§ 21. Mr. WHITELEY
asked the Secretary for Mines whether any experiments are being conducted in this country other than the Bergius process and, if so, how many; and whether any Government money has been spent on such experiments?
§ Commodore KING
As regards commercial investigations, I would refer the hon. Member to a reply which I gave 1672 to the hon. Member for Ilkeston (Mr. Oliver) on 17th May. In reply to the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Shinwell) on 24th April I gave details of an arrangement between the Government and the Gas Light and Coke Company. Reports of other Government experiments in low-temperature carbonisation will be found in the annual Reports of the Fuel Research Board and the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.
§ 22 and 23. Mr. WHITELEY
asked the Secretary for Mines (1) whether he can give the largest quantity of oil taken from British coal by any British plant since 1918;
(2) whether he can give the average oil content of British coal per ton and the greatest amount of such content that has been extracted per ton of coal?
§ Commodore KING
Oil, as such, does not exist in coal, but the coal substance can be partially converted into oil by a variety of carbonisation and hydrogenation processes. The average amount of oil that can be produced from British coals by low-temperature carbonisation is usually taken at 15 gallons per ton. This figure is considerably exceeded when coal of special quality is used; for instance, over 50 gallons per ton have been obtained from a cannel coal of which, however, there are only small quantities available. By the addition of hydrogen to the coal, under the Bergius process, the yield from a suitable coal may even amount to 130 gallons per ton.