HC Deb 18 December 1928 vol 223 cc2800-2
37. Mr. G. HALL

asked the Secretary for Mines the number of low-temperature carbonisation systems for extracting byproducts from coal which are receiving Government, assistance; where they are situated; the amount of assistance given; and the amount of coal treated by these plants?

Commodore KING

The only low-temperature plants receiving direct financial assistance from the Government are the experimental retorts at the fuel research station, owned and worked by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, and the plant at Richmond (Surrey) erected by the Gas Light and Coke Company, the necessary capital for which has been guaranteed under the Trade Facilities Act. The amount of coal treated in the former since the 1st January last is 1,250 tons; the latter plant has not yet started carbonising. The tax on imported motor spirit is, of course, assisting all carbonisation plants producing this by-product.

38. Mr. HALL

asked the Secretary for Mines the number and names of the low-temperature carbonisation systems for the extraction of by-products from coal which are in operation in this country where 200 or more tons of coal are treated weekly; and whether any of these systems are working on a commercial basis?

Commodore KING

Low-temperature carbonisation plants for the extraction of by-products from coal, treating 200 tons or more per week, are in operation in this country on the following systems:

  • Parker Plant, Low Temperature Carbonisation, Limited.
  • Maclaurin Plant.
  • Merz and McClellan Plant (or Babcock Plant).
  • Illingworth Plant.
If, by "working on a commercial basis," the hon. Member means working at a profit, I regret that I have no information beyond that published by the undertakings concerned.

Plants for treating 200 tons or more per week on the undermentioned nine systems are also in existence, or approaching completion, in this country. Some of these may be in operation at the present time, but I have no definite information that this is the case. Nor can I say that this list is exhaustive, as there may be other plants of which I am not aware:

  • Dvorkovitz System (Rational Carbonisation Syndicate, Limited).
  • Fuel Research System (Gas Light and Coke Company).
  • Fusion Retort, (Fusion Corporation, Limited).
  • K.S.G. System (South Metropolitan Gas Company).
  • L. and N. System (L. and N. Coal Distillation, Limited).
  • Midland Coal Products, Limited.
  • Plassmann Plant (Coal Conversion, Limited).
  • Sutcliffe System (Leigh Smokeless Fuels Company, Limited).
  • Winser Plant (Continuous Goal Carbonisation, Limited).


Is it not of the highest importance that the Mines Department should conduct a searching investigation into all these experiments and processes?

Commodore KING

The plants are being put into commercial operation. That is the best test.


If the hon. and gallant Member is interested in the mining industry and its futures why does he not do it?