HC Deb 22 May 1928 vol 217 cc1671-2

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 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.