TURNING PEAT INTO COAL.
A firm in Kent, England, has devised an electrical process for converting ordinary peat into firm, smokeless steam coal at a moderate cost. The peat is cut and excavated by machinery, loaded into dumping cars, which convey it to the plant, where it is packed into rotary iron cylinders. The cylinders being rotated at high velocity, the centrifugal pressure, aided by an interior beating device, expels nearly all of the eighty per cent, of water in the material. Electrodes connected with a dynamo are then inserted in the cylinders, in snch a manner that the mass of dried peat completes the electrodes. The resistance offered by the peat, like the filament of an incandescent lamp, generates heat, which carbonises the material, producing a mass of disintegrated black globules. From the cylinders the carbonised material passes to machines, which knead it into a putty-like mass, which is then pressed into briquettes, or left to dry and harden in masses, which are broken into lumps, screened, and graded like ordinary coal.