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For many years in the distillation of raw petroleum there has been a by-product called masut, for which noise could be found. It could- not be turned into lubricating oil, or vaseline, or any marketable commodity. But it burns witlra steady, clean flame, and gives out a very great heat. In consequence, it has boen used extensively in Russia for firing steam boilers. It has been used on the railways, and in steamships, and in manufactories. But the great difficulty lay in inventing a suitable furnace to burn it in. It is a dark-brown oily liquid, and, of course, the furnaces used for coal are of no use. But at last this difficulty has been overcome. By employing steam to blow it into the furnace, on the principle of the Lucigin light, it can now be used without difficulty. The Russian Navy and the Italian Navy have used it for some years with success. During the years 1895 and 1896 the .German Navy has carried on a series of experiments for testing tho value of the new fuel, and the results of these experiments are now published. Germany has no great oil wells like Russia and America, but she has coalfields. A cheap kind of brown coal found in Saxony has been used for the manufacture of masut, and a new and flourishing industry has in consequence been started in that province. It was with this brown coal (masut) that the experiments were made which have been so successful. Masut is Baid to have many advantages over coal. The first claimed is that it i 3 much cheaper than good coal—as much as 40 to 50 per cent, cheaper. It is difficult to see how it cau be produced so very cheaply, unless it be that the materials from which it is made being practically worthless it can be sold at the cost of production. The second advantage claimed is that it is a better heat raiser. The result of a comparison of masut with the best steam coal showed a result in favor of masut as a heat raiser in the proportion of 17 to 10. That is more than half as good again, and even supposing the same good results could not always be obtained in ordinary cases, we may be safe in saying that masut is at least 20 per cent, better as a heat-raiser than coal. The third advantage claimed is that it burns with a steady, brisk flame, and requires scarcely any stoking. In fact, the lighting of our engine fires may probably become as Bimple as!the lighting of the gas, and hkely also to require as little attention. The next point in favor of masut is that it s is much better adapted for raising heat in the newer types of steam boilers than coal, bteam can be got up quicker by it than by coal, and in consequence of its greater heating power a higher pressure of steam can be kept up, and a greater amount of work got out of the machinery. The experiments in the German Navy were made duriug the first year in a torpedo boat, and afterwardß in cruisers and battleships, and tins is a point of great importance from a naval point of view. To be able to get up steam quickly and keep up a high pressure are points of vital importance in the navy in time of war. Another point claimed for masut, which weighs heavily in the minds of naval officers, is that it gives out no smoke. The torpedo boat, and even the battleship, can get up full steam on tho shortest notice and no sign of it can be seen in the sky. In warfare this is' of immense importance. At present our owift steamers leave behind them a long trail of smoke across the sky and the enemy, even below the horizon, can be detected by the black canopy of soot. Hencsforth it will be different. A whole fleet might come within striking distance of our shores and remain unnoticed. We have introduced smokeless powder; it may be necessary,-if other nations adopt it, that we also adopt smokelesß fuel.—' Chambers.'

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Bibliographic details

THE NEW SUBSTITUTE FOR COAL., Evening Star, Issue 10423, 18 September 1897, Supplement

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THE NEW SUBSTITUTE FOR COAL. Evening Star, Issue 10423, 18 September 1897, Supplement