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Petroleum As Fuel

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The fact that the Pennsylvania Railroad company has been making experiments in the use oL petroleum as fuel on some of its eugines has already been announced. It is interesting to know that all the experiments have been attended with success. In speaking of the matter, T. N. Ely, superintendent of the motive power of the company, gave information wliich cannot fail to prove interesting to the reader and to the general public. He said: "For some months a passenger locomotive has been running west of Altoona, and within a few days has made several trips between Altoona and Pittsburg, hauling regular passenger trains, the fuel used being the residuum of oil refineries. The attention of the ofïïcers of the Pennsylvania railroad was attracted to reports published in English engineering journals in regard to a method in use on the Grazi Tsaritzin railway in southeastern Russia, where oil was burned upon a large number of locomotives. "A representativo was sent to Russia, who found in successful use upon all the locomotives of the C4razi Tsaritzin railway a method for burning residuum, which method had been developed by Mr. Thomas Urquhart, locomotive superintendent of the road. In applying Mr. Urqubart's system to the Pennsylvania railroad locomotives it was necessary to make a number of modiflcations, due to the fact that the speed is greater and the size of the locomotives much in excess of those used in Russia. THE PRACTICAL RESULTS. "The Hnal results, however, have been very satisfactory, and it is indeed a novelty to see a f ast express train ruiming without smoke or einders. The work of the fireman is ideal, consisting simply in the management of a small hand wheel, which coutrols the amount of oil dehvered to the fire box, the device being so sensitive that the slightest turn of the wheel enables him to supply more or less oil to meet any change in the condition of the work to be done by the locomotive. In the trips referred to between Pittsburg and Altoona the average number of cars hauled wa3 se ven, and on one occasion twenty-five minutes were made up on the schedule time of the day express, the locomotive steaming very freely at all times. The average amount of oil consunied on the westward trip was 4,511.025 pounds, and on the eastward trip 3,985.30 pounds. "Admitting that the practical part of burning oil in locomotives or stationary boilers has been successf ully worked out as described, which we may safely do after the information gained trom the Pennsylvania railroad and the Grazi Tsaritzin railway, we are led to look at the matter from a commercial standpoiut a relating to the economy in the use of oil, as compared with coal. We have the following data, whieh are the result of careful experiment, conformed by a Chemical examination of coal and oil. OIL AND COAL COMPARED. "One pound of petroleum successf ully burned will genérate as much steani under the same tircurnstances as would one and three-quarter pounds of coal. In locomotive praetiee, when the cost of handling fuel, disposing of ashes, and the diminished repairs to the fire boxes of locomotives is taken into consideration, it is found that one pound of oil is as valuable as two pounds of eoal. The oil preferred weighs on an average seven and three-tenths pounds per gallon ; theref ore, six and one-half barrels of oil, at forty-two gallons per barrel, would make exactly one ton. In order to ascertain the relative economy for heat production, the cost of six and onehalf barrels, divided by one and threefourtbs, gives an equivalent value of coal. "These figures will vary when heavy or light oil is used. The prospect for any general use of petroleum for fuel is not favorable. The Pennsylvania railroad alone burns about 8,000 tons of coal each day, which would consume over one-third of the total daily production of the United States. It could hardly be questioned, however, that there is a demand for a limited uso of oil as fuel for stationary boiler purposes in localities where smoke and einders from coal are objectionable, and in locomotives running in eities and on high class trains where it is possible that an increased expenditure would be warranted. "Even this limited use, should it come about, would, in the aggregate, amount to a very large eonsumption of til. Judging from past experiences in matters of this kind, the natural tendeney would be for renners to increase their price, and possibly to sach an extent that those desiring to use the oil could not afford to do so in competition with coal, and would have to seek some other ineans of obtaining the advantagts which the oil had


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Ann Arbor Register