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TE would be burning peat conducting a series of experiments along
instead of coal were it the same line, and with a considerable not for its excessive wet- degree of success. Canada has special ness. As it comes from reason to be interested in the possibility
the bog it has from eighty of a substitute fuel, for while she has to ninety per cent of water in it, and to immense coal deposits they are at the dry out to less than twenty-five per cent extreme east and the extreme west, leavhas been the long-standing difficulty of ing the middle provinces largely dependthe peat-fuel producers. They have been ent, for both domestic and industrial fuel, experimenting, in both the United States upon the American supply. At the same and Canada, for several years, and now, time, she has great stretches of peat bog, after many failures and half-successes, and the utilization of these is therefore they have pretty nearly solved the prob- a thing most practical and desirable.
In 1909 a demonstration plant was esRecent investigations have been con- tablished at Alfred, Ontario, forty miles ducted chiefly under government au- from Ottawa, where there is an immense spices. The United States Geological peat bog of several hundred acres, averSurvey is making a thorough study of aging eight feet in depth. At the same the peat resources of various states, in time a fuel testing station, equipped with the hope that a practical fuel may be modern machinery and appliances, was found that will be at least a partial sub- built in Ottawa. Both works were stitute for coal. In Canada the Mines opened in the early part of the following Department of the Federal government year, and for two summers peat-fuel has has for the past two or three years been been made at the Alfred plant and tested
at the station in Ottawa. The purpose ers. In 1911 the cost of transportation was, not to initiate a peat-fuel industry and distribution ran a little higher, and on a commercial scale, but merely to the price to private users was $3.80, addemonstrate the suitability of the Euro- mittedly a bit too high for the grade of pean methods to conditions in America, fuel. In the face of high freight rates and to show that a good and serviceable the process of manufacture must be fuel from the numerous bog-lands is en- somewhat cheapened before peat fuel can tirely possible.
be used as a really economical substitute One of the wrong theories on which for coal. some of the earlier experiments were The tests of the fuel at the government based was that the moisture
station during both years have could be taken out of the peat
been very satisfactory. As by pressure. The spongy :
compared with coal, it was nature of the bogs
found that 1.8 tons of peat suggested the idea
were equal in heat that they held the
value to one ton of water much as
anthracite, sponges do,
and as a powand that, like
er producer sponges, their
two - and -a. raw material
half pounds could be
of it fursqueezed dry.
nished one But it was
horsepowerfound that A TYPE OF PEAT EXCAVATOR. ELECTRICALLY DRIVEN, IN USE IN
hour as there was a ONTARIO, CANADA.
against one very great
and a hali difference: peat holds water not as a sop pounds of soft coal. An Ottawa house
but as a very part and parcel of its make- holder who had been accustomed to burn. up. Pressing it dry had to be abandoned. ing eleven tons of anthracite during the
Next came various attempts to steam- winter stocked fifteen tons of peat indry it. Machines that were really inge- stead, and it carried him through. The nious were fitted up, one of them com- coal cost him $7.50 a ton, and the peat prising a revolving drum in which the $3.25. To make as good a showing as powdered peat was subjected to a high this, however, the peat must be of numsteam-heated temperature. Drying it out ber-one quality and well dried. It is on heated cylinders was also attempted. best adapted to open-fire grates and Good fuel was obtained from all these cooking stoves, but if rightly used it will processes, but the cost of operation was give very good results also in furnaces. such that none of them could be carried It burns brightly and cleanly, leaving a on economically.
fine ash which is of some value as a land Air-drying was left as at once the fertilizer. simplest and the most successful method. Tests were also made for producer Five miles of ditches were dug on the gas. If bogs and marshes give out gas Alfred bog, to drain it, field tracks were in their natural state, why should not laid, and a peat machine was installed. bog peat yield a gas of some commercial In the summer of 1910 peat was made value? A retorting plant was equipped during a period of fifty days, though av- at the Ottawa fuel station and a thorerage weather conditions will permit a ough test made, with peat of seventy-five manufacturing period of twice that per cent moisture, chemically treated. length. In the fifty days some sixteen The results were carefully tabulated, and hundred tons of peat-fuel were produced, in general they were these: peat will about half of which was sold for private produce a gas of about the same calorific use and for official testing. One ton of value as coal gas, but not economically. the manufactured fuel cost $2.25 ; landed One ton of peat produces 8,650 cubic in Ottawa it cost from $3.25 to $3.50, at feet of gas, and the time required to which figures it was sold to household- retort it was five times more than for
coal. As a byproduct, however, peat gas the local markets with a home-made fuel. is practicable, and in Austria and Russia A plant like that at Alfred, with a cait is used for lighting in plants where pacity of some thirty tons a day, can be peat coke is made.
erected for about $7,000. In the way of byproducts also, moss That this is a practicable suggestion, so litter and peat mull have a commercial far at least as central Canada is convalue, the latter being shipped from Hol- cerned, is apparent from the fact that land to the United States at about six- there are known to be in the provinces of teen dollars a ton. It is used as a fruit Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba areas of packing.
peat bog totaling 36,000 square miles, The method of manufacture adopted with an estimated possible production of at the Alfred demonstration plant is sim- 28,000,000,000 tons of air-dried peat
steam, is set up on the bog, and the raw ferent parts of the country have been peat is carried to it by a conveyor di- carefully examined and delimited by the rectly from the digging. It granulates, government's expert, and one of these, presses, and moulds the peat, and empties in Simcoe County, Ontario, covers over it out into dumping cars in the form of 16,000 acres, is free of trees, and is estirough bricks. These peat bricks are then mated to be capable of producing 9,000,spread on the ground to dry, the rest 000 tons of fuel. The prairie provinces of the process, save for an occasional also have great areas of bog which could turning, being left to the sun and wind. be developed with very great advantage That is all there is to it. It is a matter to a country that needs fuel and that chiefly of good out-door ventilation, for must otherwise bring it in from long the wind is a better drying agent than distances. As a matter of fact, there is the sun.
enough incipient fuel in Canada's bogs But while artificial drying has been and swamps to make middle provinces found to be impractical, machine digging practically independent of the coal-dealis believed to be the secret of a further ers: what yet remains to be done as a cheapening of cost. If the peat must be preliminary is to put the peat-fuel procdried by simple weather process, it must ess on a commercial basis by a little be dug by some quicker and cheaper further cheapening. This seems now to method than hand labor. A machine ex be within reach. The government tests cavator has been made that is driven by have been educational and demonstratelectrical power, slices off the bog-soil ive, and they are to be followed during and throws it, in powder form, to one the present year by private development side, where it partially dries and is then on a business basis. gathered up for the press. In this way still newer and possibly better procthe cost of manufacture can be reduced ess of peat-fuel manufacture has been at least fifty cents a ton.
discovered in Sweden. It is a process of The Canadian Mines Department has wet-carbonizing the peat, by which it is proved it by its two years' tests that bog claimed that continuous manufacture can peat can be converted into an effective be carried on, independent of air-drying. substitute for coal, for both domestic and The Swedish government has made an power purposes. It has found, however, appropriation for further experimenting, that to be made economically it must be and the results will be awaited in this made near at hand, and the transporta- country with interest. tion to great distances of air-dried peat If Canada can dry out her bogs and fuel is not recommended. What is ad- burn them, as it seems likely that she vised instead is that plants be erected will soon be able to do, it will be one of at convenient points to serve their im- the best pieces of nature-taming up to mediate communities, it being entirely date. And it will be a welcome antidote
erate in this way and profitably to supply
VEN within the egg the life synchronous with the rhythmic beating actions of the embryo trout may of the heart. From this heart, the blood be seen. It is a marvelous reve- purified and in readiness to sustain the lation of the circulation of blood animal is carried throughout the entire
that is shown by focusing upon organism. To aërate the blood there the egg sack. The radiating fins possess must be a constant supply of oxygenated a network through which, under a high water and astonishing is the provision power objective, the oval corpuscles are that nature has made for this. seen to rush with great speed. They The director of a fish hatchery who gather at the lower edge of the egg sack supplied the eggs shown in the photointo one great channel or river. Then graphs gave instructions to keep a current this current may be readily watched as of water on all sides of the eggs, above it passes to the heart, of which the two as well as below, and he advised that parts—the auricle and the ventricle— they be suspended on wire netting in a alternately contract and suggest to the current, and the question naturally arose, observer the thought of the walking beam How does the egg utilize this oxygenated of a steamer. From the heart the current water? The microscope explains the may be traced to the gills each chamber miracle. Within the egg is a small of which stands as a dome-shaped recep- amount of water that is kept flowing over tacle. Around the top on the inside rush the gills by the steady action of the pecthese corpuscles in a series of pulsations toral fins. These fins may be seen work
the oxygenated liquid undoubtedly passes of the blood has been shown to biological by osmosis.
classes in the web of a frog's foot or the In all the realm of nature there has tail of a fish. These objects have become never been found so complete a biolog- classical and indeed they are marvelous, ical machine.
but they in no way approach the imAfter a few weeks in this current of pressiveness, the feeling of awe induced water the embryos burst their shell and in the observer's mind by the tiny trout's for a few days their life action may be manifestation of some of life's pheseen even better than before, but for nomena.