can
secure 70 per cent efficiency on this boiler as compared with
60 per cent efficiency on the stoker-fired boiler. Tests made on
our industrial furnaces are not representative of present
conditions. We are now making a series of tests, and could
furnish you further information later along this line if you are
"(d) An analysis of the coal which we used in the pulverized state is
as follows: Ash, 10%; volatile, 30%; sulphur, 2%; B.t.u.,
13,900; moisture, 350; fixed carbon, 58%.
"(e) Coal is delivered by car over a track hopper to our milling
plant ; bottom-dump cars are usually obtained, and the
coal flows by gravity into a crusher, where it is crushed
to y$" cubes, whence it is delivered into a bucket elevator
which carries it to an overhead bin. From this point it runs
by gravity through a feeder, in order to get a uniform flow
into the dryer. On leaving the dryer it is picked up by the
elevator and placed in another bin, from which it flows by
gravity to the pulverizer. After leaving the pulverizer, it
is carried by a screw conveyor into a storage bin, from which
it is delivered to the hoppers in the shops. This arrangement
of the plant we have found is not ideal, and we would make
some changes if we were to install a new plant. We have also
installed a new system of conveying coal, which does away
with the screw conveyor."
22 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
Pulverized coal has been used in connection with the manufacture
of cement since 1895. It is estimated that, at the present time, about
10,000,000 tons of coal is pulverized annually in the United States for use
in this industry. The following letters from cement plants in Canada
show the advantages of this class of fuel over the old method of coal
CANADA CEMENT COMPANY, LIMITED
"We beg to acknowledge receipt of yours of the 7th inst., making
enquiry in regard to the use of powdered coal in burning cement in our
rotary kilns, and would give you the following answers to your questions:
"(a) The use of powdered coal is practically the only way in which
it can be used in connection with the rotary kiln (except by gas
The rotary kiln has superseded the old stationary kiln, largely on
account of the greatly reduced labour cost in connection with its
operation. We have had no experience with stationary kilns but it is
generally conceded that they are more economical in fuel consumption
than the rotary kiln, but this advantage is more than offset by the
very greatly increased labour cost, and the difficulty in getting as
good quality of cement as from the rotary kiln.
Gas producers have been tried in several cement plants, but they
have not been generally adopted, as they offer no advantage in fuel
economy and give more trouble in operation.
"(b) The class of coal that we find most suitable for rotary kilns has
an analysis of about as follows:
Volatile matter 35 to 40%
Fixed carbon 50 to 60%
Ash less than 10%
Sulphur low as possible
"(c) The quantity of coal required per barrel of cement varies with
the material used, the amount of moisture in it, and the length of the
kiln used. In the dry process, that is, where the raw materials are put
in the kiln in a dry state, a consumption of about 100 Ibs. per barrel is
about the average in present day practice. It is somewhat less in long
kilns and considerably more in short kilns.
"For comparison between rotary and stationary kiln see answer to
"(d) We have no photographs available of our coal plants, and
would say that they vary considerably. In general, the process is as
"The coal must be first crushed, if it is received in- the form of lump
or run-of-mine, then dried which is usually done in rotary dryers then
pulverized, for which a number of machines are on the market. The coal
is pulverized to a fineness of about 95% through a No. 100-mesh screen
(10,000 meshes to the square inch) and is then blown into the kilns
through a pipe leading in to the front.
PULVERIZED FUEL 23
"You will find cuts and general description of the feeding apparatus
on pages 487 to 490 of Eckles Cements, Limes and Plasters, also on
pages 220 to 222 of West's Manufacture of Portland Cement. These books
also give descriptions and cuts of the drying and grinding machinery com-
monly used for coal.
"We trust that the above may answer your purposes. Yours truly,
(Signed) "A. C. Tapp, Assistant General Manager.
"Montreal, May 17, 1917."
HANOVER PORTLAND CEMENT COMPANY, LIMITED, HANOVER, ONT.
"We have your letter of the 8th instant with reference to the use of
pulverized coal as fuel. We will endeavour to answer your questions to
the best of our ability.
" (a) The disadvantages in using pulverized coal for fuel we find to be
as follows: First, the cost of drying and grinding; this, in our plant, is esti-
mated to cost about 25 cents per ton. Second, the liability of the pulverized
fuel to ignite spontaneously. As a rule, we do not have any trouble from
this source, but certain precautions have to be taken to obviate this danger.
The advantages are: First, absolute control of temperature; second, no
clinkers to remove, absence of smoke, and the utilization of practically all
the heat units in the coal.
"(6) For cement burning, we have tried four different grades of
slack, namely, Youghiogheny, West Virginia, Hocking Valley and anthra-
cite screenings. We find the first two, or, in fact, any good gas coal, will
give good results. The Hocking Valley coal, which is more of a lignite
in character, worked fairly well, but the differences in price in normal
times would not warrant its use. The anthracite screenings proved a
failure with us.
" (c) We have no data on the comparison of the amount of pulverized
fuel used in cement burning as compared with the ordinary variety, as in
rotary kiln work we have always had to pulverize our coal. At this plant,
burning a slurry containing 55 per cent of water, we use about 175 pounds
of coal per barrel of 350 pounds.
" (d) The flow-sheet at our plant is as follows: Coal is furnished in
hopper-bottom cars of 45 to 65 tons capacity, and unloaded by means of
track hopper and elevator to either storage pile or bins. From the bin
it is elevated and passed through rotary dryer 4 feet diameter by 40 feet
long, fired with slack coal on boiler grates. From the dryer it is again
elevated, and passed through Bonnot pulverizer, grinding so that 95
per cent passes 100-mesh sieve, from which it is again elevated and trans-
ferred by screw-conveyor to storage tanks in front of the kilns. From
these it is fed into the kilns by means of a small screw-conveyor in the
bottom of the tank, the speed of which can be regulated to feed any
amount of coal necessary.
"The coal at the end of the screw is picked up by an air blast from a
fan 30 inches in diameter, running 2,400, and forced through 5-inch gal-
vanized pipes into the kiln.
(Signed) "S. R. FROST, Supt.
"Hanover, Ont., May, 10, 1917."
24 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
NATIONAL PORTLAND CEMENT Co., LIMITED, DURHAM, ONT.
"We are in receipt of your letter of May 8th, asking for information
respecting the use of pulverized fuel in connection with the manufacture
of cement, and we give you the following information to your questions:
"(a) The use of pulverized coal in rotary kilns has supplanted all
other methods of burning cement on account of temperature and output
being under control.
"(6) Bituminous coal only used. The higher the volatile matter and
the lower the ash the better.
"(c) From 50 per cent to 100 per cent more coal used in rotary kilns
compared with upright continuous kilns, but saving in labour more than
compensates for this.
" (d) Slack coal unloaded direct from cars to rotary dryers and ground
in Fuller Lehigh mills 95 per cent passing a 100-mesh sieve.
"National Portland Cement Company, Ltd.,
(Signed) "R. H. McWiLLiAMS, Manager.
"Durham, Ont., May 10, 1917."
The application of pulverized fuel has been developed to a very
considerable extent in connection with various kinds of metallurgical work.
In the iron and steel industry some 2,000,000 tons is used annually
in various types of furnaces, such as open hearth, heating, puddling,
soaking pits, continuous heating, reheating, annealing, forging furnaces,
and furnaces of practically every description where heat is required.
It is very evident that the future possibilities of the application of
pulverized coal are now being recognized by the large steel companies as a
subject worthy of their careful investigation. The Manitoba Bridge
Company is installing a pulverized coal plant in connection with its open
hearth steel furnace at Selkirk, Man. The Armstrong- Whitworth Com-
pany, of Longueuil, Que., has installed a plant for its heating furnaces.
A great development has taken place in the application of this class of
fuel in connection with the copper industry ore-roasting furnaces,
reverberatory and copper-melting furnaces of all types. Between 1,000,000
and 2,000,000 tons of pulverized coal is used in this industry alone each
INTERNATIONAL NICKEL Co., COPPER CLIFF, ONT.
When the reverberatory plant at Copper Cliff was built in 1911,
the furnaces were designed to be fired with pulverized coal, and the neces-
sary machinery for preparing the coal was installed.
The original furnaces were put in commission in December, 1911,
and almost from the first the new method of firing proved a success. There
was some trouble from ash accumulating at the throat, but, when the
furnaces had been brought up to a good smelting rate, this ceased to cause
any serious inconvenience. Some ash always tends to deposit at this
point, and it should be removed each day. It is in a semi-molten state
when deposited, and tends to build up rapidly if not removed at regular
intervals. Pulverized coal has been used in this plant ever since, and there
has been no reason to doubt the wisdom of adopting it. In the last few
years the use of pulverized coal in reverberatory work has almost entirely
supplanted grate-firing, and in a number of instances has even replaced
As the men operating the furnaces became more familiar with the
new method, certain alterations suggested themselves. These have been
incorporated at various times when a furnace was under repair. At
present, excellent work is being done, far surpassing anything ever accom-
plished under the earlier standard method of grate-firing.
There were originally two reverberatory furnaces at Copper Cliff,
but only one is operated now, the other having been dismantled. The
complete reverberatory plant includes the following departments: Ball
mills, storage bins, wedge furnaces, coal grinding, reverberatory furnace
There are four ball mills, each crushing about 125 tons of ore per day,
to a size suitable for calcining in the four wedge furnaces. The storage
bins hold about 1,000 tons of coal and 3,000 tons of the crushed fines,
besides small quantities of other materials which go to make up the charge
to the reverberatory. The bulk of the charge, however, is the calcined
ore from the wedge furnaces. This amounts to about 80 per cent or
90 per cent of the total charge. The reverberatory furnace is 112 ft. long
and 19 ft. wide. Furnaces of approximately these dimensions are in
common use at most large copper smelters. A few of a larger size have
been built, however.
The coal used is bituminous slack, having about the following
analysis: Volatile, 35 per cent; fixed carbon, 52 per cent; ash, 13 per
cent; sulphur, 1-50 per cent.
The moisture varies with the season, ranging from abour 5 per cent
to 9 per cent. For the month of April it was about 8 per cent. The
coal is received at the storage bins in side-dump railway cars, which
discharge directly into the bins. From the bins the coal is drawn on to
26 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
either of two belts which run under and parallel with the bins. These
belts convey the coal to Jeffrey coal crackers, which reduce any lumps
to a maximum of 1". A belt at right angles to the former two takes the
discharge from the crushers and conveys it to the grinder building proper.
Here it is first passed through a Ruggles-Cole rotary dryer, 33 ft. long.
There are two of these, but unless the coal is unusually wet it is only
necessary to operate one. It 's very important to get the coal as dry as
possible, but it has not been fc and practical to reduce the moisture much
below 1 5 per cent.
From the dryer the coal drops into a screw conveyor, and thence to an
elevator and to storage bins which are behind and above three Raymond,
4-roller pulverizers. Each pulverizer is driven by a 75 H.P. motor, which
also operates the fan which draws the coal dust from the pulverizer when
fine enough, and deposits it in a collector at the top of the building. From
the collector the fine coal is conveyed by a spiral conveyor to a storage
bin, behind the reverberatory furnace, having a capacity of about 60 tons.
The coal is fed from the storage bin by means of five short screw
x \ conveyors, spaced about 3 ft. apart, which drop it in front of an air blast, by
/ which it is blown through five 5-inch pipes, projecting through the bridge
wall of the furnace. The blast is supplied at about 5 or 6 ozs. pressure
by two No. 8 Sturtevant blowers. This blast furnishes only part of the
air required for combustion. The balance is drawn in by natural draft
through openings in the bridge wall. The draft is controlled by a damper
in the flue a short distance from the furnace. It is usually equivalent
to about y*" to 1" of water.
By means of the damper and the feed screws, which have a variable
speed from 15 r.p.m. to 40 r.p.m., it is possible to burn any amount
of coal or obtain any length of flame required for the proper operating
of the furnace. If it is desired to burn more coal and keep the flame the
same length the feed screws are speeded up and the damper opened some-
what. If a longer flame is required, the damper is closed. At full capacity
about 100 tons of coal can be burned in 24 hours.
At the present time, about 70 tons per day is being burned and between
450 and 500 tons of charge is being smelted. For the month of April, 1919,
2,094 tons coal was burned and 13,547 tons solid charge was smelted.
This works out to about 6-5 tons charge smelted for each ton coal burned.
In the old grate-fired type of furnace about 4 to 4-5 tons charge to 1 of coal
was the best that could be done, and it was only after a long period of
evolution and in the best-managed plants that this was accomplished.
For a day or two at a time the Copper Cliff plant frequently smelts over 7
tons charge per ton of coal.
Burning the coal in the pulverized form permits the use of a much
poorer quality than could be successfully used on grates. Coal containing
as high as 17 per cent ash has frequently been used at Copper Cliff, without
causing any particular trouble. At Anaconda, coal with 22 per cent ash
has been used and L. V. Bender states that it was easier to keep the flues
clean when using this coal than when using another grade containing only
9 per cent ash. Slack coal has proved perfectly satisfactory, and has the
advantage in cost over lump.
The size to which the coal is reduced is of the utmost importance,
At least 95 per cent should be finer than 100 mesh, and from 75 per cent
to 80 per cent finer than 200 mesh. Given coal of this degree of fineness
and a proper mixture with air, the combustion is rapid and complete.
The volatile matter is also of some importance and, though coal containing
as little as 22 per cent has been used in cement work, it would probably
be inadvisable to go below 33 per cent volatile in reverberatory furnace
The working temperature of the furnace is about 2,800 to 2,900
Fahr. at the hottest part, gradually diminishing to about 2,000 Fahr.
at the flue end.
A higher temperature could readily be obtained but would cause
undue wear on the furnace roof. The temperature is at all times under
perfect control, through the amount of coal burned and the amount of ore
The use of pulverized coal has caused considerable modification in the
method of feeding the ore. When grate-firing was practised, it was customary
to drop a large amount at stated intervals through holes in the roof near
the firing end. The present method is to introduce the entire charge
along the sides of the furnace. A longitudinal hopper runs along either side
of the furnace a short distance above the roof. From this hopper, six-inch
pipes, spaced about 2 ft. apart, run to holes in the roof close to the side
walls. The hopper is kept full of ore, which runs down the pipes and forms
a pile against the side wall of the furnace. As the charge in the furnace
smelts and runs away, more ore at once comes down from the hopper.
Charging is thus continuous, and very little of the brick work of the
furnace, except the roof, is exposed to the flame. This makes the life of
the side walls practically unlimited, the roof being the only part requiring
regular repairs. Portions of the roof have to be replaced every six or
eight months, and a complete new roof is put on about every two years.
The chief advantages of coal-dust-firing over grate-firing were enumer-
ated by Mr. Sorensen, in an article in the Engineering and Mining Journal,
February 10, 1906, as follows:
(1) The action is continuous; there are no stops for grating.
(2) The heat generated is uniform and steady.
(3) Combustion is complete at all times.
(4) Combustion is rapid and concentrated and therefore productive
of high temperature.
(5) Combustion takes place where the heat is most wanted.
28 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
The following letters give in brief form the results obtained in certain
metallurgical plants in the United States:
MILTON MANUFACTURING COMPANY, MILTON, PA.
"Replying to your communication of the 26th ultimo, regarding
pulverized fuel for steam raising in stationary boiler plants and loco-
motives, we have had in operation a pulverizing plant for practically ten
years. We use it in heating furnaces, also in our puddle furnaces.
"We have never experimented on its use in firing battery boilers.
We have found from observation that this system saves from 30 to 35
per cent of fuel consumption and gives us approximately 20 per cent
greater output, due to the fact that the cleaning of the grates, which is
necessary in the hand-firing method, is not necessary when this method
is used. We use a high volatile coal with low ash.
"We trust this information will fulfill your desires.
"Milton, Pa., Oct. 1, 1917."
FORT WAYNE ROLLING MILL CORPORATION, FORT WAYNE, IND.
"We are in receipt of your esteemed favour of September 26, and
advise you as follows:
" (a) The advantages in the use of pulverized coal over direct method
of firing consists
1st. In saving of fuel.
2nd. Saving of cost in handling coal and delivering it to
furnaces or boilers.
3rd. Saving of handling of ashes. There is much nearer
perfect combustion of the coal in pulverized-fired than in hand-
fired furnaces, consequently less ashes to handle.
"(&) We have never burned fuel-oil and have no information on the
comparative advantages or disadvantages of pulverized coal over fuel-oil.
' ' We have rather an antiquated producer-gas plant and are still burn-
ing producer-gas at some of our heating furnaces. The advantage of pul-
verized coal over producer-gas is principally due to more economical handling
of both the coal and the ashes in the pulverizing plant. We believe that the
heat values are approximately the same with either method of combustion.
"(c) For several years we used direct firing of coal at our puddle
furnaces. In 1914 the consumption of coal per ton of finished muck and
scrap bar on hand-fired furnaces was 1,796 pounds of coal. In 1916, on
the same furnaces, fired with pulverized coal, the consumption of coal per
finished ton of muck and scrap bar was 1,034 pounds. We have to advise
you, however, that the real difference was not as great as these figures
would seem to indicate. In 1914 we were operating very irregularly and
fuel consumption under these conditions was naturally high. In 1916 we
were operating at pretty nearly full capacity during the entire year, and
naturally secured the best results from fuel consumption.
"Another factor that should be carefully considered is that we use
waste heat boilers on all of our puddle mill furnaces, and our experience
with pulverized coal furnaces is that the steaming capacity of our boilers
is reduced very materially by the use of pulverized coal.
"Before installing pulverized coal our puddle mill furnaces were all
heated with direct hand-fired furnaces; also our 8-inch finishing mill, and
all of these furnaces were equipped with waste heat boilers. Our 9-inch
and 18-inch finishing mills were served with producer-gas and were not
equipped with waste heat boilers. In order to overcome the deficiency of
steam caused by installing pulverized coal, we were compelled to install
pulverized coal at our 18-inch bar mill and equip the two furnaces at this
mill with waste heat boilers. Ultimately, we expect to equip our entire mill
with pulverized coal, but can not afford to shut down our mills in order
to make the installation at this time.
" (d) Analysis of the fuels used at our plant: We find that the best
results are obtained by using the best coal, and that it is impossible to get
anything like satisfactory results with poor coal. We find Indiana and
Illinois bituminous coal very unsatisfactory; some grades of Ohio bitumin-
ous coal are fairly satisfactory, but we get the best results from eastern
Kentucky and northern Tennessee coal. Our experience justifies us in
the statement that any coal running above 33 per cent in volatile com-
bustibles and not under 13,000 B.T.U. will work satisfactorily, provided
it is not too high in moisture. If the moisture exceeds six or seven per cent,
we experience considerable difficulty in getting it dry enough to pulverize
properly. We give you below an analysis of coal coming from Harlan
county, Ky., which we have found the most satisfactory of any coal that
we have used in our plant: Moisture, 3-96 per cent; volatile combustible,
37-60 per cent; fixed carbon, 55-30 per cent; sulphur, 0-75 per cent; ash,
5-63 per cent; B.T.U., 14,047.
" (e) A brief description of our plant is as follows : The coal is delivered
to us from the mines in hopper or drop-bottom cars, is carried to an elevated
track, where it is dumped automatically into a hopper, from which it is
fed automatically through coal crusher and carried by elevating machinery
to the top of our coal-milling plant. From this point it can be taken either
into storage or directly into our milling system by means of switches into
the conveyor line. If taken into storage it is carried automatically by
helicoid conveyor which runs the entire length of our storage warehouse
back into the milling system. If taken direct from the cars into the milling
system, it goes into a bin, from which it is fed automatically into a Coles
and Ruggles dryer and is then loaded automatically into another bin, from
which it is fed automatically into two Raymond pulverizers. When
pulverized fine enough for use it is carried by air exhaust to the cyclone
collector on to the top of a building, and from thence it is precipitated into
a storage bin. From this bin it is carried automatically by helicoid con-
veyors to the various furnaces.
"Installed in the main line of this conveyor system is an automatic
scale, which weighs and registers the tonnage of coal passing through the
conveyor. At each of the scrap or puddling furnaces there is a 3-ton bin,
from which the coal is fed automatically by proper conveyor into the
furnaces under air pressure. The auxiliary air pre-heated is also delivered
to the mouth of the furnaces at the same time. Furnaces are equipped
with combustion chamber, which is separated by a bridge from the chamber
in which the metal is contained. Initial combustion takes place in the
combustion chamber. The heat passes over the metal a d from thence
through waste heat boilers into the stack.
"Our installation was made by the Quigley Furnace and Foundry
Co. (now the Metals Production Equipment Co.), of Springfield, Mass.
30 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
"The controllers used at the mouth of the furnaces are of the Cullaney
type, but we have since displaced one of these controllers with a controller
of our own manufacture, which we have patented, and which is giving us
very much better results than the Cullaney controller. We expect to
equip all of our furnaces as rapidly as possible with these new con-
trollers unless we find something better that is made by someone else.
"FORT WAYNE, IND., October 11, 1917."
BETHLEHEM STEEL COMPANY
(Steelton Plant, Steelton, Pa.)
"Replying to inquiry in your letter of September 26, referred to
further in your letter of the 2nd inst., addressed to Mr. Quincy Bent,
General Manager of the Bethlehem Steel Company, Steelton plant, I am
sending you with this, a copy of some general information about our
experience in burning pulverized coal, which, I trust, will be of interest
to you in this connection. In addition, I beg to submit the following in
answer to the list of questions you submitted:
"(a) The advantages or disadvantages of pulverized fuel over direct
method of firing coal depend largely on the character of the service. In
general, we believe that for boiler firing, fully as good an efficiency and
much lower cost can be obtained by direct firing. In metallurgical
furnaces, direct firing is not always feasible, and, in these cases, pulverized
fuel has many of the advantages of fuel-oil or gas, such as a higher temper-
ature flame and a more perfect control of the fire. Its disadvantages are
the expense of pulverizing the coal and the trouble from the fine ash in
the furnaces and flues, which, however, are not serious for many classes
"(>) Pulverized coal has the advantage over the use of producer-gas
of giving a higher temperature flame than can be obtained with the gas
without the use of regenerators. The efficiency with pulverized coal will
also generally be higher than can be obtained by the use of the same coal
in producers, unless the heat developed in the producer can be utilized
directly in the furnaces. We do not believe that producer-gas can be
used for boiler firing to advantage. As compared with gas having a
higher thermal value than producer-gas or with fuel-oil, the question of
the advisability of using pulverized coal will depend almost entirely on the
cost, taking into account the expense of pulverizing the coal. In this
case, however, the disadvantage from the fine ash in certain classes of
work might make it advisable to use gas or oil, even though the relative
costs were somewhat higher.
" (c) The general report referred to in the first paragraph of this
letter furnishes all of the information about tests of use of pulverized coal
which we have available.
"(d) A typical analysis of the coal used in our pulverizing coal
equipment is presented in the aforementioned report. In general, the
fuels used at the Steelton plant of the Bethlehem Steel Company comprise
practically everything that is available in the Eastern Pennsylvania
" (e) The pulverized coal equipment on which we base this report
consists of pulverizers made by the Bonnot Company, Canton, Ohio,
combined with the Holbeck system of air distribution to the burners made
PULVERIZED FUEL 31
by the same concern, from whom you can probably obtain a complete
description of the plant as it was installed for us. The greater part of
the coal is burned in continuous furnaces for heating steel blooms and
billets for rolling. For this service the results have been generally highly
satisfactory and the efficiency has been good. A part of the coal has been
used in hearth furnaces for heating large blooms and ingots for forging.
In this service the results have not been as satisfactory as with direct
firing by the use of underfeed stokers of the Jones type. Some of the
difficulties with the pulverized coal in this work are outlined in the attached
"STEELTON, PA., October 6, 1917."
General Report of Use of Pulverized Coal in Heating Furnaces, Bethlehem
Steel Company, Steelton Plant
"(a) Coal analysis Volatile, 32-50 per cent; fixed carbon, 56-10
per cent; ash, 11-40 per cent; sulphur, 0-75 per cent.
" (b) It requires 15-41 horse-power-hours to pulverize a gross ton of
coal. Power used in the plant by the various motors is as follows:
horse- horse -
Motor duty power power used
Motor delivering coal to raw coal bin 8 2-01
Motor feeding coal from raw coal bin to kiln 5 1-34
Motor driving kiln 10 6-94
Motor driving pulverizer 35 29-62
Motor delivering pulverized coal to storage bin .. 10 8-99
Motor delivering coal from storage bin to convey-
ing fans 5 2-01
Motor driving conveying fan 35 26-55
"(c) In answering queries in third paragraph, we are using as a
basis for the information our 14-inch and 16-inch mill continuous heating
furnace. The fan or blower discharges the mixture through a 12-inch
pipe, and is driven by a constant speed motor which is rated at 35 horse-
power and has an actual consumption of 26-55 horse-power. This fan
discharges 3,826 cubic feet of mixture, containing 29-68 pounds of coal,
per minute against 10-16-inch water pressure; 19-43 per cent of this
volume of mixture is returned, so that the actual coal consumption is
23-91 pounds per minute in 3,082 cubic feet of air. Consumption of coal
per hour is 1,435 pounds. The furnace was built for pulverized coal, and
other fuel has never been tried in it. The weight of steel heated per ton
of coal is not available, but on our 26-inch mill continuous heating furnace,
the one which you inspected when at Steelton, it requires between 100
and 125 pounds of coal per ton when cold steel is charged.
" (d) The repairs on pulverized coal -fired furnaces are more frequent
than on stoker-fired furnaces. This is due to the fact that the gases,
which carry more ash and travel at a higher velocity, cut out the brickwork
very fast, unless the burners are perfectly aligned, a condition which it
seems almost impossible to obtain.
" (e) Pulverized coal as a fuel works very satisfactorily on the contin-
uous heating furnaces in which blooms and billets are heated, and, with
the exception of some trouble which has been experienced in getting a
constant supply of coal to the conveying fans, the system is a success.
32 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
"As to labour saving, coal saving and increase of production, it is
impossible to give any information, as these continuous heating furnaces
were designed and built for pulverized fuel and never worked under any
"The forge furnaces, which are equipped for burning pulverized coal,
have not been as much of a success as the continuous heating furnaces.
The main objection to this fuel is that the gases pass through the furnace
at such a high velocity that a good soaking heat is not obtained, unless
the damper is down, in which case the gases are driven out into the mill,
and, since much ash is carried with them, the mill cranes and presses are
showing signs of wear. The mill men object to this dust, and probably
do not give the furnace the attention it should have. It is said by the
heater and forge men that, when large ingots, say 4 or 5 feet in diameter,
are put in one of these furnaces, they must be turned more frequently
than in stoker-fired furnaces, in order to get them uniformly heated, and that
there is a tendency for the gases to cut the ingot on the top side. The
ash which does not go out the stack is dropped in the flues and stack of
both the forge and continuous heating furnaces and must be frequently
"The irregularity of feed has been due to improperly designed hopper
on pulverized coal storage bin. The opening from the bin to the worm
conveyor box was only about 12 inches wide, and the coal would frequently
arch and cut off the supply to the furnaces. The furnace heater would
speed up the worm feed drive to get more coal, and when the arch would
break the coal would flow out along the worm feed down into the conveying
fan and the furnaces would get a mixture too rich in coal. The heater
would then cut the feed until it was down to normal. In this way, it was
impossible to have uniform furnace conditions. This hopper has been
made larger and I understand much of this trouble has been eliminated."
NATIONAL MALLEABLE CASTINGS COMPANY
(Sharon Works, Sharon, Pa 2 )
"In reply to your letter of September 26 asking for information
respecting the use of pulverized coal for steam raising in stationary boilers
and locomotives, also in connection with metallurgical work.
"We do not have data of our own knowledge bearing on the applica-
tion of such fuel to stationary boilers or locomotives, as we have not deemed
it wise to attempt experiments and make such application under conditions
existing at our plant.
"Our efforts have been entirely along the metallurgical line. The
application of pulverized fuel to basic open hearth furnaces was original
at this plant, and we have so operated successfully and continuously for
the past five years. Pulverized coal displaced the use of fuel-oil without
any sacrifice of tonnage or quality of the product in any way, and with
very gratifying economies.
"We designed our installation and equipment ourselves to meet the
conditions existing at this plant, and I feel loath to offer data that might
be misleading und.er other conditions, especially as the application has
been tried by a number of steel companies with more or less indifferent
BRITISH COLUMBIA SUGAR REFINING CO., VANCOUVER, B.C.
Pulverized coal equipment, on Badenhausen boilers, installed by Fuller Engineering Company.
54164 p. 32.
BRITISH COLUMBIA SUGAR REFINING CO., VANCOUVER, B.C.
Boiler room, showing pulverized fuel supply system.
PULVERIZED FUEL 33
" I suggest that you communicate with the Powdered Coal Engineering
and Equipment Co., 2401 Washington Boulevard, Chicago, 111. These
people operate an extensive experimental department, and, I understand,
have compiled quite complete data for the application of such fuel to a
wide variety of uses.
"SHARON, PA., October 10, 1917."
SCRANTON BOLT AND NUT COMPANY, SCRANTON, PA.
"We are in receipt of yours of the 26th instant and note your inquiry
regarding the use of pulverized fuel for steam raising in stationary boiler
plants and locomotives, and as a fuel in connection with metallurgical
work. We are pleased, indeed, to give you any information on this subject
that we have at our disposal.
"As for general data, we are not in position at this time to give you
intelligently such information as would be of any great assistance to you.
We can say, however, that we have been using a system of pulverized coal
in our puddle furnaces, scrapping furnaces, and re-heating furnaces in our
finishing mills for several years, but, at this time, we are quite sure that the
saving in dollars and cents throughout, for the size of the plant that we
operate, is not as economical as we had hoped for, for the simple reason
that labour is so extremely high that it has been somewhat of a disappoint-
ment in this direction. On the other hand, from a point of uninterrupted
service, it is very satisfactory, and we mean by this that, by the old method
of hand-firing, there is a very decided loss at the end of each turn in a rolling
mill in the time consumed for cleaning grates and getting the furnaces
back ready for operation again. This occurs, as you may well know,
twice in twenty-four hours. With the pulverized coal, it is a constant
operation from the time we start up on Monday morning until the end of
the week's work on Saturday night.
"To answer questions A, B and C intelligently, we would refer you
to the Locomotive Pulverized Fuel Company, 30 Church Street, New
York City, Mr. John E. Muhlfeld, President, who is an American engineer
of high standing; he has given this subject very exhaustive investigation
and has written quite considerable about it. He also has tables showing
the results obtained in locomotive work, and, by the way, in this particular
line he is without doubt the most advanced of any engineer on this subject,
as well as for direct firing in stationary boilers.
"Mr. Muhlfeld has equipped several plants for the Delaware and
Hudson Company, both around their mines for steaming purposes and
also several of their main line locomotives which are constantly in active
service. You may probably know of his work.
"The analysis of coal that we are using here in our pulverized fuel
plant is about as follows: Volatile, about 30 per cent; sulphur, less than
2 per cent; ash, not over 8 to 9 per cent or less; moisture, from 5 to 6 per
cent; B.T.U., 13,000 to 14,000 per cent.
"Of course, one of the important requirements for this work is a coal
of high volatile, low moisture and low ash. On the other hand, Mr.
Muhlfeld has demonstrated very clearly his ability to pulverize coal of
quite low grade and burn it very successfully.
"To answer your question e, our plant has the usual grinding mill to
break down the run-of-mine coal, and then the ordinary Ruggles coal dryer
and a tube mill such as they use around the ordinary cement plants. We
COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
are, however, installing at present a Fuller mill, as we believe, after several
years of service, that the Fuller type of mill is far superior to the tube mill
for this purpose, and we believe that it is the best type on the market
to-day. This decision we have arrived at after careful investigation.
"SCRANTON, PA., September 29, 1917."
REPORT ON USE OF PULVERIZED COAL AT SHARON OPEN HEARTH PLANT
OF THE CARNEGIE STEEL COMPANY, SHARON, PA.
"In reply to the request for information in regard to use of pulverized
coal as fuel, this fuel has been used at the Sharon plant for firing open
hearth furnaces for the past two and one-half years, with fair results;
however, it is still in the experimental stage in so far as its most salient
disadvantage, namely, the clogging of regenerative chambers and flues with
ash, is concerned.
"To answer, so far as possible, the questions in the order in which
they are put :
" (a) The advantages of pulverized coal over the direct firing of coal
(1) Greater ease in handling and uniformity of feeding.
(2) Greater nicety of thermal control with consequent economy
of heat and increased efficiency of operation. Its only disadvantages
in this case, so far as known, would be the clogging of flues and
stack with ash.
" (6) The advantages of pulverized coal over producer-gas or oil
(1) Greater economy in fuel and labour cost.
(2) In the case of producer-gas, greater nicety of control. Its
disadvantage in this case is the excessive clogging of regenerative
chambers referred to above.
" (c) The results of test made at the Sharon plant in conjunction with
the results now being obtained with this fuel, point to the following con-
"The best practice to be expected from pulverized coal as a fuel for
open hearth furnaces is about 500 pounds of coal per ton of steel produced.
Steel produced per hour, is as much as with other standard fuels. Life of
furnace of the type used at Sharon, which, in a word, is but a brick shell
above the charging floor, about 125 heats. The best practice will be
obtained from the use of high draught, an adequate regenerative system, and
pre-heated impulse and suspension air. A compromise between thermal
efficiency and operating efficiency must always be made at this point until
such a time as the clogging difficulty before mentioned is eliminated.
Experience had led to the belief that the best results can be obtained only
from a burner so designed as to thoroughly intermix the coal with pre-
heated air so that combustion may take place energetically throughout
the whole mass at the moment of entering the furnace or fire box. The
liability of passing unburned coal through the combustion chamber is thus
eliminated. This being directly in line with the best practice in burning any
high speed fuel for any purpose whatsoever, needs no elaboration.
"(d) The analysis of the coal used at Sharon plant is normally 0-80
per cent to 1-25 per cent sulphur and between 5-5 per cent and 9-0 per
cent ash. Volatile matter between 30 per cent and 35 per cent.
"(e) The equipment of Sharon consists of : 1 trestle bin, wet coal
storage; 1 coal crusher, 20 tons per hour capacity, 20-h.p. motor, run-of-
mine coal down to 2-inch ring; 1 18-inch belt conveyor to dryer, 25-h.p.
motor; 1 Ruggles-Cole Engine Company coal dryer, 12 tons per hour, capa-
city for moisture from 10 per cent to less than 1 per cent, belt conveyor
and dryer driven from same motor; 1 bucket elevator, 12 tons capacity, to
elevate dried coal to storage bin, 7^-h.p. motor; 1 dry coal bin, 25 tons
capacity; 1 Raymond Bros, impact coal pulverizer, 3 tons per hour, capa-
city, 85 per cent coal through a 200-mesh sieve, 100-h.p. motor; 1 exhauster
(fan) for pulverizer connected to same motor; 340 feet 12-inch screw
conveyor, 2,500 pounds per hour, ^ full, 10-h.p. motor; 6 fine coal storage
bins over furnaces, 9 tons capacity; 6 4-inch screw conveyors 3 feet long,
2>-h.p. motors (available speed); 6 burners, Works' desfgn; 1 General
Electric Company motor-driven centrifugal compressor (fan), 3,200 cubic
feet air per minute, 16-ounce pressure, 20-h.p. d.c. motor; 1 Ingersoll-
Rand compressor, Imperial type 10 14 x 16 x 12 x 16 and 22 16 x 19 x 16
max. rev. 170 per minute, 888 cubic feet air per minute.
"There is under consideration at the present time, the use of the
static head of compressed air to supplant the 12-inch screw conveyor, as
the coal in the pulverized state is quite mobile and may be considered a
liquid that can be conveyed in pipes. Volume (fan) air at 16-ounce pressure
is used to intermix with the coal and a jet of compressed air at 80 pounds
pressure to give the necessary impulse for introducing coal to furnace
through the burner. At this point will say that while there are many
systems for regulating pulverized coal, there seems to be little, if any,
question as to the superiority of the variable speed screw for this purpose.
"It may be noted that the answers to the preceding questions are in
connection with the use of pulverized coal in open hearth furnaces, as no
experience has been had in other lines with the use of this fuel at Sharon.
"SHARON WORKS, CARNEGIE STEEL Co., November 9, 1917."
Pulverized Coal for Power Purposes
BRITISH COLUMBIA SUGAR REFINING Co., LTD., VANCOUVER
Replying to a request for information, Mr. Blythe D. Rogers, President
of the British Columbia Sugar Refining Co., Ltd., of Vancouver, B.C.,
writes as follows, under date of May 16, 1919:
"I have your letter of the 9th instant, relative to our pulverized coal
plant. The following information in connection therewith may be of
interest to you :
"We require sufficient fuel to maintain 2,500 boiler horse-power at
about 175 per cent rating, or something over 4,000 actual horse-power.
The coal used is an unwashed slack coal, containing about 33 per cent ash,
and having a calorific value of about 9,300 B.t.u. For the specified
horse-power, we require to pulverize about 125 tons of coal per day, spread
36 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
over a period of twenty-four hours. For this purpose we have installed
a dryer, heated by means of pulverized coal, and three Fuller mills, each
capable of pulverizing from five to seven tons per hour. Additional
equipment consists of a magnetic pulley for separating iron particles,
nails, bolts, etc. from the coal, a crusher for breaking up large lumps
and the necessary bins, conveyors, etc. The whole plant requires a
separate building abour 120 by 40 feet, and 40 feet high.
"In the boiler room the coal is fed by screw-feed mechanism to the
furnace, where it is caught up by a current of air and blown into the
furnace. Little alteration had to be made to the return -tubular boilers
on account of their large combustion chamber, but in both sets of water-
tube boilers (Badenhausen and Babcock & Wilcox) Dutch ovens had to be
built, as pulverized coal requires a very much larger furnace than oil
producing equal horse-power.
"As far as we have gone with the experiments to date, the installation
has proved very satisfactory from an economical standpoint. At 160 per
cent of rating the combined boiler and furnace efficiency is 76 per cent
under test condition.
"The drawbacks not yet overcome consist mostly of trouble with ash,
which is natural in a coal of such high ash percentage. Tubes in return-
tubular boilers plug solid with ash in a very short time. Beside this,
large quantities of dust are thrown out into the atmosphere from the
stacks, which constitutes a very serious difficulty; this we are grappling
with at present. I believe that, with this problem satisfactorily solved,
the installation of pulverized coal will be shown to be an unqualified
EXCELLENT RESULTS WITH PULVERIZED COAL AT MILWAUKEE, Wis.*
On 468-hp. water-tube boiler gross efficiency of 85-22 per cent and net
efficiency of 81 per cent were obtained. No slag or ash troubles.
Advantages are ease of control, ability to take overload quickly, uniform
efficiency, ideal banking conditions, and low draft requirements.
In its constant endeavour to improve boiler-room efficiency the
Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Co. has been investigating recently
the possibilities of pulverized fuel. The experimental work was conducted
in the Oneida Street plant, which is equipped with 500-hp. Edge Moor
water-tube boilers and cross-compound vertical engine units. During
the heating season the station is operated noncondensing to supply exhaust
steam to the central district heating system operated by the company.
During the early part of this year the necessary equipment for preparing
and feeding the coal was installed and one boiler was equipped to burn
pulverized fuel. Early in May the boiler was placed in service, and, until
August, when the installation was finally proved successful, numerous
changes were made to eliminate undesirable conditions encountered during
the preliminary operation.
Pmters, Oct. 15, 1918, p. 556.
PULVERIZED FUEL 37
In a room near the plant, coal bunkers and drying and pulverizing
equipment were installed, consisting of an indirect-fired dryer having a
capacity of 15 tons per hour and two pulverizers, one rated at four tons
and the other at eight tons per hour. This equipment was intended for an
installation of five boilers. The other four are to be equipped with
burners and feeders in the near future. From one of the coal bunkers
the fuel as delivered to the plant was carried to the dryer supply bin by
a screw conveyor and bucket elevator. From the bin coal was drawn into
the drying cylinder by another screw conveyor, passing through the dryer
by gravity and being discharged into an elevator carrying the dry fuel
to the pulverizer supply bin. In the dryer, the moisture is reduced from
11 to 1 per cent at the rate of about 10 tons per hour. Between the dryer
and the pulverizer supply bin the fuel is run over a magnetic separator
pulley which removes such iron and steel as has been carried that far. From
the supply bin last mentioned the fuel is fed to the pulverizer through a
small screw conveyor located on top of the mill and driven from the mill
shaft by means of a small belt whose speed can be varied through a cone-
pulley arrangement. This allows for variable feeder speed, depending
on the kind of coal being powdered.
By another screw conveyor the pulverized fuel is carried on to a
storage bin located in front of the boilers. The pulverizing equipment
and the various conveyors are motor-driven and so arranged that only
such machinery as is in use will be operating.
To fire the fuel into the furnace the equipment consists of a blower
and two screws, driven by variable-speed motors. The screws, which
are at the base of the powdered-coal bin, carry the coal at a uniform rate
to the feeder pipes, where it is thoroughly mixed with air by agitator
wheels attached to the end of the screw shaft. From the paddlewheel
the fuel is carried into the furnace by the air blast supplied from the blower.
The latter is comparatively small and does not begin to supply all the air
required for complete combustion, about 95 per cent of the air being
induced by the stack through dampered openings provided at the front
of the furnace. In the present installation there are twelve 10^-in.
openings, all or part of which are used according to the requirements.
The boiler is a three-pass vertically baffled Edge Moor, provided
with three drums. The furnace was originally installed in 1898 for
burning bituminous coal and had approximately 70 sq. ft. of grate area
in an underfeed stoker. The boiler has 4,685 sq. ft. of steam-making
surface and is equipped with a superheater. Very little remodeling of
the setting was necessary. A mixing oven extending a short distance in
front of the boiler was provided and the inner corner formed by the floor
of the ashpit and the bridge-wall was rounded out, the ashpit thus being
utilized as combustion space. The burner is placed at the top of the
furnace, discharging the coal downward. Its height is such that the
flame lacks 5 or 6 ft. from coming in contact with the floor of the ashpit,
so that the ashes drop through a relatively cooler zone and form a light
powder which, with small slugs of slag, is raked out through the door at
the bottom into a bucket conveyor provided for its removal.
The furnace volume is approximately 1,700 cu. ft., allowing at normal
rating of the boiler slightly less than 1 cu. ft. of volume per pound of coal
burned per hour. The furnace, however, will give just as efficient results
at 200 to 300 per cent of rating, so that the ratio, perhaps, might be better
described as 4 cu. ft. of furnace volume per 100 sq. ft. of steam-making
surface. The coal feeders and burners are of the "Lopulco" type.
38 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
As to the operation of this system and the results obtained in the
official acceptance test, the following comments were made by John
Anderson, chief engineer of power plants for the Milwaukee Electric
Railway and Light Co., before a meeting of railway stationary power-
plant engineers called by the conservation section of the United States
Railroad Administration. When the boiler was first put into operation
a number of undesirable conditions developed. An insufficient air supply
caused high furnace temperature, resulting in fusion of the ash particles
and a consequent accumulation of slag between the tubes, on the furnace
walls and in the ashpit. The removal of this molten slag presented a
difficult problem. It was also found that the combustion chamber was
originally of insufficient size, so that high gas velocities resulting from
insufficient air tended toward destruction of the refractory surfaces of the
furnace. The combustion chamber was therefore enlarged and a regulated
air supply was provided for by means of a number of auxiliary air openings
equipped with dampers. Accumulation of slag in the pit was prevented
by raising the point of admission of the fuel into the furnace so that the
flame lacked 5 or 6 ft. from touching the base of the pit. As a result, the
particles of ash dropping from the flame did not fuse and could be easily
drawn from the pit in the form of a powder and small slugs of slag. Subse-
quent analyses showed that the ash contained practically no carbon.
With satisfactory furnace conditions a series of preliminary efficiency
and capacity tests were conducted. The brickwork was given a thorough
trial by carrying the boiler at a continuous rating of 180 per cent over a
period of several days. On August 12 and 13 a final efficiency test, the
results of which are published herewith, was run.
Due to the nature of the equipment the coal could not be weighed on
the firing floor. To arrive at exact figures it was necessary to run all drying
and pulverizing equipment free of coal. The fuel in the pulverized storage
bin was run to as low a level as possible and a measurement taken to
determine the cubical contents of the powdered coal on hand at the start.
Coal for the test run was weighed into the system at the moist-coal bunker,
and, at the close of the run, the starting conditions, so far as was possible,
were again established. Samples for analysis upon which the test results
are based were taken at the moist-coal bunker as the coal was weighed in.
Moisture samples were also taken at the feeder delivering to the pulverizer
and at the burners.
During the test the feed water was weighed on standard tank scales
of 2,000-lb. capacity each. All feed-pump gland leakage was accounted
for in the way usually adopted in standard boiler tests. All temperatures
and pressures were taken with instruments that had been previously checked
with standards. The blowoff piping on the boiler was disconnected so as
to insure against any possible loss of water. The flues were blown five
times during the 24 hours. Flue-gas analyses were made by means of an
Orsat. Throughout the test uniform conditions were maintained. The
speed of the coal feeders and the draft carried were held constant. The
feed-pump speed had to vary somewhat from time to time, the variation
in the rate of evaporation being due to slight changes in the quality of coal
during the test run.
In looking over the test data it will be noticed that an evaporation
from and at 212 deg. of 9-47 Ib. of water per pound of coal was obtained.
The average temperature of the feed water was 157-2 deg. Fahr., the
operating steam pressure 167 Ib. gauge, and the superheat 74-9 deg. Fahr.
The fuel used was screenings of three different varieties, which in the
tabulated test data are numbered from 1 to 3. The B.t.u. in the three lots
of coal as received averaged 10,779 and the B.t.u. dry, 12,045. During
the test a total of 24 tons of coal was burned, averaging one ton of coal per
A noticeable feature is the small amount of draft required. There is,
of course, no fuel bed and the drop through the boiler when using a relatively
small volume of air is practically negligible. In the combustion chamber
and the first pass the vacuum was practically nil, or at least so small that
it could not be read on a gauge calibrated to 0-01 in. In the second pass
the draft was 0-0057 in. and, at the uptake, 0-0975 in. It was noticeable
that there was no accumulation of slag on the tubes, no pulsation, and that
the brickwork was not affected by the heat of combustion.
The deductions made for fuel preparation are interesting. Under
the dryer 1,140 Ib. of coal was burned. The power requirements for tha
pulverizers, the various conveyors, the feeders and the fans were 449-3
kw.-hr., reducing on a basis of 3 Ib. of coal per kilowatt-hour, to 1,348 Ib.
of coal. The total deduction, then, is 2,488 Ib. of coal, which, at $5 per
ton, would amount to $6.22. As 24 tons of coal were used in the test,
the fuel value for preparation reduces to 26c. per ton.
Although no deductions were made for standby losses in the dryer,
attention is called to the fact that the drying and pulverizing equipment
was designed for a five-boiler plant, and that, when working to capacity,
more efficient results would be obtained than from the intermittent opera-
tion made necessary in serving only one boiler.
In conclusion, Mr. Anderson gave an interesting comparison between
pulverized coal equipment and mechanical stokers. In crushing the coal
the expense is the same for both types of equipment. Although no daily
operating records are available at present, Mr. Anderson estimates the
cost of drying and pulverizing the coal at 32c. per ton on a 200-ton per
24-hour plant using bituminous coal containing about 12 per cent moisture.
In the test it will be remembered that the fuel value for preparation
amounted to about 26c. per ton. Daily operating figures would, of course,
vary somewhat from those obtained under test conditions. Maintenance
costs on the drying and pulverizing plant had not been determined, but it
was estimated that 3c. per ton would cover this item. In stoker practice
the maintenance cost was close to 5c. per ton of fuel fired.
With coal at $5 per ton it was estimated that the gross efficiency
shown by the pulverized-fuel boilers would have to exceed that shown by
the mechanical stoker-fired boilers and 6 per cent to offset the coal prepara-
tion costs. Again, a conservative allowance was made for daily operating
conditions versus the test data. Deducting 6 per cent from the gross
efficiency of 85 22 per cent would leave a net efficiency of 79 22 per cent
for the pulverized coal burners. In stoker practice the maximum obtain-
able gross efficiency at any of the company's plants had been 80-54 per
cent, the daily average being in the neighbourhood of 76 per cent. Deduct-
ing 1\ per cent for auxiliary uses, which is somewhat lower than the average,
the resulting net efficiency is 78-04 per cent, or 1-18 per cent lower than
the figure obtained in pulverized-fuel practice.
This small gain in efficiency was only a part of the advantages resulting
from the use of pulverized fuel. Other advantages Mr. Anderson
summarized as follows: Continuous boiler operation at a uniform rating
as well as constant efficiency. At no time is there a loss in capacity due
to the clinkering of coal on grates or cleaning fires, nor are difficulties
40 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
experienced from a change in the fuel as it comes from the bunker, necessi-
tating different operating conditions at the stoker. Heavy overloads can
be taken on or dropped off in an unusually brief time through adjustment
of the coal feeders and the furnace draft. From 97 to 98 per cent of the
combustible in the coal is utilized regardless of the quality of the fuel.
The ash-handling costs are reduced to a minimum due to the reduced
When operating with pulverized fuel, the banking conditions are some-
what different from those obtained in stoker practice. By stopping the
fuel supply and closing up all dampers and auxiliary air inlets, a boiler can
be held up to pressure for at least ten hours. To illustrate, when running
one of the preliminary tests the boiler had been shut down at 9 o'clock at
night with 175 Ib. steam pressure and at 7 in the morning there was still
155 Ib. pressure and the brickwork was hot enough to ignite the coal from
the burner. In stoker practice it is necessary to leave the damper slightly
open to supply air and prevent gas explosions, so that much of the heat
in the banking coal and from the brickwork passes up the stack rather
than into the boiler.
The ease of controlling the fuel feed and draft, the ability to take on
heavy overloads in a brief time, the thorough combustion of the coal and
the uniform high efficiency obtainable under normal operation make pul-
verized coal a satisfactory form of fuel for central station use. For opera-
tion month in and month out it was Mr. Anderson's opinion that pulver-
ized fuel would show a net gain of 10 per cent over the previous way of
As to maintenance, indications were that no unusual difficulties would
be encountered. The cost of fuel preparation and labour for operating a
boiler room fully equipped with pulverized coal-burning boilers would be a
question for the engineer to determine himself, according to the particular
conditions, whatever they may be in that plant. One predominant factor
justifying the use of pulverized fuel was the ease with which a high efficiency
could be obtained and the constant nature of that efficiency as compared
to the variation in a stoker-fired boiler unless it was closely supervised.
There was little doubt that, with a well-equipped plant burning pulverized
fuel and having all the necessary recording and indicating instruments to
guide the operator in maintaining proper conditions, a lower cost of
generating steam would be possible than has heretofore been obtained
with any type of equipment.
It is interesting to note that the company that Mr. Anderson repre-
sents is equipping four more boilers with the same type of apparatus.
The furnace as developed is considered standard and highly efficient
operation is expected. When additional information has been obtained
from the complete plant and initial costs are available, data based on actual
operation will be of exceptional interest.
LOG OF OFFICIAL TEST AT ONEIDA STREET STATION
Day Monday and Tuesday Date Aug. 12-13, 1918
Make of boiler Edge Moor Rated h.p 468
Heating surface, sq. ft 4 , 685
Time fired or test started 11:15 a.m., Aug. 12, 1918
Time fired out or test finished 11:15 a.m., Aug. 13, 1918
Duration of test, hours 24
Temp, of boiler room, deg. F Max. 99 Min. 85 Av. 93-30
Temp, of feed water, deg. F Max. 188 Min. 135 Av. 157 20
SCOTCH MARINE DRY BACK BOILERS
Capacity, 935 horse-power. New Richmond Hotel, Seattle, Wash.
MISSOURI, KANSAS AND TOPEKA RY., PARSONS, KAS.
Fuller-Lehigh pulverizer mills, for pulverizing low-grade coal for burning under boilers.
54164 p. 40.
LOG OF OFFICIAL TEST AT ONEIDA STREET STATION Concluded
Temp, of steam, deg. F Max. 477 Min. 427 Av. 448-70
Barometer, inches Max. 29-35 Min. 29-20 Av. 29-25
Temp, of flue gases, deg. F Max. 515 Min. 455 Av. 495-30
Average boiler pressure, Ibs. gauge 167-0
Atmospheric pressure, Ibs 14-4
Temp, of steam, cor. to press., deg. F 373-8
Superheat, deg. F 74-9
Safety valve set for 175 Ib.
Fuel fired per hour, Ibs 1990-6 Ibs. Bituminous 100%
Total fuel, Ibs 47,775
Total water, Ibs 393, 168
Water apparently evaporated per hour, Ibs 16, 392
Water apparently evaporated per pound of coal, Ibs 8-23
Factor of evaporation 1 1502
Water evaporated f. and a. 212 deg. F., per Ib. of coal, Ib 9-47
COs, per cent, maximum, 15-4 Min. 12-20 Av. 13-85
O, per cent, maximum 5-6 Min. 3-20 Ab. 4-38
Fuel used, kind Screenings
Fuel analyses: No. 1 No. 2 No. 3 Av.
Moisture 10-3 11-0 9-7 10-49
Volatile 33-81 36-96 39-77 35-96
Fixed carbon 50-43 49-13 48-29 49-53
Ash 14-36 13-91 12-94 13-93
Sulphur 1-99 2-06 2-12 2-04
B.t.u. as received 10,600 10,763 11,263 10,779
B.t.u., dry 11,817 12,093 12,473 12,045
Pounds of coal 19,775 20,000 8,000
Percentage of total 41-3 41-9 16-8
Vacuum in combustion chamber 0-00
Vacuum in first pass 0-00
Vacuum in second pass, in 0057
Vacuum in breeching uptake, in 0-0975
Feeder speed, r.p.m : No. 1, 53-6 No. 2, 50-7
Coal per revolution of screw, Ibs 0-318
Accumulation of slag on tubes None
Accumulation of ash in settings Flues blown five times during test
Operation of furnace Very satisfactory
Condition of smoke Light
Heat effect on brick None
Backlash of flame in burner None
Pounds steam per hour 16,390-3
Pounds steam per hour, from and at 212 deg. F 18,842-6
Horse-power 546 2
Per cent of rating 116-7
Boiler efficiency 85-22
Memoranda: Fuel preparation deductions.
Coal used in dryer, Ibs 1 , 140
Kilowatt-hour motor operation (449-3) coal equivalent at 3 Ibs. per kw.-hr... . 1,348
Total deduction, Ibs 2 ,488
Resulting net efficiency, per cent 81
No deduction made for stand-by losses in dryer.
PULVERIZED FUEL INSTALLATION, PARSONS, KAN.
In 1916, the Missouri, Kansas and Texas railway installed a plant
at Parsons, Kansas, for preparing and burning pulverized low-grade coals,
including lignite, under boilers. This installation is stated to be the largest
commercial installation of its kind in existence.
The boiler plant consists of eight O'Brien 250-h.p. boilers arranged
in one continuous row of three-and-one batteries, respectively, there being
a space between the settings of each pair of two boilers of 4 ft. 8 in., and a
COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
space between the two batteries of 28 ft. 4 in. for feed pumps, auxiliaries,
etc. At one end space is allowed for four more boilers. The boilers carry
150 pounds per sq. in. steam pressure; the temperature of feed water is
208 Fahr. Based on a boiler efficiency of 70 per cent, operating full
capacity for 10 hours, and half capacity for 14 hours, about 79 tons of coal
would be consumed in 24 hours by ten boilers. When the installation is
complete a total of 94 tons, per day of 24 hours, will be required. The
principal advantage derived from the use of pulverized coal at this plant
is that iinlerior grades of coal can be burned successfully, also, its use in
the boiler-room reduces the number of attendants to a minimum. This
reduction in labour costs partially offsets the cost of pulverizing
The following table gives the results of tests on coal from the
Southern Kansas field, lignite from Texas Eastern field, and from
CROSS SECTION OF 25O-H. P. O'BRIEN BOILER.
Missouri, Kansas and Texas Ry. Shops at Parsons, Kans. Fired with pulverized coal, August, 1916.
The tests were made on boiler No. 1 with the furnaces as left when
burning oil and gas, the cubical contents of the combustion chamber
being 290 cu. ft. No. 2 boiler was changed by removing the bridge
walls and increasing the combustion chamber. No. 1 boiler was again
tested with lignite. Boilers 7 and 8 had combustion similar to that
which is now applied to three batteries of boilers and gives very satis-
PULVERIZED FUEL INSTALLATION, PARSONS, KAS.
Showing arrangement of pulverized coal hoppers and fuel feed to boilers.
COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
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Calorific Values and Capacity
Dry coal consumed per hour
Combustible consumed per hour
Pounds of combustible per minute
Cu. ft. of comb, chamber per Ib. of coi
Water evaporated per hr. (corrected).. .
Equiv. evap. per hr. from and at 212 Fc
Equiv. evap. per hr. from and at 212 Ft
per sq. ft. of water heating surface.
Calorific value of 1 Ib. of dry coal
Calorific value of 1 Ib. of combustible. .
Equiv. evap. from and at 212 Fahr. . .
Boiler horse-power developed
Rated boiler horse-power
Percentage of rated capacity developed .
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COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
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PULVERIZED COAL TESTS
Equiv. evap. from and at 212
Ib. of combustible
Efficiency of boiler and furnace.
Cost of Evaporation
Cost of pulverizing per 2,000 Ibs
Total cost of coal per 2,000 Ibs. c
boiler bins. .
Cost of evaporating 1,000 Ibs.
Cost of evaporating 1,000 Ibs.
from and at 212 Fahr
Analysis of Dry Flue Gases
Carbon monoxide. .
Nitrogen (by difference)
Heat Balance (Based on 1 Ib. c
Heat absorbed by the boiler. . .
Loss due to evaporation of mois
Loss due to heat carried awa>
Loss due to heat carried away
Loss due to carbon monoxide. .
Loss due to radiation and losses
TOTAL Calorific value of 1 Ib. o
The coal is dumped directly from the cars into a concrete-and-steel
hopper beneath the track. As a large percentage of the coal is run-of-mine
the, coal from the hopper is crushed by a 20 x 24-in. spike- toothed roll
crusher. From the crusher the coal is elevated by a 20-in. belt conveyor
through an inclined tunnel and discharged into the coal plant. At the
discharge end of the conveyor the coal is passed through a magnetic
separator and discharged into a pair of 28 x 18-in. corrugated rolls. From
the rolls the crushed coal is elevated, discharged into a screw conveyor
and carried to a 40-ton bin situated at the back end of the dryer. From
the bottom of the bin the coal is fed by screw-conveyor to the back end
of a 4| x 30-foot indirect-fired rotary dryer. From the dryer the coal is
elevated and discharged into a 45-ton bin situated over the pulverizers.
The pulverizing plant consists of two 75-ton pulverizing mills, furnished
by the Fuller Company. From the mills the pulverized coal is elevated
and conveyed by screw-conveyor to bins in the boiler house. One bin is
situated in front of each pair of boilers. The bins have a capacity of
10 tons each and, therefore, provide for a run of 20 hours at full capacity.
The bins are rectangular, but have divided hopper-bottoms, thus enabling
the coal to be fed by separate feeders to each boiler. Each feeder is chain -
and-sprocket driven by a 2-h.p. variable speed motor, the control of which
is situated in a convenient position in front of the boilers. The coal is
discharged from each feeder, through a 3-inch pipe, into a funnel-shaped
opening in the top of the burner nozzle. The burner consists of an outside
cylindrical pipe, 14 inches in diameter, one end of which projects into the
furnace; a 7-inch blast pipe is inserted in the other end for a distance of
from 12 to 18 inches. An adjustable metal cover is fitted over the blast
pipe so as to regulate the amount of air induced in the burner. The funnel-
shaped opening into which the coal is fed is directly over the discharge
end of the blast pipe, so that the coal will be drawn in and thoroughly
mixed with the blast and induced air before reaching the combustion
chamber of the furnace.
The boilers were installed as shown on plate facing page 43, but,
on account of the high ash content (22 per cent) in the coals used, it was
found that, with horizontal baffles, there was too much ash accumulation ;
so a Dutch oven, approximately of 6-feet cube, has since been built in
front of the boilers; also, vertical baffles were inserted, replacing the
former horizontal ones. With these changes highly gratifying results are
obtained; no slag is formed, and the ash is readily blown off the floor of
the rear chamber with an air hose once a week.
MISSOURI, KANSAS AND TEXAS RAILWAY
Mr. W. A. Webb, chief operating officer of the power plant of the
Missouri, Kansas and Texas railway, at Parsons, Kansas, in reply to en-
quiries, makes the following statements regarding the use of pulverized fuel :
48 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
"The advantage of pulverized fuel is the utilization of fuel that is
recoverable in pulverized form, and the use of inferior grades which can be
burned successfully when mixed with better grades. The use in boiler
rooms of pulverized fuel reduces the attendants to a minimum, and this
reduction in labour costs partially off-sets the cost of pulverizing the coal.
"We attach blue-print which gives test on mineral coal furnished from
Southern Kansas field ; lignites from Texas Eastern field and McAlester, from
M cAlester vein, which covers all the tests of fuel we have made. This shows
first two tests on boiler No. 1, as the furnaces were left burning oil and gas,
having cubical capacity of combustion chamber of 950 cubic feet. No. 2
was changed by removal of bridge walls and increasing combustion chamber.
No. 1 boilerwa's again tested with lignite, in which percentage was figured
on. Boilers 7 and 8 show combustion chamber as it now exists and as
applied to three batteries of boilers. It is working satisfactorily.
"The plant consists of two 75-ton pulverizing mills, furnished by
Fuller Company, drying kiln and necessary conveyors and storage bins in
power-house; all working automatically, from the unloading of coal into
receiving bin until deposited in storage bins ready for use. From this
storage bin a screw operated by motor feeds coal to burner at the rate of
approximately one-half pound of coal per revolution. A fan is also
operated by motor giving blast at about one ounce pressure or less. Burner
consists of galvanized pipe into which air is projected and the coal drops
from vertical feed and distributed by blast from fan into combustion
chamber. Leading from this combustion chamber to a point below the
floor line of boiler is a receptacle for slag, from which same is removed for
"Some time ago we equipped one of our locomotives for burning
pulverized fuel. This equipment consists of a closed tank for carrying
the pulverized fuel, which is fed by screw to burner situated below mud-
ring of boiler blower and screw operated by steam turbine contained in
tank. The fire-box is bricked with primary arch for initial burning and
flame is conveyed to regular arch, is again brought into contact with
vertical side- walls and thence to center wall and finally strikes flue sheet.
"Considerable trouble has been experienced with slagging and stopping
up of flues, and these vertical walls are for protecting the flues from this
slagging. With one test of lignite coal of Texas grade no slagging occurred.
This engine has not passed experimental stages and tests so far conducted
are not conclusive."
CHICAGO AND NORTHWESTERN RAILWAY
Mr. R. Quayle, General Superintendent of Motive Power, in a letter
to the author regarding pulverized fuel for steam raising in stationary boiler
plants and locomotives, states:
"We did operate for a number of months an Atlantic type locomotive
between Chicago and Milwaukee, and I am attaching hereto blue-print
giving the result of such operation. I am also sending a blue-print giving
a general description of the engines used.
"These two engines were of the same type, built at the same time,
and, if anything, the one without the pulverized-fuel device on was a
little the smarter engine; in fact, we selected the best engines we had in
this class to work against the engine burning pulverized coal, so that if
there was any advantage it would be a decided advantage.
"We were unable to successfully run more than 75 or 80 miles with
Illinois coal, because it contains a good deal of sulphur and iron pyrites
and 10 per cent, or more, of moisture. After running about 80 miles the
flue sheet would begin to plaster over, and then the steam pressure would
begin to diminish. After we had obtained about 100 miles we would begin
to lack for steam.
"We used Kentucky coal, however, in other tests and we had no
difficulty whatever. I understand from the Pulverized Fuel Co., 30 Church
street, New York, that they are now able to burn pulverized Illinois coal,
such as we first used, without the flue sheet plastering over.
"We were able to get approximately 18 per cent saving in fuel. We
did not have to put the engine over the clinker pit at all, because the fuel
consumed in the distance of 80 miles left only two lumps of slag, one on
either side of the ash pan, each equivalent in size to that of an ordinary
"Our pulverizing plant was just a temporary affair. The engine,
however, was fitted up in the latest style. The pulverizer itself was home-
made, as was also the dryer. We had intended to have this plant enlarged
to take care of ten new switch engines and try out the use of pulverized
fuel on them in a district here in Chicago where we have rrrlich switching
to do and where smoke is a great nuisance, i.e., our Municipal Pier district.
This is a very high-class residential district. But, recently, on account of
financial and other matters, the change was held up, for the present at
COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
V $'3 S
CLASS D. ENG. 127, SUPERHEATER, HAND FIRED, WALSCHAERT VALVE GEAR, KINGAN & RIPKEN ATTACHMENT
C I-' %
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52 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
DELAWARE AND HUDSON RAILROAD
The Delaware and Hudson railroad has, in freight service, a con-
solidation locomotive (probably the largest of this type in the world)
equipped to burn pulverized fuel. The locomotive was designed for the
use of anthracite culm, but it is understood that a mixture of bituminous
and anthracite coal is being used. The locomotive has 63-inch driving
wheels, 27 x 32-inch cylinders, 12-inch piston-valves and a boiler with a
working pressure of 195 pounds 1 per square inch. The diameter of the
boiler at the front end is 86 inches and a fire box 114 inches by 126rg- inches
provides a grate area of 99-8 square feet. Total weight, 293,000 pounds;
weight on drivers, 267,000 pounds; total heating surface, 3,814 square feet;
traction power, 66,100 pounds. The superheater has 43 elements and a
heating surface of 793 square feet. The tender is of the 8-wheel type, with
water capacity of 9,000 gallons, fuel capacity of 14^ tons, and weighs, in
working order, 193,200 pounds.
The locomotive was built specially for use with pulverized fuel by the
American Locomotive Co., and was equipped with the apparatus of the
Locomotive Pulverized Fuel Co., New York.
The following is the result of tests on this locomotive :
Class of locomotive 2-8-0
Number of trips averaged 11
Miles run, average each trip 19-9
Adjusted train ton miles 49 , 686
Total water used, pounds 52 , 975
Total coal used 11 ,028
Boiler pressure, pounds per square inch 205
Average steam pressure, per square inch 192
Apparent evaporation 4-84
Lbs. of coal used per 1,000-ton miles v 221-9
Lbs. of coal used per engine mile 552-9
Average speed, miles per hour 11-7
Diameter of exhaust nozzle, inches , 6^2
The temperature of the water at start was 200 and the time taken
to obtain maximum pressure was 45 minutes.
The kind of coal used was a mixture of 60 per cent anthracite and
40 per cent bituminous. The following is an analysis of the mixture:
Moisture 0-36 per cent
Volatile matter 20-73 ' "
Fixed carbon 62-65 "
Ash.. . 16-26
Sulphur 1-00 per cent
British thermal units 13 , 000
Fineness of pulverized coal:
Percentage through 100-mesh screen 99
Percentage through 200-mesh screen 89
'The pressure has been increased to 210 pounds per square inch.
PULVERIZED FUEL 53
NEW YORK CENTRAL RAILROAD
So far as known the New York Central railroad was the first to equip
and successfully operate, in regular train service, a locomotive having a
self-contained equipment for burning pulverized coal in suspension. At
the present time this railway is using fuel in small amounts on one loco-
motive, the policy being to develop the use of pulverized fuel as an
alternative to the use of fuel-oil in territory in the forest reserve, where
oil is at present required. The following is a result of tests carried out on
Class of locomotive 4-6-2
Number of trips averaged 28
Miles run, average each trip 78-6
Adjusted train ton miles 125,956-0
Total water used, pounds 94,850-0
Total coal used, pounds 12 , 730-0
Boiler pressure, pounds per square inch 180
Average steam pressure, pounds per square inch 174-8
Apparent evaporation 7-45
Pounds of coal per 1,000-ton miles 101-0
Pounds of coal per engine mile 161-9
Average speed in miles per hour 21-8
Diameter of exhaust nozzle, in inches 6}4
The temperature of water at start was 120 and the time taken to
obtain the maximum pressure of steam was 72 minutes.
The tests were carried on with bituminous coal obtained from five
mines and having the following average analysis:
Moisture 0-85 per cent
Volatile matter 27-25 "
Fixed carbon 61-68 "
Ash . 10-22 "
Sulphur 1 -96 per cent
British thermal units 13,975 "
Fineness of pulverized coal :
Through 100-mesh screen 96 per cent
Through 200-mesh screen 81
The following is a brief description of this locomotive:
Cylinders 26 x 26 inch.
Driving wheels 69 inches in diameter.
Boiler pressure 180 pounds per square inch.
Total weight 266,000 Ibs.
Weight on drivers 172,000 Ibs.
Total heating surface 3 , 769 6 sq. ft.
Grate area (nominal) 56-5 sq. ft.
Tractive power 38 , 980 Ibs.
CENTRAL RAILWAY OF BRAZIL
In Brazil, owing to the difficulty of obtaining high-grade coal as fuel
and the necessity for using the low-grade coal which occurs there, the
Central' Railway of Brazil, after considerable investigation of the pulver-
ized-fuel-burning locomotives, decided to equip its locomotives for burning
54 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
fuel in this form. It is reported that the burning equipment is to be
practically a duplicate of that installed on the consolidation locomotive of
the Delaware and Hudson railroad.
Twelve locomotives, having the following description, are to be
equipped for burning pulverized coal: Type, 4-6-0; cylinders, 21^ in.
x 28 in.; driver wheels, 68 in.; boiler pressure, 175 Ibs. per sq. in.; total
weight, 172,000 Ibs.; weight on drivers, 122,000 Ibs.; total heating surface,
2,151 sq. ft.; grate area (nominal), 30 sq. ft.; tractive power, 28,400 Ibs.
The engines are equipped with a two-burner equipment and the tender
has a fuel capacity of 12 tons. The pulverizing plant is not installed, as
yet, but will include two A-8 dryers, and two 57-inch pulverizer mills,
having a capacity of 8 tons per hour each.
The fuel to be utilized is Brazilian coal, having approximately the
Moisture 0-5 per cent
Volatile matter 32-3
Fixed carbon 42-1
Ash.. 25-1 "
Sulphur 2 -35 per cent
British thermal units 11,112
PEAT-POWDER AS LOCOMOTIVE FUEL 1
Sweden possesses vast peat deposits, and, with coal at its present price,
it is but natural that the state railways should endeavour to make use of
them. Experiments have, therefore, been made with the fuel on a freight
locomotive, of which the following are the particulars:
Cylinders diameter 19f in.
stroke 25 in.
Wheels, driving (eight-coupled) 54 in.
Steam pressure 170 Ib.
Heating surface Fire-box 115 sq. ft.
" Tubes 996 sq. ft.
Superheater tubes 301 sq. ft.
Number of tubes (1-97-1-58 in.) 118
" (5- 15-4-8 in.) 18
Length between tube plates 13 ft. 1 in.
Tractive force xl 9 tons (metric)
Adhesion weight (per axle) 11-2 tons
Weight of locomotive 51 tons (metric)
Weight of tender 36 tons (metric)
Weight of water 14 tons (metric)
Weight of peat-powder 4 tons (metric)
The peat-powder is carried on the tender in a hopper with a conical
bottom. Beneath the bottom is a pipe, through which the peat-powder is
blown to a nozzle opening into the fire-box by means of air, compressed by a
steam-blower. By firebrick partitions the fire-box was subdivided into an
^Engineering, October 20, 1916.
ignition chamber, two side passages and an upper chamber, through which
the products of combustion pass and are led to and fro before they enter
the tubes. For the ignition of the peat-powder there is, under the nozzle
through which the peat is blown, a small grate carrying a coal fire. The
consumption of coal for this purpose averages 3 to 4 per cent of the weight
of the peat-powder.
The ordinary exhaust nozzle in the smoke-box did not work satisfac-
torily with peat-powder, and therefore had to be modified. A spark
catcher was unnecessary, as the sparks are so small and light that they are
extinguished before they reach the ground. As a matter of fact there are
no sparks at all from the peat-powder when the firing is properly attended
As the result of some previous experiments, 1 4 pounds of peat-powder
were considered to possess equal heating value to 1 pound of British coal.
To arrive at a more accurate and definite result, these tests were undertaken,
the locomotive in question having been in use for some time. The tests
were made on the Hallsberg-Mjolby section (60 miles) between two loco-
motives of the same type, peat-powder being used in the one and coal in
the other. The specifications for these tests stipulated for a freight train
of 700 tons weight being run at normal service speed, which was taken as
averaging 22 miles per hour. The train was to consist of cars loaded
with coal, and each type of locomotive was to make three journeys. An
alteration was made at the last journey, when the train was composed of
bogie passenger carriages, the weight being 300 tons, and the average
speed being 34 miles per hour. On the test section there is, over a distance
of 3 6 miles, a rising gradient of 1 per 100, with numerous small curves with
radii of from 1,000 to 1,500 feet. The speed was here reduced to 8| miles
per hour for the freight train and to about 20 miles for the passenger train.
Steam pressure and water level in the boiler could, it was proved, be main-
tained through the whole of this gradient.
The consumption of water was read from a scale fitted to the tender
tank; the results consequently include the losses from the starting of the
injector and the consumption of the steam- worked blower on the peat-
powder locomotive. The consumption of fuel was recorded by weighing
before and after each half of a journey. To ascertain the heating values,
samples of the fuel were taken on each journey. The results gave an
average of 7,920 B.t.u. for the peat-powder and 13,030 for the coal.
The analyses showed the following results :
Carbon ' 47-0 73-5
Oxygen 29-5 4-4
Hydrogen 4-5 8-6
Sulphur 0-5 1-5
Nitrogen 1-1 1-2
Ash 3-2 6-2
Water. 14-2 4-6
56 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
As the consumption of water and the heat transmitted to the steam
were not the same on the two comparative journeys (see table), the con-
sumption of fuel per 1,000 train-kilometres was reduced to the same water
consumption and heat transmission. Some allowance must also be made
for the fact that the locomotive with coal-fuel was quite new, whilst the
other had been in use for some time, and therefore was less favourably
The annexed table shows the most important results of the tests. It
will be noted the superheat temperature of the steam is higher with the
locomotive fed with peat-powder fuel than with the one with coal. This
is owing to the fact that peat-powder burns with a longer flame than coal,
and to the temperature of the products of combustion in the former case
being higher than in the latter. A calculation of the boiler efficiency and
the temperature of the fire-box gives, for the locomotive for peat-powder,
respectively, 73 per cent and 1,670 Cent., and, for the locomotive for coal,
68-8 per cent and 1,510 Cent. Both figures, it will be seen, are higher for
the former, which again signifies that the heating value of the peat-powder
is better utilized than that of the coal. The main object of the tests was to
ascertain the consumption of peat-powder as compared with that of coal
for the production of the same quantity of steam and in doing the same
work. To attain this, it was necessary to reduce the observed steam
production per kilogramme of fuel to what it would have been with the
same total heat content, taking as standard the total heat of steam at
190 Cent., reckoned as 665 calories. The calorific value of the fuel also
had to be referred to a proper standard, and 7,740 B.t.u. was chosen
for the peat-powder, and 12,600 B. t. u. for the coal. The reduced values
will be found in the table annexed. In reducing the figures for the coal-
fired locomotive, regard has been had to the fact that the locomotive was
a new one, wherefore its efficiency was somewhat modified. Tests have
shown that locomotives of this type, on an average, give about 6 3 pounds
superheated steam per pound of coal; a re-calculation gives an efficiency
of 0-65 instead of 0-685, which has been taken into consideration.
The final result deduced from the table is this, that the same quantity
of steam can be obtained from -pr. =1-45 pounds of peat-powder as from
1 pound of coal, when the respective values are 7,740 B.t.u. and 12,600
B.t.u., and the boiler efficiency is, respectively, 0-73 and 0-65.
With a supply of four tons of peat-powder, which the tender can
hold, a freight train of 650 tons and a passenger train of 300 tons behind
the tender can be hauled, respectively, 62 and 81 miles.
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