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Acetylene, The Principles Of Its Generation And Use
by F. H. Leeds and W. J. Atkinson Butterfield
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Cubic feet of Acetylene Diameters of Pipe to be used up to the lengths stated. which the Pipe is required to pass in One 1/4 1/2 3/4 1 1-1/4 1-1/2 1-3/4 2 Hour inch. inch. inch. inch. inch. inch. inch. inch. Feet. Feet. Feet. Feet. Feet. Feet. Feet. Feet. 2-1/2 1580 6680 50750 ... ... ... ... ... 5 390 1670 12690 53160 ... ... ... ... 7-1/2 175 710 5610 23760 ... ... ... ... 10 99 410 3170 13360 40790 ... ... ... 15 41 185 1410 5940 18130 45110 ... ... 20 24 105 790 3350 10190 25370 54840 ... 25 26 67 500 2130 6520 16240 35100 ... 30 11 46 350 1480 4530 11270 24370 47520 35 ... 34 260 1090 3330 8280 17900 34910 40 ... 26 195 830 2550 6340 13710 26730 45 ... 20 155 660 2010 5010 10830 21120 50 ... 16 125 530 1630 4060 8770 17110 60 ... 11 88 370 1130 2880 6090 11880 70 ... ... 61 270 830 2070 4470 8730 80 ... ... 49 210 630 1580 3420 6680 90 ... ... 39 165 500 1250 2700 5280 100 ... ... 31 130 400 1010 2190 4270 150 ... ... 14 59 180 450 970 1900 200 ... ... ... 33 100 250 540 1070 250 ... ... ... 21 65 160 350 680 500 ... ... ... ... 16 40 87 170 1000 ... ... ... ... ... 10 22 42

TABLE (D).

Giving the Sizes of Pipe which should be used in practice for Acetylene Mains when the fall of pressure in the Main is not to exceed 0.5 inch, (Based on Morel's formula.)

Cubic feet of Acetylene Diameters of Pipe to be used up to the lengths stated. which the Main is required to pass in One 3/4 1 1-1/4 1-1/2 1-3/4 2 2-1/2 3 Hour inch. inch. inch. inch. inch. inch. inch. inch. Miles. Miles. Miles. Miles. Miles. Miles. Miles. Miles. 10 5.05 ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 25 0.80 2.45 6.15 ... ... ... ... ... 50 0.20 0.60 1.50 3.30 6.45 ... ... ... 100 0.05 0.15 0.35 0.80 1.60 4.95 12.30 ... 200 ... 0.04 0.09 0.20 0.40 1.20 3.05 12.95 300 ... ... 0.04 0.09 0.18 0.55 1.35 5.75 400 ... ... ... 0.05 0.10 0.30 0.75 3.25 500 ... .. ... 0.03 0.06 0.20 0.50 2.05 750 ... ... ... ... 0.03 0.08 0.20 0.80 1100 ... ... ... ... ... 0.05 0.12 0.50 1500 ... ... ... ... ... 0.02 0.05 0.23 2000 ... ... ... ... ... ... 0.03 0.13 2500 ... ... ... ... ... ... 0.02 0.08 5000 ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 0.03

TABLE (E).

Giving the Sizes of Pipe which should be used in practice for Acetylene Mains when the fall of pressure in the Main is not to exceed 1.0 inch. (Based on Morel's formula.)

___________ Cubic feet of Acetylene Diameters of Pipe to be used up to the lengths stated which the Main is required __________ to pass in One 3/4 1 1-1/4 1-1/2 1-3/4 2 2-1/2 3 4 Hour inch. inch. inch. inch. inch. inch. inch. inch. inch. __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Miles Miles Miles Mile. Miles Miles Miles Miles Miles 10 2.40 10.13 30.90 ... ... ... ... ... ... 25 0.38 1.62 4.94 12.30 ... ... ... ... ... 50 0.09 0.40 1.23 3.07 6.65 12.96 ... ... ... 100 0.02 0.10 0.30 0.77 1.66 3.24 9.88 ... ... 200 ... 0.02 0.07 0.19 0.41 0.81 2.47 6.15 ... 300 ... 0.01 0.03 0.08 0.18 0.36 1.09 2.73 11.52 400 ... ... 0.0 0.05 0.10 0.20 0.61 1.53 6.48 500 ... ... 0.0 0.03 0.06 0.13 0.39 0.98 4.14 750 ... ... ... 0.01 0.03 0.05 0.17 0.43 1.84 1000 ... ... ... ... 0.01 0.03 0.10 0.24 1.03 1500 ... ... ... ... ... 0.01 0.01 0.11 0.46 2000 ... ... ... ... ... ... 0.02 0.06 0.26 2500 ... ... ... ... ... ... 0.01 0.04 0.16 5000 ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 0.01 0.04 __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __



CHAPTER VIII

COMBUSTION OF ACETYLENE IN LUMINOUS BURNERS—THEIR DISPOSITION

NATURE OF LUMINOUS FLAMES.—When referring to methods of obtaining artificial light by means of processes involving combustion or oxidation, the term "incandescence" is usually limited to those forms of burner in which some extraneous substance, such as a "mantle," is raised to a brilliant white heat. Though convenient, the phrase is a mere convention, for all artificial illuminants, even including the electric light, which exhibit a useful degree of intensity depend on the same principle of incandescence. Adopting the convention, however, an incandescent burner is one in which the fuel burns with a non-luminous or atmospheric flame, the light being produced by causing that flame to play upon some extraneous refractory body having the property of emitting much light when it is raised to a sufficiently high temperature; while a luminous burner is one in which the fuel is allowed to combine with atmospheric oxygen in such a way that one or more of the constituents in the gas evolves light as it suffers combustion. From the strictly chemical point of view the light-giving substance in the incandescent flame lasts indefinitely, for it experiences no change except in temperature; whereas the light-giving substance in a luminous flame lasts but for an instant, for it only evolves light during the act of its combination with the oxygen of the atmosphere. Any fluid combustible which burns with a flame can be made to give light on the incandescent system, for all such materials either burn naturally, or can be made to burn with a non- luminous flame, which can be employed to raise the temperature of some mantle; but only those fuels can be burnt on the self-luminous system which contain some ingredient that is liberated in the elemental state in the flame, the said ingredient being one which combines energetically with oxygen so as to liberate much local heat. In practice, just as there are only two or three substances which are suitable for the construction of an incandescent mantle, so there is only one which renders a flame usefully self-luminous, viz., carbon; and therefore only such fuels as contain carbon among their constituents can be burnt so as to produce light without the assistance of the mantle. But inasmuch as it is necessary for the evolution of light by the combustion of carbon that that carbon shall be in the free state, only those carbonaceous fuels yield light without the mantle in which the carbonaceous ingredient is dissociated into its elements before it is consumed. For instance, alcohol and carbon monoxide are both combustible, and both contain carbon; but they yield non-luminous flames, for the carbon burns to carbon dioxide in ordinary conditions without assuming the solid form; ether, petroleum, acetylene, and some of the hydrocarbons of coal-gas do emit light on combustion, for part of their carbon is so liberated. The quantity of light emitted by the glowing substance increases as the temperature of that substance rises: the gain in light being equal to the fifth or higher power of the gain in heat; [Footnote: Calculated from absolute zero.] therefore unnecessary dissipation of heat from a flame is one of the most important matters to be guarded against if that flame is to be an economical illuminant. But the amount of heat liberated when a certain weight (or volume) of a particular fuel combines with a sufficient quantity of oxygen to oxidise it wholly is absolutely fixed, and is exactly the same whether that fuel is made to give a luminous or a non-luminous flame. Nevertheless the atmospheric flame given by a certain fuel may be appreciably hotter than its luminous flame, because the former is usually smaller than the latter. Unless the luminous flame of a rich fuel is made to expose a wide surface to the air, part of its carbon may escape ultimate combustion; soot or smoke may be produced, and some of the most valuable heat-giving substance will be wasted. But if the flame is made to expose a large surface to the air, it becomes flat or hollow in shape instead of being cylindrical and solid, and therefore in proportion to its cubical capacity it presents to the cold air a larger superficies, from which loss of heat by radiation, &c., occurs. Being larger, too, the heat produced is less concentrated.

It does not fall within the province of the present book to discuss the relative merits of luminous and incandescent lighting; but it may be remarked that acetylene ranks with petroleum against coal-gas, carburetted or non-carburetted water-gas, and semi-water-gas, in showing a comparatively small degree of increased efficiency when burnt under the mantle. Any gas which is essentially composed of carbon monoxide or hydrogen alone (or both together) burns with a non-luminous flame, and can therefore only be used for illuminating purposes on the incandescent system; but, broadly speaking, the higher is the latent illuminating power of the gas itself when burnt in a non-atmospheric burner, the less marked is the superiority, both from the economical and the hygienic aspect, of its incandescent flame. It must be remembered also that only a gas yields a flame when it is burnt; the flame of a paraffin lamp and of a candle is due to the combustion of the vaporised fuel. Methods of burning acetylene under the mantle are discussed in Chapter IX.; here only self-luminous flames are being considered, but the theoretical question of heat economy applies to both processes.

Heat may be lost from a flame in three several ways: by direct radiation and conduction into the surrounding air, among the products of combustion, and by conduction into the body of the burner. Loss of heat by radiation and conduction to the air will be the greater as the flame exposes a larger surface, and as a more rapid current of cold air is brought into proximity with the flame. Loss of heat by conduction, into the burner will be the greater as the material of which the burner is constructed is a better conductor of heat, and as the mass of material in that burner is larger. Loss of heat by passage into the combustion products will also be greater as these products are more voluminous; but the volume of true combustion products from any particular gas is a fixed quantity, and since these products must leave the flame at the temperature of that flame—where the highest temperature possible is requisite—it would seem that no control can be had over the quantity of heat so lost. However, although it is not possible in practice to supply a flame with too little air, lest some of its carbon should escape consumption and prove a nuisance, it is very easy without conspicuous inconvenience to supply it with too much; and if the flame is supplied with too much, there is an unnecessary volume of air passing through it to dilute the true combustion products, which air absorbs its own proper proportion of heat. It is only the oxygen of the air which a flame needs, and this oxygen is mixed with approximately four times its volume of nitrogen; if, then, only a small excess of oxygen (too little to be noticeable of itself) is admitted to a flame, it is yet harmful, because it brings with it four times its volume of nitrogen, which has to be raised to the same temperature as the oxygen. Moreover, the nitrogen and the excess of oxygen occupy much space in the flame, making it larger, and distributing that fixed quantity of heat which it is capable of generating over an unnecessarily large area. It is for this reason that any gas gives so much brighter a light when burnt in pure oxygen than in air, (1) because the flame is smaller and its heat more concentrated, and (2) because part of its heat is not being wasted in raising the temperature of a large mass of inert nitrogen. Thus, if the flame of a gas which naturally gives a luminous flame is supplied with an excess of air, its illuminating value diminishes; and this is true whether that excess is introduced at the base of the actual flame, or is added to the gas prior to ignition. In fact the method of adding some air to a naturally luminous gas before it arrives at its place of combustion is the principle of the Bunsen burner, used for incandescent lighting and for most forms of warming and cooking stoves. A well-made modern atmospheric burner, however, does not add an excess of air to the flame, as might appear from what has been said; such a burner only adds part of the air before and the remainder of the necessary quantity after the point of first ignition—the function of the primary supply being merely to insure thorough admixture and to avoid the production of elemental carbon within the flame.

ILLUMINATING POWER.—It is very necessary to observe that, as the combined losses of heat from a flame must be smaller in proportion to the total heat produced by the flame as the flame itself becomes larger, the more powerful and intense any single unit of artificial light is, the more economical does it become, because economy of heat spells economy of light. Conversely, the more powerful and intense any single unit of light is, the more is it liable to injure the eyesight, the deeper and, by contrast, the more impenetrable are the shadows it yields, and the less pleasant and artistic is its effect in an occupied room. For economical reasons, therefore, one large central source of light is best in an apartment, but for physiological and aesthetic reasons a considerable number of correspondingly smaller units are preferable. Even in the street the economical advantage of the single unit is outweighed by the inconvenience of its shadows, and by the superiority of a number of evenly distributed small sources to one central large source of light whenever the natural transmission of light rays through the atmosphere is interfered with by mist or fog. The illuminating power of acetylene is commonly stated to be "240 candles" (though on the same basis Wolff has found it to be about 280 candles). This statement means that when acetylene is consumed in the most advantageous self-luminous burner at the most advantageous rate, that rate (expressed in cubic feet per hour) is to 5 in the same ratio as the intensity of the light evolved (expressed in standard candles) is to the said "illuminating power." Thus, Wolff found that when acetylene was burnt in the "0000 Bray" fish- tail burner at the rate of 1.377 cubic feet per hour, a light of 77 candle-power was obtained. Hence, putting x to represent the illuminating power of the acetylene in standard candles, we have:

1.377 / 5 = 77 / x hence x = 280.

Therefore acetylene is said to have, according to Wolff, an illuminating power of about 280 candles, or according to other observers, whose results have been commonly quoted, of 240 candles. The same method of calculating the nominal illuminating power of a gas is applied within the United Kingdom in the case of all gases which cannot be advantageously burnt at the rate of 5 cubic feet per hour in the standard burner (usually an Argand). The rate of 5 cubic feet per hour is specified in most Acts of Parliament relating to gas-supply as that at which coal-gas is to be burnt in testings of its illuminating power; and the illuminating power of the gas is defined as the intensity, expressed in standard candles, of the light afforded when the gas is burnt at that rate. In order to make the values found for the light evolved at more advantageous rates of consumption by other descriptions of gas—such as oil-gas or acetylene—comparable with the "illuminating power" of coal- gas as defined above, the values found are corrected in the ratio of the actual rate of consumption to 5 cubic feet per hour.

In this way the illuminating power of 240 candles has been commonly assigned to acetylene, though it would be clearer to those unfamiliar with the definition of illuminating power in the Acts of Parliament which regulate the testing of coal-gas, if the same fact were conveyed by stating that acetylene affords a maximum illuminating power of 48 candles (i.e., 240 / 5) per cubic foot. Actually, by misunderstanding of the accepted though arbitrary nomenclature of gas photometry, it has not infrequently been assorted or implied that a cubic foot of acetylene yields a light of 240 candle-power instead of 48 candle-power. It should, moreover, be remembered that the ideal illuminating power of a gas is the highest realisable in any Argand or flat-flame burner, while the said burner may not be a practicable one for general use in house lighting. Thus, the burners recommended for general use in lighting by acetylene do not develop a light of 48 candles per cubic foot of gas consumed, but considerably less, as will appear from the data given later in this chapter.

It has been stated that in order to avoid loss of heat from a flame through the burner, that burner should present only a small mass of material (i.e., be as light in weight as possible), and should be constructed of a bad heat-conductor. But if a small mass of a material very deficient in heat-conducting properties comes in contact with a flame, its temperature rises seriously and may approach that of the base of the flame itself. In the case of coal-gas this phenomenon is not objectionable, is even advantageous, and it explains why a burner made of steatite, which conducts heat badly, in always more economical (of heat and therefore of light) than an iron one. In the case of acetylene the same rule should, and undoubtedly does, apply also; but it is complicated, and its effect sometimes neutralised, by a peculiarity of the gas itself. It has been shown in Chapters II. and VI. that acetylene polymerises under the influence of heat, being converted into other bodies of lower illuminating power, together with some elemental carbon. If, now, acetylene is fed into a burner which, being composed of some material like steatite possessed of low heat-conducting and radiating powers, is very hot, and if the burner comprises a tube of sensible length, the gas that actually arrives at the orifice may no longer be pure acetylene, but acetylene diluted with inferior illuminating agents, and accompanied by a certain proportion of carbon. Neglecting the effect of this carbon, which will be considered in the following paragraph, it is manifest that the acetylene issuing from a hot burner—assuming its temperature to exceed the minimum capable of determining polymerisation— may emit less light per unit of volume than the acetylene escaping from a cold burner. Proof of this statement is to be found in some experiments described by Bullier, who observed that when a small "Manchester" or fish-tail burner was allowed to become naturally hot, the quantity of gas needed to give the light of one candle (uncorrected) was 1.32 litres, but when the burner was kept cool by providing it with a jacket in which water was constantly circulating, only 1.13 litres of acetylene were necessary to obtain the same illuminating value, this being an economy of 16 per cent.

EARLY BURNERS.—One of the chief difficulties encountered in the early days of the acetylene industry was the design of a satisfactory burner which should possess a life of reasonable length. The first burners tried were ordinary oil-gas jets, which resemble the fish-tails used with coal- gas, but made smaller in every part to allow for the higher illuminating power of the oil-gas or acetylene per unit of volume. Although the flames they gave were very brilliant, and indeed have never been surpassed, the light quickly fell off in intensity owing to the distortion of their orifices caused by the deposition of solid matter at the edges. Various explanations have been offered to account for the precipitation of solid matter at the jets. If the acetylene passes directly to the burner from a generator having carbide in excess without being washed or filtered in any way, the gas may carry with it particles of lime dust, which will collect in the pipes mainly at the points where they are constricted; and as the pipes will be of comparatively large bore until the actual burner is readied, it will be chiefly at the orifices where the deposition occurs. This cause, though trivial, is often overlooked. It will be obviated whenever the plant is intelligently designed. As the phosphoric anhydride, or pentoxide, which is produced when a gas containing phosphorus burns, is a solid body, it may be deposited at the burner jets. This cause may be removed, or at least minimised, by proper purification of the acetylene, which means the removal of phosphorus compounds. Should the gas contain hydrogen silicide siliciuretted hydrogen), solid silica will be produced similarly, and will play its part in causing obstruction. According to Lewes the main factor in the blocking of the burners is the presence of liquid polymerised products in the acetylene, benzene in particular; for he considers that these bodies will be absorbed by the porous steatite, and will be decomposed under the influence of heat in that substance, saturating the steatite with carbon which, by a "catalytic" action presumably, assists in the deposition of further quantities of carbon in the burner tube until distortion of the flame results. Some action of this character possibly occurs; but were it the sole cause of blockage, the trouble would disappear entirely if the gas were washed with some suitable heavy oil before entering the burners, or if the latter were constructed of a non-porous material. It is certainly true that the purer is the acetylene burnt, both as regards freedom from phosphorus and absence of products of polymerisation, the longer do the burners last; and it has been claimed that a burner constructed at its jets of some non-porous substance, e.g., "ruby," does not choke as quickly as do steatite ones. Nevertheless, stoppages at the burners cannot be wholly avoided by these refinements. Gaud has shown that when pure acetylene is burnt at the normal rate in 1-foot Bray jets, growths of carbon soon appear, but do not obstruct the orifices during 100 hours' use; if, however, the gas-supply is checked till the flame becomes thick, the growths appear more quickly, and become obstructive after some 60 hours' burning. On the assumption that acetylene begins to polymerise at a temperature of 100 deg. C., Gaud calculates that polymerisation cannot cause blocking of the burners unless the speed of the passing gas is so far reduced that the burner is only delivering one- sixth of its proper volume. But during 1902 Javal demonstrated that on heating in a gas-flame one arm of a twin, non-injector burner which had been and still was behaving quite satisfactorily with highly purified acetylene, growths were formed at the jet of that arm almost instantaneously. There is thus little doubt that the principal cause of this phenomenon is the partial dissociation of the acetylene (i.e., decomposition into its elements) as it passes through the burner itself; and the extent of such dissociation will depend, not at all upon the purity of the gas, but upon the temperature of the burner, upon the readiness with which the heat of the burner is communicated to the gas, and upon the speed at which the acetylene travels through the burner.

Some experiments reported by R. Granjon and P. Mauricheau-Beaupre in 1906 indicate, however, that phosphine in the gas is the primary cause of the growths upon non-injector burners. According to these investigators the combustion of the phosphine causes a deposit at the burner orifices of phosphoric acid, which is raised by the flame to a temperature higher than that of the burner. This hot deposit then decomposes some acetylene, and the carbon deposited therefrom is rendered incombustible by the phosphoric acid which continues to be produced from the combustion of the phosphine in the gas. The incombustible deposit of carbon and phosphoric acid thus produced ultimately chokes the burner.

It will appear in Chapter XI. that some of the first endeavours to avoid burner troubles were based on the dilution of the acetylene with carbon dioxide or air before the gas reached the place of combustion; while the subsequent paragraphs will show that the same result is arrived at more satisfactorily by diluting the acetylene with air during its actual passage through the burner. It seems highly probable that the beneficial effect of the earliest methods was due simply or primarily to the dilution, the molecules of the acetylene being partially protected from the heat of the burner by the molecules of a gas which was not injured by the high temperature, and which attracted to itself part of the heat that would otherwise have been communicated to the hydrocarbon. The modern injector burner exhibits the same phenomenon of dilution, and is to the same extent efficacious in preventing polymerisation; but inasmuch as it permits a larger proportion of air to be introduced, and as the addition is made roughly half-way along the burner passage, the cold air is more effectual in keeping the former part of the tip cool, and in jacketing the acetylene during its travel through the latter part, the bore of which is larger than it otherwise would be.

INJECTOR AND TWIN-FLAME BURNERS.—In practice it is neither possible to cool an acetylene burner systematically, nor is it desirable to construct it of such a large mass of some good heat conductor that its temperature always remains below the dissociation point of the gas. The earliest direct attempts to keep the burner cool were directed to an avoidance of contact between the flame of the burning acetylene and the body of the jet, this being effected by causing the current of acetylene to inject a small proportion of air through lateral apertures in the burner below the point of ignition. Such air naturally carries along with it some of the heat which, in spite of all precautions, still reaches the burner; but it also apparently forms a temporary annular jacket round the stream of gas, preventing it from catching fire until it has arrived at an appreciable distance from the jet. Other attempts were made by placing two non- injector jets in such mutual positions that the two streams of gas met at an angle, there to spread fan-fashion into a flat flame. This is really nothing but the old fish-tail coal-gas burner—which yields its flat flame by identical impingement of two gas streams—modified in detail so that the bulk of the flame should be at a considerable distance from the burner instead of resting directly upon it. In the fish-tail the two orifices are bored in the one piece of steatite, and virtually join at their external ends; in the acetylene burner, two separate pieces of steatite, three-quarters of an inch or more apart, carried by completely separate supports, are each drilled with one hole, and the flame stands vertically midway between them. The two streams of gas are in one vertical plane, to which the vertical plane of the flame is at right angles. Neither of these devices singly gave a solution of the difficulty; but by combining the two—the injector and the twin-flame principle—the modern flat-flame acetylene burner has been evolved, and is now met with in two slightly different forms known as the Billwiller and the Naphey respectively. The latter apparently ought to be called the Dolan.



The essential feature of the Naphey burner is the tip, which is shown in longitudinal section at A in Fig. 8. It consists of a mushroom headed cylinder of steatite, drilled centrally with a gas passage, which at its point is of a diameter suited to pass half the quantity of acetylene that the entire burner is intended to consume. The cap is provided with four radial air passages, only two of which are represented in the drawing; these unite in the centre of the head, where they enter into the longitudinal channel, virtually a continuation of the gas-way, leading to the point of combustion by a tube wide enough to pass the introduced air as well as the gas. Being under some pressure, the acetylene issuing from the jet at the end of the cylindrical portion of the tip injects air through the four air passages, and the mixture is finally burnt at the top orifice. As pointed out in Chapter VII., the injector jet is so small in diameter that even if the service-pipes leading to the tip contain an explosive mixture of acetylene and air, the explosion produced locally if a light is applied to the burner cannot pass backwards through that jet, and all danger is obviated. One tip only of this description evidently produces a long, jet-like flame, or a "rat-tail," in which the latent illuminating power of the acetylene is not developed economically. In practice, therefore, two of these tips are employed in unison, one of the commonest methods of holding them being shown at B. From each tip issues a stream of acetylene mixed with air, and to some extent also surrounded by a jacket of air; and at a certain point, which forms the apex of an isosceles right-angled triangle having its other angles at the orifices of the tips, the gas streams impinge, yielding a flat flame, at right- angles, as mentioned before, to the plane of the triangle. If the two tips are three-quarters of an inch apart, and if the angle of impingement is exactly 90 deg., the distance of each tip from the base of the flame proper will be a trifle over half an inch; and although each stream of gas does take fire and burn somewhat before meeting its neighbour, comparatively little heat is generated near the body of the steatite. Nevertheless, sufficient heat is occasionally communicated to the metal stems of these burners to cause warping, followed by a want of alignment in the gas streams, and this produces distortion of the flame, and possibly smoking. Three methods of overcoming this defect have been used: in one the arms are constructed entirely of steatite, in another they are made of such soft metal as easily to be bent back again into position with the fingers or pliers, in the third each arm is in two portions, screwing the one into the other. The second type is represented by the original Phos burner, in which the curved arms of B are replaced by a pair of straight divergent arms of thin, soft tubing, joined to a pair of convergent wider tubes carrying the two tips. The third type is met with in the Drake burner, where the divergent arms are wide and have an internal thread into which screws an external thread cut upon lateral prolongations of the convergent tubes. Thus both the Phos and the Drake burner exhibit a pair of exposed elbows between the gas inlet and the two tips; and these elbows are utilised to carry a screwed wire fastened to an external milled head by means of which any deposit of carbon in the burner tubes can be pushed out. The present pattern of the Phos burner is shown in Fig. 9, in which A is the burner tip, B the wire or needle, and C the milled head by which the wire is screwed in and out of the burner tube.



In the original Billwiller burner, the injector gas orifice was brought centrally under a somewhat larger hole drilled in a separate sheet of platinum, the metal being so carried as to permit entry of air. In order to avoid the expense of the platinum, the same principle was afterwards used in the design of an all-steatite head, which is represented at D in Fig. 8. The two holes there visible are the orifices for the emission of the mixture of acetylene with indrawn air, the proper acetylene jets lying concentrically below these in the thicker portions of the heads. These two types of burner have been modified in a large number of ways, some of which are shown at C, E, and F; the air entering through saw- cuts, lateral holes, or an annular channel. Burners resembling F in outward form are made with a pair of injector jets and corresponding air orifices on each head, so as to produce a pair of names lying in the same plane, "end-on" to one another, and projecting at either side considerably beyond the body of the burner; these have the advantage of yielding no shadow directly underneath. A burner of this pattern, viz., the "Wonder," which is sold in this country by Hannam's, Ltd., is shown in Fig. 10, alongside the single-flame "Wonder" burner, which is largely used, especially in the United States. Another two-flame burner, made of steatite, by J. von Schwarz of Nuremberg, and sold by L. Wiener of London, is shown in Fig. 11. Burners of the Argand type have also been manufactured, but have been unsuccessful. There are, of course, endless modifications of flat-flame burners to be found on the markets, but only a few need be described. A device, which should prove useful where it may be convenient to be able to turn one or more burners up or down from the same common distant spot, has been patented by Forbes. It consists of the usual twin-injector burner fitted with a small central pinhole jet; and inside the casing is a receptacle containing a little mercury, the level of which is moved by the gas pressure by an adaptation of the displacement principle. When the main is carrying full pressure, both of the jets proper are alight, and the burner behaves normally, but if the pressure is reduced to a certain point, the movement of the mercury seals the tubes leading to the main jets, and opens that of the pilot flame, which alone remains alight till the pressure is increased again. Bray has patented a modification of the Naphey injector tip, which is shown in Fig. 12. It will be observed that the four air inlets are at right-angles to the gas-way; but the essential feature of the device is the conical orifice. By this arrangement it is claimed that firing back never occurs, and that the burner can be turned down and left to give a small flame for considerable periods of time without fear of the apertures becoming choked or distorted. As a rule burners of the ordinary type do not well bear being turned down; they should either be run at full power or extinguished completely. The "Elta" burner, made by Geo. Bray and Co., Ltd., which is shown in Fig. 13, is an injector or atmospheric burner which may be turned low without any deposition of carbon occurring on the tips. A burner of simple construction but which cannot be turned low is the "Luta," made by the same firm and shown in Fig. 14. Of the non- atmospheric type the "Sansair," also made by Geo. Bray and Co., Ltd., is extensively used. It is shown in Fig. 15. In order to avoid the warping, through the heat of the flame, of the arms of burners which sometimes occurs when they are made of metal, a number of burners are now made with the arms wholly of steatite. One of the best-known of these, of the injector type, is the "Kona," made by Falk, Stadelmann and Co., of London. It is shown in Fig. 16, fitted with a screw device for adjusting the flow of gas, so that when this adjuster has been set to give a flame of the proper size, no further adjustment by means of the gas-tap is necessary. This saves the trouble of manipulating the tap after the gas is lighted. The same adjusting device may also be had fitted to the Phos burner (Fig. 9) or to the "Orka" burner (Fig. 17), which is a steatite- tip injector burner with metal arms made by Falk, Stadelmann and Co., Ltd. A burner with steatite arms, made by J. von Schwarz of Nuremberg, and sold in this country by L. Wiener of London, is shown in Fig. 18.



ILLUMINATING DUTY.—The illuminating value of ordinary self-luminous acetylene burners in different sizes has been examined by various photometrists. For burners of the Naphey type Lewes gives the following table:

___________ Gas Candles Burner. Pressure, Consumed, Light in per Inches Cubic Feet Candles. Cubic Foot. per Hour. __ ___ __ __ ___ No. 6 2.0 0.155 0.794 5.3 " 8 2.0 0.27 3.2 11.6 " 15 2.0 0.40 8.0 20.0 " 25 2.0 0.65 17.0 26.6 " 30 2.0 0.70 23.0 32.85 " 42 2.0 1.00 34.0 34.0 __ ___ __ __ ___

From burners of the Billwiller type Lewes obtained in 1899 the values:

___________ Gas Candles Burner. Pressure, Consumed, Light in per Inches Cubic Feet Candles. Cubic Foot. per Hour. __ ___ __ __ ___ No. 1 2.0 0.5 7.0 11.0 " 2 2.0 0.75 21.0 32.0 " 3 2.0 0.75 28.0 37.3 " 4 3.0 1.2 48.0 40.0 " 5 3.5 2.0 76.0 38.0 __ ___ __ __ ___

Neuberg gives these figures for different burners (1900) as supplied by Pintsch:

Gas Candles Burner. Pressure, Consumed, Light in per Inches Cubic Feet Candles. Cubic Foot. per Hour. No. 0, slit burner 3.9 1.59 59.2 37.3 " 00000 fishtail 1.6 0.81 31.2 38.5 Twin burner No. 1 3.2 0.32 13.1 40.8 " " " 2 3.2 0.53 21.9 41.3 " " " 3 3.2 0.74 31.0 41.9 " " " 4 3.2 0.95 39.8 41.9

The actual candle-power developed by each burner was not quoted by Neuberg, and has accordingly been calculated from his efficiency values. It is noteworthy, and in opposition to what has been found by other investigators as well as to strict theory, that Neuberg represents the efficiencies to be almost identical in all sizes of the same description of burner, irrespective of the rate at which it consumes gas.

Writing in 1902, Capelle gave for Stadelmann's twin injector burners the following figures; but as he examined each burner at several different pressures, the values recorded in the second, third, and fourth columns are maxima, showing the highest candle-power which could be procured from each burner when the pressure was adjusted so as to cause consumption to proceed at the most economical rate. The efficiency values in the fifth column, however, are the mean values calculated so as to include all the data referring to each burner. Capelle's results have been reproduced from the original on the basis that 1 bougie decimale equals 0.98 standard English candle, which is the value he himself ascribes to it (1 bougie decimale equals 1.02 candles is the value now accepted).

Nominal Best Actual Consumption Maximum Average Consumption, Pressure at Stated Pressure. Light in Candles per Litres. Inches. Cubic Feet per Hour. Candles. Cubic Foot. 10 3.5 0.40 8.4 21.1 15 2.8 0.46 16.6 33.3 20 3.9 0.64 25.1 40.0 25 3.5 0.84 37.8 46.1 30 3.5 0.97 48.2 49.4

Some testings of various self-luminous burners of which the results were reported by R. Granjon in 1907, gave the following results for the duty of each burner, when the pressure was regulated for each burner to that which afforded the maximum illuminating duty. The duty in the original paper is given in litres per Carcel-hour. The candle has been taken as equal to 0.102 Carcel for the conversion to candles per cubic foot.

____________ Nominal Best Duty. Candles Burner. Consumption. Pressure. per cubic foot. _____ ___ __ ____ Litres. Inches. Twin . . . . 10 2.76 21.2 " . . . . 20 2.76 23.5 " . . . . 25 3.94 30.2 " . . . . 30 3.94-4.33 44.8 ", (pair of flames) 35 3.55-3.94 45.6 Bray's "Manchester" 6 1.97 18.8 " 20 1.97 35.6 " 40 2.36 42.1 Rat-tail . . . 5 5.5 21.9 " . . . 8 4.73 25.0 Slit or batswing . 30 1.97-2.36 37.0 _____ ___ ___ ____

Granjon has concluded from his investigations that the Manchester or fish-tail burners are economical when they consume 0.7 cubic foot per hour and when the pressure is between 2 and 2.4 inches. When these burners are used at the pressure most suitable for twin burners their consumption is about one-third greater than that of the latter per candle-hour. The 25 to 35 litres-per-hour twin burners should be used at a pressure higher by about 1 inch than the 10 to 20 litres-per-hour twin burners.

At the present time, when the average burner has a smaller hourly consumption than 1 foot per hour, it is customary in Germany to quote the mean illuminating value of acetylene in self-luminous burners as being 1 Hefner unit per 0.70 litre, which, taking

1 Hefner unit = 0.913 English candle

1 English candle = 1.095 Hefner units,

works out to an efficiency of 37 candles per foot in burners probably consuming between 0.5 and 0.7 foot per hour.

Even when allowance is made for the difficulties in determining illuminating power, especially when different photometers, different standards of light, and different observers are concerned, it will be seen that these results are too irregular to be altogether trustworthy, and that much more work must be done on this subject before the economy of the acetylene flame can be appraised with exactitude. However, as certain fixed data are necessary, the authors have studied those and other determinations, rejecting some extreme figures, and averaging the remainder; whence it appears that on an average twin-injector burners of different sizes should yield light somewhat as follows:

Size of Burner in Candle-power Candles Cubic Feet per Hour. Developed. per Cubic Foot. 0.5 18.0 35.9 0.7 27.0 38.5 1.0 45.6 45.6

In the tabular statement in Chapter I. the 0.7-foot burner was taken as the standard, because, considering all things, it seems the best, to adopt for domestic purposes. The 1-foot burner is more economical when in the best condition, but requires a higher gas pressure, and is rather too powerful a unit light for good illuminating effect; the 0.5 burner naturally gives a better illuminating effect, but its economy is surpassed by the 0.7-foot burner, which is not too powerful for the human eye.

For convenience of comparison, the illuminating powers and duties of the 0.5- and 0.7-foot acetylene burners may be given in different ways:

ILLUMINATING POWER OF SELF-LUMINOUS ACETYLENE.

0.7-foot Burner. Half-foot Burner. 1 litre = 1.36 candles. 1 litre = 1.27 candles. 1 cubic foot = 38.5 candles. 1 cubic foot = 35.9 candles. 1 candle = 0.736 litre. 1 candle = 0.79 litre. 1 candle = 0.026 cubic foot. 1 candle = 0.028 cubic foot.

If the two streams of gas impinge at an angle of 90 deg., twin-injector burners for acetylene appear to work best when the gas enters them at a pressure of 2 to 2.5 inches; for a higher pressure the angle should be made a little acute. Large burners require to have a wider distance between the jets, to be supplied with acetylene at a higher pressure, and to be constructed with a smaller angle of impingement. Every burner, of whatever construction and size, must always be supplied with gas at its proper pressure; a pressure varying from time to time is fatal.

It is worth observing that although injector burners are satisfactory in practice, and are in fact almost the only jets yet found to give prolonged satisfaction, the method of injecting air below the point of combustion in a self-luminous burner is in some respects wrong in principle. If acetylene can be consumed without polymerisation in burners of the simple fish-tail or bat's-wing type, it should show a higher illuminating efficiency. In 1902 Javal stated that it was possible to burn thoroughly purified acetylene in twin non-injector burners, provided the two jets, made of steatite as usual, were arranged horizontally instead of obliquely, the two streams of gas then meeting at an angle of 180 deg., so as to yield an almost circular flame. According to Javal, whereas carbonaceous growths were always produced in non-injector acetylene burners with either oblique or horizontal jets, in the former case the growths eventually distorted the gas orifices, but in the latter the carbon was deposited in the form of a tube, and fell off from the burner by its own weight directly it had grown to a length of 1.2 or 1.5 millimetres, leaving the jets perfectly clear and smooth. Javal has had such a burner running for 10 or 12 hours per day for a total of 2071 hours; it did not need cleaning out on any occasion, and its consumption at the end of the period was the same as at first. He found that it was necessary that the tips should be of steatite, and not of metal or glass; that the orifices should be drilled in a flat surface rather than at the apex of a cone, and that the acetylene should be purified to the utmost possible extent. Subsequent experience has demonstrated the possibility of constructing non-injector burners such as that shown in Fig. 13, which behave satisfactorily even though the jets are oblique. But with such burners trouble will inevitably ensue unless the gas is always purified to a high degree and is tolerably dry and well filtered. Non-injector burners should not be used unless special care is taken to insure that the installation is consistently operated in an efficient manner in these respects.

GLOBES, &C.—It does not fall within the province of the present volume to treat at length of chimneys, globes, or the various glassware which may be placed round a source of light to modify its appearance. It should be remarked, however, that obedience to two rules is necessary for complete satisfaction in all forms of artificial illumination. First, no light much stronger in intensity than a single candle ought ever to be placed in such a position in an occupied room that its direct rays can reach the eye, or the vision will be temporarily, and may be permanently, injured. Secondly, unless economy is to be wholly ignored, no coloured or tinted globe or shade should ever be put round a source of artificial light. The best material for the construction of globes is that which possesses the maximum of translucency coupled with non-transparency, i.e., a material which passes the highest proportion of the light falling upon it, and yet disperses that light in such different directions that the glowing body cannot be seen through the globe. Very roughly speaking, plain white glass, such as that of which the chimneys of oil-lamps and incandescent gas-burners are composed, is quite transparent, and therefore affords no protection to the eyesight; a protective globe should be rather of ground or opal glass, or of plain glass to which a dispersive effect has been given by forming small prisms on its inner or outer surface, or both. Such opal, ground, or dispersive shades waste much light in terms of illuminating power, but waste comparatively little in illuminating effect well designed, they may actually increase the illuminating effect in certain positions; a tinted globe, even if quite plain in figure, wastes both illuminating power and effect, and is only to be tolerated for so-believed aesthetic reasons. Naturally no globe must be of such figure, or so narrow at either orifice, as to distort the shape of the unshaded acetylene flame—it is hardly necessary to say this now, but some years ago coal-gas globes were constructed with an apparent total disregard of this fundamental point.



CHAPTER IX

INCANDESCENT BURNERS—HEATING APPARATUS—MOTORS—AUTOGENOUS SOLDERING

MERITS OF LIGHTING BY INCANDESCENT MANTLES.—It has already been shown that acetylene bases its chief claim for adoption as an illuminant in country districts upon the fact that, when consumed in simple self- luminous burners, it gives a light comparable in all respects save that of cost to the light of incandescent coal-gas. The employment of a mantle is still accompanied by several objections which appear serious to the average householder, who is not always disposed either to devote sufficient attention to his burners to keep them in a high state of efficiency or to contract for their maintenance by the gas company or others. Coal-gas cannot be burnt satisfactorily on the incandescent system unless the glass chimneys and shades are kept clean, unless the mantles are renewed as soon as they show signs of deterioration, and, perhaps most important of all, unless the burners are frequently cleared of the dust which collects round the jets. For this reason luminous acetylene ranks with luminous coal-gas in convenience and simplicity, while ranking with incandescent coal-gas in hygienic value. Very similar remarks apply to paraffin, and, in certain countries, to denatured alcohol. Since those latter illuminants are also available in rural places where coal-gas is not laid on, luminous acetylene is a less advantageous means of procuring artificial light than paraffin (and on occasion than coal-gas and alcohol when the latter fuels are burnt under the mantle), if the pecuniary aspect of the question is the only one considered. Such a comparison, however, is by no means fair; for if coal- gas, paraffin, and alcohol can be consumed on the incandescent system, so can acetylene; and if acetylene is hygienically equal to incandescent coal-gas, it is superior thereto when also burnt under the mantle. Nevertheless there should be one minor but perfectly irremediable defect in incandescent acetylene, viz., a sacrifice of that characteristic property of the luminous gas to emit a light closely resembling that of the sun in tint, which was mentioned in Chapter 1. Self-luminous acetylene gives the whitest light hitherto procurable without special correction of the rays, because its light is derived from glowing particles of carbon which happen to be heated (because of the high flame temperature) to the best possible temperature for the emission of pure white light. The light of any combustible consumed on the "incandescent" system is derived from glowing particles of ceria, thoria, or similar metallic oxides; and the character or shade of the light they emit is a function, apart from the temperature to which they are raised, of their specific chemical nature. Still, the light of incandescent acetylene is sufficiently pleasant, and according to Caro is purer white than that of incandescent coal-gas; but lengthy tests carried out by one of the authors actually show it to be appreciably inferior to luminous acetylene for colour-matching, in which the latter is known almost to equal full daylight, and to excel every form of artificial light except that of the electric arc specially corrected by means of glass tinted with copper salts.

CONDITIONS FOR INCANDESCENT ACETYLENE LIGHTING.—For success in the combustion of acetylene on the incandescent system, however, several points have to be observed. First, the gas must be delivered at a strictly constant pressure to the burner, and at one which exceeds a certain limit, ranging with different types and different sizes of burner from 2 to 4 or 5 inches of water. (The authors examined, as long ago as 1903, an incandescent burner of German construction claimed to work at a pressure of 1.5 inches, which it was almost impossible to induce to fire back to the jets however slowly the cock was manipulated, provided the pressure of the gas was maintained well above the point specified. But ordinarily a pressure of about 4 inches is used with incandescent acetylene burners.) Secondly, it is necessary that the acetylene shall at all times be free from appreciable admixture with air, even 0.5 per cent, being highly objectionable according to Caro; so that generators introducing any noteworthy amount of air into the holder each time their decomposing chambers are opened for recharging are not suitable for employment when incandescent burners are contemplated. The reason for this will be more apparent later on, but it depends on the obvious fact that if the acetylene already contains an appreciable proportion of air, when a further quantity is admitted at the burner inlets, the gaseous mixture contains a higher percentage of oxygen than is suited to the size and design of the burner, so that flashing back to the injector jets is imminent at any moment, and may be determined by the slightest fluctuation in pressure—if, indeed, the flame will remain at the proper spot for combustion at all. Thirdly, the fact that the acetylene which is to be consumed under the mantle must be most rigorously purified from phosphorus compounds has been mentioned in Chapter V. Impure acetylene will often destroy a mantle in two or three hours; but with highly purified gas the average life of a mantle may be taken, according to Giro, at 500 or 600 hours. It is safer, however, to assume a rather shorter average life, say 300 to 400 burning hours. Fourthly, owing to the higher pressure at which acetylene must be delivered to an incandescent burner and to the higher temperature of the acetylene flame in comparison with coal-gas, a mantle good enough to give satisfactory results with the latter does not of necessity answer with acetylene; in fact, the authors have found that English Welsbach coal-gas mantles of the small sizes required by incandescent acetylene burners are not competent to last for more than a very few hours, although, in identical conditions, mantles prepared specially for use with acetylene have proved durable. The atmospheric acetylene flame, too, differs in shape from an atmospheric flame of coal-gas, and it does not always happen that a coal- gas mantle contracts to fit the former; although it usually emits a better light (because it fits better) after some 20 hours use than at first. Caro has stated that to derive the best results a mantle needs to contain a larger proportion of ceria than the 1 per cent. present in mantles made according to the Welsbach formula, that it should be somewhat coarser in mesh, and have a large orifice at the head. Other authorities hold that mantles for acetylene, should contain other rare earths besides the thoria and ceria of which the coal-gas mantles almost wholly consist. It seems probable, however, that the composition of the ordinary impregnating fluid need not be varied for acetylene mantles provided it is of the proper strength and the mantles are raised to a higher temperature in manufacture than coal-gas mantles by the use of either coal-gas at very high pressure or an acetylene flame. The thickness of the substance of the mantle cannot be greatly increased with a view to attaining greater stability without causing a reduction in the light afforded. But the shape should be such that the mantle conforms as closely as possible to the acetylene Bunsen flame, which differs slightly with different patterns of incandescent burner heads. According to L. Cadenel, the acetylene mantle should be cylindrical for the lower two- thirds of its length, and slightly conical above, with an opening of moderate size at the top. The head of the mantle should be of slighter construction than that of coal-gas mantles. Fifthly, generators belonging to the automatic variety, which in most forms inevitably add more or less air to the acetylene every time they are cleaned or charged, appear to have achieved most popularity in Great Britain; and these frequently do not yield a gas fit for use with the mantle. This state of affairs, added to what has just been said, makes it difficult to speak in very favourable terms of the incandescent acetylene light for use in Great Britain. But as the advantages of an acetylene not contaminated with air are becoming more generally recognised, and mantles of several different makes are procurable more cheaply, incandescent acetylene is now more practicable than hitherto. Carburetted acetylene or "carburylene," which is discussed later, is especially suitable for use with mantle burners.

ATMOSPHERIC ACETYLENE BURNERS.—The satisfactory employment of acetylene in incandescent burners, for boiling, warming, and cooking purposes, and also to some extent as a motive power in small engines, demands the production of a good atmospheric or non-luminous flame, i.e., the construction of a trustworthy burner of the Bunsen type. This has been exceedingly difficult to achieve for two reasons: first, the wide range over which mixtures of acetylene and air are explosive; secondly, the high speed at which the explosive wave travels through such a mixture. It has been pointed out in Chapter VIII. that a Bunsen burner is one in which a certain proportion of air is mixed with the gas before it arrives at the actual point of ignition; and as that proportion must be such that the mixture falls between the upper and lower limits of explosibility, there is a gaseous mixture in the burner tube between the air inlets and the outlet which, if the conditions are suitable, will burn with explosive force: that is to say, will fire back to the air jets when a light is applied to the proper place for combustion. Such an explosion, of course, is far too small in extent to constitute any danger to person or property; the objection to it is simply that the shock of the explosion is liable to fracture the fragile incandescent mantle, while the gas, continuing to burn within the burner tube (in the case of a warming or cooking stove), blocks up that tube with carbon, and exhibits the other well-known troubles of a coal-gas stove which has "fired back."

It has been shown, however, in Chapter VI. that the range over which mixtures of acetylene and air are explosive depends on the size of the vessel, or more particularly on the diameter of the tube, in which they are stored; so that if the burner tube between the air inlets and the point of ignition can be made small enough in diameter, a normally explosive mixture will cease to exhibit explosive properties. Manifestly, if a tube is made very small in diameter, it will only pass a small volume of gas, and it may be useless for the supply of an atmospheric burner; but Le Chatelier's researches have proved that a tube may be narrowed at one spot only, in such fashion that the explosive wave refuses to pass the constriction, while the virtual diameter of the tube, as far as passage of gas is concerned, remains considerably larger than the size of the constriction itself. Moreover, inasmuch as the speed of propagation of the explosion is strictly fixed by the conditions prevailing, if the speed at which the mixture, of acetylene and air travels from the air inlets to the point of ignition is more rapid than the speed at which the explosion tends to travel from the point of ignition to the air inlets, the said mixture of acetylene and air will burn quietly at the orifice without attempting to fire backwards into the tube. By combining together these two devices: by delivering the acetylene to the injector jet at a pressure sufficient to drive the mixture of gas and air forward rapidly enough, and by narrowing the leading tube either wholly or at one spot to a diameter small enough, it is easy to make an atmospheric burner for acetylene which behaves perfectly as long as it is fairly alight, and the supply of gas is not checked; but further difficulties still remain, because at the instant of lighting and extinguishing, i.e., while the tap is being turned on or off, the pressure of the gas is too small to determine a flow of acetylene and air within the tube at a speed exceeding that of the explosive wave; and therefore the act of lighting or extinguishing is very likely to be accompanied by a smart explosion severe enough to split the mantle, or at least to cause the burner to fire back. Nevertheless, after several early attempts, which were comparative failures, atmospheric acetylene burners have been constructed that work quite satisfactorily, so that the gas has become readily available for use under the mantle, or in heating stoves. Sometimes success has been obtained by the employment of more than one small tube leading to a common place of ignition, sometimes by the use of two or more fine wire- gauze screens in the tube, sometimes by the addition of an enlarged head to the burner in which head alone thorough mixing of the gas and air occurs, and sometimes by the employment of a travelling sleeve which serves more or less completely to block the air inlets.

DUTY OF INCANDESCENT ACETYLENE BURNERS.—Granting that the petty troubles and expenses incidental to incandescent lighting are not considered prohibitive—and in careful hands they are not really serious— and that mantles suitable for acetylene are employed, the gas may be rendered considerably cheaper to use per unit of light evolved by consuming it in incandescent burners. In Chapter VIII. it was shown that the modern self-luminous, l/2-foot acetylene burner emits a light of about 1.27 standard English candles per litre-hour. A large number of incandescent burners, of German and French construction, consuming from 7.0 to 22.2 litres per hour at pressures ranging between 60 and 120 millimetres have been examined by Caro, who has found them to give lights of from 10.8 to 104.5 Hefner units, and efficiencies of from 2.40 to 5.50 units per litre-hour. Averaging his results, it may be said that incandescent burners consuming from 10 to 20 litres per hour at pressures of 80 or 100 millimetres yield a light of 4.0 Hefner units per litre- hour. Expressed in English terms, incandescent acetylene burners consuming 0.5 cubic foot per hour at a pressure of 3 or 4 inches give the duties shown in the following table, which may advantageously be compared with that printed in Chapter VIII., page 239, for the self-luminous gas:

ILLUMINATING POWER OF INCANDESCENT ACETYLENE. HALF-FOOT BURNERS.

1 litre = 3.65 candles 1 candle = 0.274 litre. 1 cubic foot = 103.40 candles. 1 candle = 0.0097 cubic foot.

A number of tests of the Guentner or Schimek incandescent burners of the 10 and 15 litres-per-hour sizes, made by one of the authors in 1906, gave the following average results when tested at a pressure of 4 inches: ____________ Nominal size Rate of Consumption per Light in Duty of Burner. Hour Candles Candles per Cubic Foot ___ _____ __ ___ Litres. Cubic Foot Litres 10 0.472 13.35 46.0 97.4 15 0.663 18.80 70.0 105.5 ___ __ __ __ ___

These figures indicate that the duty increases slightly with the size of the burner. Other tests showed that the duty increased more considerably with an increase of pressure, so that mantles used, or which had been previously used, at a pressure of 5 inches gave duties of 115 to 125 candles per cubic foot.

It should be noted that the burners so far considered are small, being intended for domestic purposes only; larger burners exhibit higher efficiencies. For instance, a set of French incandescent acetylene burners examined by Fouche showed:

Size of Burner Pressure Cubic Feet Light in Candles per in Litres. Inches. per Hour. Candles. Cubic Feet. 20 5.9 0.71 70 98.6 40 5.9 1.41 150 106.4 70 5.9 2.47 280 113.4 120 5.9 4.23 500 118.2

By increasing the pressure at which acetylene is introduced into burners of this type, still larger duties may be obtained from them:

Size of Burner Pressure Cubic Feet Light in Candles per in Litres. Inches. per Hour. Candles. Cubic Feet. 55 39.4 1.94 220 113.4 100 39.4 3.53 430 121.8 180 39.4 6.35 820 129.1 260 27.6 9.18 1300 141.6

High-power burners such as these are only fit for special purposes, such as lighthouse illumination, or optical lantern work, &c.; and they naturally require mantles of considerably greater tenacity than those intended for employment with coal-gas. Nevertheless, suitable mantles can be, and are being, made, and by their aid the illuminating duty of acetylene can be raised from the 30 odd candles per foot of the common 0.5-foot self-luminous jet to 140 candles or more per foot, which is a gain in efficiency of 367 per cent., or, neglecting upkeep and sundries and considering only the gas consumed, an economy of nearly 79 per cent.

In 1902, working apparently with acetylene dissolved under pressure in acetone (cf. Chapter XI.), Lewes obtained the annexed results with the incandescent gas:

Pressure. Cubic Feet Candle Power Candles per Inches. per Hour. Developed. Cubic Foot. 8 0.883 65 73.6 9 0.94 72 76.0 10 1.00 146 146.0 12 1.06 150 141.2 15 1.25 150 120.0 20 1.33 166 124.8 25 1.50 186 123.3 40 2.12 257 121.2

It will be seen that although the total candle-power developed increases with the pressure, the duty of the burner attained a maximum at a pressure of 10 inches. This is presumably due to the fact either that the same burner was used throughout the tests, and was only intended to work at a pressure of 10 inches or thereabouts, or that the larger burners were not so well constructed as the smaller ones. Other investigators have not given this maximum of duty with a medium-sized or medium-driven burner; but Lewes has observed a similar phenomenon in the case of 0.7 to 0.8 cubic foot self-luminous jets.

Figures, however, which seem to show that the duty of incandescent acetylene does not always rise with the size of the burner or with the pressure at which the gas is delivered to it, have been published in connexion with the installation at the French lighthouse at Chassiron, the northern point of the Island of Oleron. Here the acetylene is generated in hand-fed carbide-to-water generators so constructed as to give any pressure up to nearly 200 inches of water column; purified by means of heratol, and finally delivered to a burner composed of thirty- seven small tubes, which raises to incandescence a mantle 55 millimetres in diameter at its base. At a pressure of 7.77 inches of water, the burner passes 3.9 cubic feet of acetylene per hour, and at a pressure of 49.2 inches (the head actually used) it consumes 20.06 cubic feet per hour. As shown by the following table, such increment of gas pressure raises the specific intensity of the light, i.e., the illuminating power per unit of incandescent surface, but it does not appreciably raise the duty or economy of the gas. Manifestly, in terms of duty alone, a pressure of 23.6 inches of water-column is as advantageous as the higher Chassiron figures; but since intensity of light is an important matter in a lighthouse, it is found better on the whole to work the generators at a pressure of 49.2 inches. In studying these figures referring to the French lighthouse, it is interesting to bear in mind that when ordinary six-wick petroleum oil burners wore used in the same place, the specific intensity of the light developed was 75 candle-power per square inch, and when that plant was abandoned in favour of an oil-gas apparatus, the incandescent burner yielded 161 candle-power per square inch; substitution of incandescent acetylene under pressure has doubled the brilliancy of the light.

___________ Duty. Intensity. Pressure in Inches. Candle-power per Candle-power per Cubic Foot. Square Inch. ____ ___ ___ 7.77 105.5 126.0 23.60 106.0 226.0 31.50 110.0 277.0 39.40 110.0 301.0 47.30 106.0 317.0 49.20 104.0 324.9 196.80 110.0 383.0 ____ ___ ___

When tested in modern burners consuming between 12 and 18 litres per hour at a pressure of 100 millimetres (4 inches), some special forms of incandescent mantles constructed of ramie fibre, which in certain respects appears to be better suited than cotton for use with acetylene, have shown the following degree of loss in illuminating power after prolonged employment (Caro):

Luminosity in Hefner Units.

Mantle. New. After After After 100 Hours. 200 Hours. 400 Hours. No. 1. 53.2 51.8 50.6 49.8 No. 2. 76.3 75.8 73.4 72.2 No. 3. 73.1 72.5 70.1 68.6

It will be seen that the maximum loss of illuminating power in 400 hours was 6.4 per cent., the average loss being 6.0 per cent.

TYPICAL INCANDESCENT BURNERS.—Of the many burners for lighting by the use of incandescent mantles which have been devised, a few of the more widely used types may be briefly referred to. There is no doubt that finality in the design of these burners has not yet been reached, and that improvements in the direction of simplification of construction and in efficiency and durability will continue to be made.

Among the early incandescent burners, one made by the Allgemeine Carbid und Acetylen Gesellschaft of Berlin in 1900 depended on the narrowness of the mixing tube and the proportioning of the gas nipple and air inlets to prevent lighting-back. There was a wider concentric tube round the upper part of the mixing tube, and the lower part of the mantle fitted round this. The mouth of the mixing tube of this 10-litres-per-hour burner was 0.11 inch in diameter, and the external diameter of the middle cylindrical part of the mixing tube was 0.28 inch. There was no gauze diaphragm or stuffing, and firing-back did not occur until the pressure was reduced to about 1.5 inches. The same company later introduced a burner differing in several important particulars from the one just described. The comparatively narrow stem of the mixing tube and the proportions of the gas nipple and air inlets were retained, but the mixing tube was surmounted by a wide chamber or burner head, in which naturally there was a considerable reduction in the rate of flow of the gas. Consequently it was found necessary to introduce a gauze screen into the burner head to prevent firing back. The alterations have resulted in the lighting duty of the burner being considerably improved. Among other burners designed about 1900 may be mentioned the Ackermann, the head of which consisted of a series of tubes from each of which a jet of flame was produced, the Fouche, the Weber, and the Trendel. Subsequently a tubular-headed burner known as the Sirius has been produced for the consumption of acetylene at high pressure (20 inches and upwards).

The more recent burners which have been somewhat extensively used include the "Schimek," made by W. Guentner of Vienna, which is shown in Fig. 19. It consists of a tapering narrow injecting nozzle within a conical chamber C which is open below, and is surmounted by the mixing tube over which telescopes a tube which carries the enlarged burner head G, and the chimney gallery D. There are two diaphragms of gauze in the burner head to prevent firing back, and one in the nozzle portion of the burner. The conical chamber has a perforated base-plate below which is a circular plate B which rotates on a screw cut on the lower part of the nozzle portion A of the burner. This plate serves as a damper to control the amount of air admitted through the base of the conical chamber to the mixing tube. There are six small notches in the lower edge of the conical chamber to prevent the inflow of air being cut of entirely by the damper. The mixing tube in both the 10-litre and the 15-litre burner is about 0.24 inch in internal diameter but the burner head is nearly 0.42 inch in the 10-litre and 0.48 inch in the 15-litre burner. The opening in the head of the burner through which the mixture of gas and air escapes to the flame is 0.15 and 0.17 inch in diameter in these two sizes respectively. The results of some testings made with Schimek burners have been already given.



The "Knappich" burner, made by the firm of Keller and Knappich of Augsburg, somewhat resembles the later pattern of the Allgemeine Carbid und Acetylen Gesellschaft. It has a narrow mixing tube, viz., 0.2 inch in internal diameter, and a wide burner head, viz., 0.63 inch in internal diameter for the 25-litre size. The only gauze diaphragm is in the upper part of the burner head. The opening in the cap of the burner head, at which the gas burns, is 0.22 inch in diameter. The gas nipple extends into a domed chamber at the base of the mixing tube, and the internal air is supplied through four holes in the base-plate of that chamber. No means of regulating the effective area of the air inlet holes are provided.

The "Zenith" burner, made by the firm of Gebrueder Jacob of Zwickau, more closely resembles the Schimek, but the air inlets are in the side of the lower widened portion of the mixing tube, and are more or less closed by means of an outside loose collar which may be screwed up and down on a thread on a collar fixed to the mixing tube. The mixing tube is 0.24 inch, and the burner head 0.475 inch in internal diameter. The opening in the cap of the burner is 0.16 inch in diameter. There is a diaphragm of double gauze in the cap, and this is the only gauze used in the burner.

All the incandescent burners hitherto mentioned ordinarily have the gas nipple made in brass or other metal, which is liable to corrosion, and the orifice to distortion by heat or if it becomes necessary to remove any obstruction from it. The orifice in the nipple is extremely small— usually less than 0.015 inch—and any slight obstruction or distortion would alter to a serious extent the rate of flow of gas through it, and so affect the working of the burner. In order to overcome this defect, inherent to metal nipples, burners are now constructed for acetylene in which the nipple is of hard incorrodible material. One of these burners has been made on behalf of the Office Central de l'Acetylene of Paris, and is commonly known as the "O.C.A." burner. In it the nipple is of steatite. On the inner mixing tube of this burner is mounted an elongated cone of wire wound spirally, which serves both to ensure proper admixture of the gas and air, and to prevent firing-back. There is no gauze in this burner, and the parts are readily detachable for cleaning when required. Another burner, in which metal is abolished for the nipple, is made by Geo. Bray and Co., Ltd., of Leeds, and is shown in Fig. 20. In this burner the injecting nipple is of porcelain.



ACETYLENE FOR HEATING AND COOKING.—Since the problem of constructing a trustworthy atmospheric burner has been solved, acetylene is not only available for use in incandescent lighting, but it can also be employed for heating or cooking purposes, because all boiling, most warming, and some roasting stoves are simply arrangements for utilising the heat of a non-luminous flame in one particular way. With suitable alterations in the dimensions of the burners, apparatus for consuming coal-gas may be imitated and made fit to burn acetylene; and as a matter of fact several firms are now constructing such appliances, which leave little or nothing to be desired. It may perhaps be well to insist upon the elementary point which is so frequently ignored in practice, viz., that no stove, except perhaps a small portable boiling ring, ought ever to be used in an occupied room unless it is connected with a chimney, free from down- draughts, for the products of combustion to escape into the outer air; and also that no chimney, however tall, can cause an up-draught in all states of the weather unless there is free admission of fresh air into the room at the base of the chimney. Still, at the prices for coal, paraffin oil, and calcium carbide which exist in Great Britain, acetylene is not an economical means of providing artificial heat. If a 0.7 cubic foot luminous acetylene burner gives a light of 27 candles, and if ordinary country coal-gas gives light of 12 to 13 candles in a 5-foot burner, one volume of acetylene is equally valuable with 15 or 16 volumes of coal-gas when both are consumed in self-luminous jets; and if, with the mantle, acetylene develops 99 candles per cubic foot, while coal-gas gives in common practice 15 to 20 candles, one volume of acetylene is equally valuable with 5 to 6-1/2 volumes of coal-gas when both are consumed on the incandescent system; whereas, if the acetylene is burnt in a flat flame, and the coal-gas under the mantle, 1 volume of the former is equally efficient with 2 volumes of coal-gas as an artificial illuminant. This last method of comparison being manifestly unfair, acetylene may be said to be at least five times as efficient per unit of volume as coal-gas for the production of light. But from the table given on a later page it appears that as a source of artificial heat, acetylene is only equal to about 2-3 times its volume of ordinary coal-gas. Nevertheless, the domestic advantages of gas firing are very marked; and when a properly constructed stove is properly installed, the hygienic advantages of gas-firing are alone equally conspicuous—for the disfavor with which gas-firing is regarded by many physicians is due to experience gained with apparatus warming principally by convection [Footnote: Radiant heat is high-temperature heat, like the heat emitted by a mass of red-hot coke; convected heat is low-temperature heat, invisible to the eye. Radiant heat heats objects first, and leaves them to warm the air; convected heat is heat applied directly to air, and leaves the air to warm objects afterwards. On all hygienic grounds radiant heat is better than convected heat, but the latter is more economical. By an absurd and confusing custom, that particular warming apparatus (gas, steam, or hot water) which yields practically no radiant heat, and does all its work by convection, is known to the trade as a "radiator."] instead of radiation; or to acquaintance with intrinsically better stoves either not connected to any flues or connected to one deficient in exhausting power. In these circumstances, whenever an installation of acetylene has been laid down for the illumination of a house or district, the merit of convenience may outweigh the defect of extravagance, and the gas may be judiciously employed in a boiling ring, or for warming a bedroom; while, if pecuniary considerations are not paramount, the acetylene may be used for every purpose to which the townsman would apply his cheaper coal-gas.

The difficulty of constructing atmospheric acetylene burners in which the flame would not be likely to strike back to the nipple has already been referred to in connexion with the construction atmospheric burners for incandescent lighting. Owing, however, to the large proportions of the atmospheric burners of boiling rings and stove and in particular to the larger bore of their mixing tube, the risk of the flame striking back is greater with them, than with incandescent lighting burners. The greatest trouble is presented at lighting, and when the pressure of the gas-supply is low. The risk of firing-back when the burner is lighted is avoided in some forms of boiling rings, &c., by providing a loose collar which can be slipped over the air inlets of the Bunsen tube before applying a light to the burner, and slipped clear of them as soon as the burner is alight. Thus at the moment of lighting, the burner is converted temporarily into one of the non-atmospheric type, and after the flame has thus been established at the head or ring of the burner, the internal air-supply is started by removing the loose collar from the air inlets, and the flame is thus made atmospheric. In these conditions it does not travel backwards to the nipple. In other heating burners it is generally necessary to turn on the gas tap a few seconds before applying a light to the burner or ring or stove; the gas streaming through the mixing tube then fills it with acetylene and air mixed in the proper working proportions, and when the light is applied, there is no explosion in the mixing tube, or striking-back of the flame to the nipple.

Single or two-burner gas rings for boiling purposes, or for heating cooking ovens, known as the "La Belle," made by Falk Stadelmann and Co., Ltd., of London, may be used at as low a gas pressure as 2 inches, though they give better results at 3 inches, which is their normal working pressure. The gas-inlet nozzle or nipple of the burner is set within a spherical bulb in which are four air inlets. The mixing tube which is placed at a proper distance in front of the nipple, is proportioned to the rate of flow of the gas and air, and contains a mixing chamber with a baffling pillar to further their admixture. A fine wire gauze insertion serves to prevent striking-back of the flame. A "La Belle" boiling ring consumes at 3 inches pressure about 48 litres or 1.7 cubic feet of acetylene per hour.

ACETYLENE MOTORS.—The question as to the feasibility of developing "power" from acetylene, i.e., of running an engine by means of the gas, may be answered in essentially identical terms. Specially designed gas-engines of 1, 3, 6, or even 10 h.p. work perfectly with acetylene, and such motors are in regular employment in numerous situations, more particularly for pumping water to feed the generators of a large village acetylene installation. Acetylene is not an economical source of power, partly for the theoretical reason that it is a richer fuel even than coal-gas, and gas-engines would appear usually to be more efficient as the fuel they burn is poorer in calorific intensity, i.e., in heating power (which is explosive power) per unit of volume. The richer, or more concentrated, any fuel in, the more rapidly does the explosion in a mixture of that fuel with air proceed, because a rich fuel contains a smaller proportion of non-inflammable gases which tend to retard explosion than a poor one; and, in reason, a gas-engine works better the more slowly the mixture of gas and air with which it is fed explodes. Still, by properly designing the ports of a gas-engine cylinder, so that the normal amount of compression of the charge and of expansion of the exploded mixture which best suit coal-gas are modified to suit acetylene, satisfactory engines can be constructed; and wherever an acetylene installation for light exists, it becomes a mere question of expediency whether the same fuel shall not be used to develop power, say, for pumping up the water required in a large country house, instead of employing hand labour, or the cheaper hot-air or petroleum motor. Taking the mean of the results obtained by numerous investigators, it appears that 1 h.p.-hour can be obtained for a consumption of 200 litres of acetylene; whence it may be calculated that that amount of energy costs about 3d. for gas only, neglecting upkeep, lubricating material (which would be relatively expensive) and interest, &c.

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