BURNING BRICK, TILE, ETC., WITH CRUDE OIL.
In the burning of brick, tile, etc., with natural gas, the prin cipal obstacle to be overcome was the tendency of the tubes carrying the fuel to become choked at the outer end, where they came in contact with the heat: by the escape of the more volatile substance and the deposit of the solid matter in the pipe. To obviate this, it was proposed to throw the petroleum into the arches in the form of spray. To accomplish this, two methods have been proposed, compressed air and super-heated steam. Either will produce the effect, and with proper care a good burn may be obtained ; but it is observed that when air is the spraying agent a portion of the carbon is deposited under the arch, in the form of solid gas carbon, while no such thing occurs when steam is employed. Why this difference? It will be found in the different chemical compositions of the two agents. Air is only about one-fifth oxygen, and when it has contributed enough to burn the hydrogen of the petroleum and a portion of the carbon, the oxygen is exhausted and the un burnt carbon is deposited—a lost material. On the other hand, steam, being atomized water, is eight-ninths oxygen by weight, and as soon as it strikes the burning hydrogen of the petroleum, both in the form of spray, the hydrogen is detached from the oxygen to join that of the petroleum, and the oxygen is liberated, and proves sufficient for the perfect combustion of all the carbon ; hence none is deposited.
Mr. Chas. S. Purington, of Chicago, Ill., commenced to use petroleum as a fuel in the dry-houses, and so successful did the experiment prove that no other fuel has since been used by him for drying brick.
The Dye dryer was the one employed by Mr. Purington, and the fuel used prior to petroleum was coke, which, including labor of running the dryers, and handling the coke and ashes, cost about 37 cents per thousand ; but by the use of the petroleum the cost of drying was reduced to 20 cents per thousand brick, including all labor that is incident to the drying of brick.
The time necessary to dry the brick was reduced by the use of oil as fuel from 10 hours to 8 hours, this saving of time being of itself a great advantage, as the output of the works could be increased 20 per cent. without any increase in the drying capacity.
Mr. Purington, speaking of the use of petroleum as a fuel in a paper read before the Indiana Tile and Drainage Association, said : " This expriment with our dryers proving so successful, the question arose, 'Why not burn brick with oil?' We spoke with several fuel oil experts as to the feasibility of so doing, but they all thought it could not be done without permanent kilns, which we did not have. Unmindful, however, of their apprehensions and our own fears, we determined to try it. As a result of bad burns with wood and coal, we had in our yards quite a number of salmon brick ; of these we made a small kiln of three arches, adjusted our burners as seemed best, turned on our oil, and at the expiration of 36 hours we had converted the salmon brick into good, hard, merchantable material. We then made a three-arch kiln of green brick, and burned it in 62 hours. These brick were very good, but there were a few swelled brick in the centre of the kiln. I thought at the time it was caused by not drying off long enough, but since then I have concluded it was caused by putting coal screenings into the brick, as we were obliged to do in burning with wood and coal, but we have not used any more screenings since we commenced using oil. We have since then burned one six-arch and one eight-arch kiln, both of which were very successful.
" The cost of burning was from 35 to 50 cents a thousand cheaper than by the old method.
" The brick were better than ever before burnt in our yard, and the waste was almost nothing.
"The burners used on the first two kilns were the Smith & Spaulding, and the Hildreth on the last two.