HC Deb 01 February 1960 vol 616 cc617-8
27. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Minister of Power what progress has been made in the production of nontoxic gas; and if he will give general directions to the gas boards to accelerate its use.

Mr. George

Modern processes for making gas from both coal and oil produce gas of low toxicity. The problem of reducing carbon monoxide in gas from older plant is a difficult one which is being urgently pursued, and no general direction is necessary.

Mr. Allaun

While the completely non-toxic gas which has been produced at Basle is very expensive, is it not the case that gas can be produced with a sufficiently low proportion of carbon monoxide to avoid injury? Can the hon. Gentleman say roughly how long he estimates it will take to implement the recommendations of the Institution of Gas Engineers to the Gas Council, recommendations which the Council accepted? Will he publish that report which I understand still to be private?

Mr. George

Several methods are known for reducing toxicity, but their employment would involve a substantial increase in gas prices and new capital commitments. The modification of existing works would take many years. The Gas Council is seeking a more economical method, and its research department is actively engaged in examining one of the three methods with a view to improvement and to making it an economical proposition.

Forward to