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The specimens are mostly in a clayey layer, which is full of fragments of all degrees of perfection; in one specimen I count ten heads and three tails, all in a fair state of preservation. In two instances, I have found the casts of maxiliary plates, showing distinctly the elevated margin, of one of which I give a figure. The original specimens were collected, (at High Bridge, near Reeseville, N. Y.,) in August, 1856, while on a geological excursion with Col. Jewett of Albany, but were not recognized until July, 1857, when a second visit to the locality secured a few casts in the solid sandstone, none of the clay layer being obtained. By the kindness of Prof. Dana, the specimens were presented at the Am. Assoc. for Adv. of Sci. at Montreal, but were not recognized as belonging to any known species. Since that time, I have looked for descriptions, but cannot find any to correspond. At the same locality, I also procured the cast, a Pleurotomaria, and one of what seems to have been a plate from the stem of a crinoid. New Haven, June 15th, 1860.
Note by E. Billings.-Mr. Bradley having favored me with a view of his very interesting specimens, I think there can be no doubt but that they belong to the genus Conocephalites. If this reference be correct, then we have at least three, if not four species in North America.
1. C. antiquatus (Salter,) described from “a cast in a brown sandstone, said to be a bouldered fragment from Georgia.” (See Quart. Jour. Geol. Soc., vol. xv, p. 554.)
2. C. minutus (Bradley.) In this species, the form of the glabella and its proportions in relation to the length of the head are almost precisely the same as in C. antiquatus, and yet I think the two are not identical, for the following reasons: In the first place, all the specimens of C minutus are of a nearly uniform size, the length of the head being about two lines, and, therefore, it seems probable that they are the remains of adult individuals. The total length would thus be about half an inch, while Mr. Salter's species is full one inch and three-fourths. In the second place, the distance of the eye from the glabella, in C. antiquatus is only one-third the width of the glabella, but in C. mi. nutus it must be at least one-half the width. These are the only differences that can be well made out, from the imperfect specimens, but they seem to me sufficient to indicate two species. Mr. Salter says further, that the lobes of the glabella in C. antiquatus are very obscure, and that the ocular ridge, if any existed, must have been very slight. His specimen was somewhat abraded. In C. minutus the ocular ridge is, for so small a species, very strongly defined, and the glabellarfurrows are so deep that it would require a very considerable amount of abrasion to obliterate them. 3. C. Zenkeri, (n. sp.) This is a new species recently discovered in the magnesian limestone near Quebec. It will probably be described in the next No. of the Canadian Naturalist and Geologist. 4. There is in the collection of the geological survey of Canada, a plaster cast of the surface of a fragment of rock which holds four specimens of a trilobite, each about the size of C. antiquatus. They appear to me to belong to the genus Conocepha- . lites. The original specimen was collected in Newfoundland, in the same slate that holds Paradoacides Bennettii (Salter.) and I am informed that it is in the possession of a gentleman who lives somewhere in the United States, but whose name or place of residence, I have not been able to ascertain. Of the above four species, Mr. Bradley's is at present the most important as it fixes indisputably, at least one point in the geological range of the genus on this side of the Atlantic. In Europe, Conocephalites has not been found out of the primordial zone of Barrande, but the Quebec and Keeseville specimens show that here it reaches the Lower Silurian. Montreal, July 25th, 1860.
ART. XXV.-On the Combustion of Wet Fuel, in the Furnace of Moses Thompson; by B. SILLIMAN, Jr., Prof. Gen. and App. Chem. in Yale College. *
[Read before the Am. Assoc. for the Adv. of Sci., at Newport, August, 1860.]
IN all ordinary modes of combustion, it is well known that the use of wet fuel is attended with a very great loss of heat, rendered latent in the conversion of water into steam. As the most perfectly air dried wood still contains about 25 per centum of water, according to the experiments of Rumford, the term wet fuel might seem appropriate to all fuels, but mineral coal and charcoal. But technically, this term is restricted to substances like peat and those residual products of the arts which, like spent tan, begasse and dye stuffs contain at least one half and often more than half of their weight of water. Until a recent period the attempt to consume these products as sources of heat has been attended with uneconomical results, or total failure. It is the object of this paper to describe a mode of combustion in which by a modification in the form of the furnace the combustion of wet fuel is not only rendered consistent with the best economical results; but which as it involves chemical reactions never before, it is believed, successfully applied for such
of. is deserving of particular notice from a scientific as well as from a practical point of view. It is a well established fact in chemistry, that the affinity of carbon for oxygen, at high temperatures is so strong, that if oxygen is not present in a free state, any compound containing oxygen, which happens to be present is decomposed, in order to satisfy this affinity. This fact is well illustrated in the familiar case of the Blast Furnace where this affinity is employed to deprive the ores of iron of their oxygen in the process of reduction to metallic iron. In the first stages of combustion, in wet fuels, the chief products given off are steam from the drying of the wet mass, smoke or volatilized carbon and oxyd of carbon, with, of course, a variable proportion of carbonic acid and carburetted hydrogen. These products in all ordinary furnaces, pass on together into the stack, carrying with them the heat which they have absorbed and rendered latent. The problem presented is then to recover the heat thus locked up and lost, and by the furnace now under consideration this is accomplished by Shutting off almost entirely the access of the outer air and causing the wet fuel to supply its own supporter of combustion drawn from the decomposition of the vapor of water at a high temperature by its reaction with free carbon and the oacyd of carbon. The practical solution of this problem was first successfully accomplished, as appears from a decision of Patent Commissioner Holt, by the late Moses Thompson, in 1854. The controversial questions growing out of this invention, are entirely foreign to our present purpose and in no way affect its practical or scientific value. Suffice it to say, in passing, that we find in this invention another instance of a truth already so often signalized in the history of inventions, that important results are often obtained, of the highest value in promoting material prosperity and the welfare of society, by those who are guided in their search only by the result in view, and not by any exact knowledge of the scientific principles involved. ' Mr. Thompson seems to have been inspired with the conviction that if he could bring the products from the combustion of wet fuel together in a place, hot enough for the purpose, and from which the atmospheric air was excluded, they would, as he expresses it in his patent, mutually “consume each other.” This notion was réalized, and the reaction secured between the elements of water and the carbon of smoke, or the oxyd of carbon in a part of the furnace called by the inventor, the mixing chamber. Wherever that place may be situated, or however constructed, the one essential thing about it, is, that it should be a very hot place, and one to which the atmospheric air can have no direct access, until it has passed by, and through the burning fuel. It is in fact a retort or place for combination and reaction, and may be a distinct chamber or flue, or only a recess or enlargement greater or less of the main furnace. Wherever it may be placed, or however built, it must meet the essential conditions of a high temperature, and of atmospheric isolation. In this mixing chamber, then, the important chemical reaction before insisted on, must be set up. The vapor of water is decomposed, furnishing its oxygen to the highly heated carbon to form carbonic acid, while the oxyd of carbon is in like manner exalted to the same condition, and any excess of carbon forms with free hydrogen, marsh gas or light carburetted hydrogen. The vapor of water is thus made to give up not only its constituent elements to form new compounds with oxygen, producing in the change great heat, but a great part of the heat absorbed by the water in becoming steam is also liberated in this change of its physical and chemical condition. Moreover as all these products of combustion and of chemical reaction pass together over the bridge-wall of the furnace into a space from which atmospheric air is not excluded, it then and there happens that any free hydrogen, light carburetted hydrogen or oxyd of carbon which have previously escaped combustion, take fire and burn, yielding up their quota of heat to the general aggregate. . - o
Such is the intensity of heat in that portion of the furnace where these reactions take place that only the most solid structures of refractory fire bricks will endure it, and the color seen throughout that portion of the furnace is of the purest white.
In view of the facts already stated it is easy to understand why it is that when the reactions described are once set up, the admission of a free current of atmospheric air should immediately check the energy of the combustion and soon result in total suspension of the peculiar energy of this furnace. The air containing only one-fifth part of its bulk of oxygen gas, the active agent in combustion, the access of so large a proportion of cold air—four-fifths of which are not only indifferent but positively prejudicial from the quantity of heat it absorbs,--it happens that the temperature of the mixing chamber is rapidly reduced below the point at which carbon can decompose vapor of water and the instant that point is reached the arrival of fresh supplies of steam completes the decline of energy and the furnace commences forthwith to belch forth from its stack dense volumes of smoke and watery vapor. When in proper action not a par. ticle of smoke is visible from the stack of a furnace in which wet fuel is burning, and what is more remarkable the reactions are so evenly balanced that no wreaths of watery vapor are observed, while in the earlier stages of combustion before the proper tem. perature in the mixing chamber is reached, both these products are seen in great abundance.
DESCRIPTION OF THE FURN ACES.
1st. Furnace for combustion of wet tan, sawdust, &c.
Fig. 1, is a horizontal section of a furnace constructed according to the specifications of Thompson's first patent, (issued April 10th, 1855).
Fig. 2, is a vertical section of the same in the line a y, of figure 1.
Similar letters indicate corresponding parts in both figures.
The furnace shown in these figures has three square or oblong fire chambers, A, A, A", side by side, experience having shown that not less than three compartments are required to secure the best results in the practical working of the furnace, although in some cases two may suffice, but frequently more than three are