HC Deb 16 January 1940 vol 356 cc22-3W
Mr. Grenfell

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he will state the number of processes for oil extraction by distillation and low temperature carbonisation, hydrogenisation and by other synthetic methods, which have been brought to the notice of his Department in the last 10 years; the number of plants operating commercially in this country; and the total quantity of crude oil derived from coal by these various methods?

Mr. Lloyd

During the last 10 years a very large number of processes for the extraction of oil from coal has been brought to the notice of my Department, but most of them have not been developed to the point at which technical investigation or commercial exploitation has been practicable.

In 1938, apart from the large number of coke ovens, gas works, and tar distilleries and the production from Scottish oil shale, which together provided in that year 58 per cent. of our supplies of home-

Production of Oil from coal in 1938.
(1) (2) (3)║
Motor Spirit Creosote, Heavy Oils and Diesel Oil Light Oils (other than Motor Spirit)
Tons Tons Tons
At Coke Ovens 123,300† 68,300‡ 18,400
At Gas Works 41,100† 107,200‡ 4,700
At Tar Distilleries* 49,200† 291,200‡ 23,300
By Hydrogenation 140,900
By Low Temperature Carbonisation 4,300 10,300§
358,800 477,ooo¶ 46,400
* From coal-tar and crude light oils derived from coke ovens and gas works.
† Motor benzole.
‡ Mainly creosote (most of which is not used as a fuel).
§ Includes some diesel oil.
║ Used mainly in the chemical trade and comprising pure benzine, toluene, xylene and naphtha, etc.
¶ Some proportion of these heavy oils was hydrogenated to obtain the quantity of motor spirit shown.