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PULVERIZED FUEL



BY



WILLIAM J. DICK, M. Sc




Commission of Conservation

Canada



COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
CANADA




WILLIAM J. DICK, M. Sc.



COMMITTEE ON MINERALS

DR. FRANK D. ADAMS, Chairman HON. T. A. CRERAR

MR. J. P. BABCOCK ... MR. J. F. MACKAY
HON. MARTIN BURRELL HON. ARTHUR MEIGHEN

MGR. C. P. CROQUETTE DR. HOWARD MURRAY

and the ex-officio members of the Commission who represent
the various provinces



541641 OTTAWA, 1919



T .



Commission of Conservation



Constituted tinder "The Conservation Act," 8-9 Edward VII, Chap. 27, 1909, and
amending Acts 9-1 Edward VII, Chap. 42, 1910, and 3-4
George V, Chap. 12, 1913.



Chairman:

SIR

Members:



ers: /. J ;;;.. ......

Dr. How&i/MJTftA,*>ea,nj fi^lho^sie University, Halifax, N.S.

Dr. CECIL C. JONES, M.A., Ph.D., Chancellor, University of New Brunswick,
Fredericton, N.B.

Mr. WILLIAM B. SNOWBALL, Chatham, N.B.

Hon. HENRI S. BELAND, M.D., M.P., St. Joseph-de-Beauce, Que.

Dr. FRANK D. ADAMS, Dean, Faculty of Applied Science, McGill University,

Montreal, Que.
Mgr. CHARLES P. CHOQUETTE, M.A., St. Hyacinthe, Que., Professor, Seminary of

St. Hyacinthe, and Member of Faculty, Laval University.
Mr. EDWARD GOHIER, St. Laurent, Que.

Mr. W. F. TYE, Past-president, Engineering Institute of Canada, Montreal, Que.
Dr. JAMES W. ROBERTSON, C.M.G., Ottawa, Ont.
Hon. Senator WILLIAM CAMERON EDWARDS, Ottawa, Ont.
Mr. CHARLES A. McCooL, Pembroke, Ont.

Sir EDMUND B. OSLER, M.P., Governor, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.
Mr. JOHN F. MACKAY, Toronto, Ont.

Dr. B. E. FERNOW, Dean, Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.
Dr. GEORGE BRYCE, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Man.
Dr. WILLIAM J. RUTHERFORD, B.S.A., Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, University of

Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Sask.
Dr. HENRY M. TORY, M.A., D.s.c., President, University of Alberta, Edmonton,

Alta.
Mr. JOHN PEASE BABCOCK, Assistant Commissioner of Fisheries, Victoria, B.C.

Members ex-officio:

Hon. T. A. CRERAR, Minister of Agriculture, Ottawa.

Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN, Minister of the Interior, Ottawa.

Hon. MARTIN BURRELL, Secretary of State and Minister of Mines, Ottawa.

Hon. AUBIN E. ARSENAULT, Premier, Prince Edward Island.

Hon. ORLANDO T. DANIELS, Attorney-General, Nova Scotia.

Hon. E. A. SMITH, Minister of Lands and Mines, New Brunswick.

Hon. JULES ALLARD, Minister of Lands and Forests, Quebec.

Hon. G. H. FERGUSON, Minister of Lands, Forests and Mines, Ontario.

Hon. THOMAS H. JOHNSON, Attorney-General, Manitoba.

Hon. CHARLES STEWART, Premier, Minister of Railways and Telephones, Alberta.

Hon. T. D. PATTULLO, Minister of Lands, British Columbia.

Assistant to Chairman, Deputy Head:
Mr. JAMES WHITE.



EXCHANGE



USE OF PULVERIZED FUEL



IN a country of such enormous proportions as the Dominion of Canada,
extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and northward to the
Arctic, and with its severe winters, the question of lin adequate ftjeHoipply
as a source of heat, light and power, and for use to'thfe" metallurgical indus-
tries, must always be of paramount importance.;, To'2*,|/ea~^xte<n1' ,the
requisites of power and light can be suppliea oy" the utilization of the
numerous waterfalls with which the country is so abundantly supplied.
Based upon investigations by the Commission of Conservation, the total
water-power in Canada is estimated at 18,953,000 horse-power. 1 Assuming
that, under average conditions, one horse-power-hour can be produced in
a steam plant from three pounds of coal, one-half of the 17,000,000
horse-power, if developed, would, on a basis of twelve hours a day, and
a load factor of 50 per cent, represent a saving of nearly 24,000,000 tons
of coal per year. Although hydro-electric energy will, where available, to
a great extent replace the use of coal for light and power purposes and for
certain metallurgical work, the necessary uses of coal will continue on a
large scale.

The coal deposits of Canada, in respect of quality, quantity, and
accessibility for mining purposes, compare favourably with those of other
countries. About one -sixth of the coal resources of the world is possessed
by Canada. The deposits are, however, confined to the eastern and western
portions of the Dominion, the large central market being supplied by
imported coal. Previous to the war, Nova Scotia bituminous coal was
used as far west as Montreal, while United States bituminous was sold
within the area extending from Montreal to Swift Current and Saskatoon,
Sask., the railways being the principal users of this fuel. Portions of
Manitoba and Saskatchewan are supplied with coal also from Crowsnest,
Lethbridge, Canmore, Drumheller, Edmonton, Yellowhead Pass and Souris
districts.

Eastern Canada possesses no deposits of anthracite, and, as this class
of coal is suitable for heating and domestic purposes, considerable quantities
are imported from the United States. Prior to the war, it was sold over
an area extending from Nova Scotia to Battleford, Sask., in the west. In
1913, imports exceeded 4,640,000 tons, more than double those of 1906;
thus it is apparent that the demand for anthracite is rapidly increasing,
notwithstanding the upward tendency of prices. The supply of anthracite
coal in the United States, also, is limited, and there is no Assurance that its

'Not all the water-power can be economically developed. This estimate was made by Mr. Arthur V.
White, Consulting Engineer, Commission of Conservation.

541642

965097



4 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

export to Canada will be long continued. If mined at the present rate,
the anthracite coal reserves of United States will be exhausted in about
100 years. We may, therefore, expect the price to gradually increase,
until only the wealthy can afford it. Coincidently with the rising price,
production will decrease, thus prolonging the life of the mines. Thus,
during the four-year period, 1913-16, production decreased from 91,524,922
tons in 1913 to 88,312,000 tons in 1916, or rather more than one per cent
per annum.

Of the total consumption during 1916, 45 per cent was domestic coal
and 55 peY ceri^ini^pi-ted coal, or, in other words, we imported more coal
than we produced.' 'The. importance of this fact may be more fully
rex5gn|z4ci-fiv3Jrt:it is Rallied that the value of the coal production, in
1916 $38,857,557 greatly exceeded that of any other mineral, and
amounted to nearly 22 per cent of the total mineral production of Canada
during that year. Although we have over 17 per cent of the world's re-
serve of coal, our production is small, and we import more than we produce.

It is desirable that these conditions be changed, both from the
mining and national standpoint. If the United States was unable to
export hard or soft coal to Ontario and Quebec or if they placed an embargo
on its exportation, what would happen? In the spring of 1918 we had a
slight example, when some of our educational institutions were iorced to
close their doors because of the shortage of coal, due to a temporary freight
blockade.

From the above it is evident that, before many years, Canada may
have difficulty in procuring supplies of anthracite coal from the United
States, except at a greatly increased cost; also, as we have no supplies of
this class of coal east of the Rocky mountains, we cannot supply the need
from our own resources. We arrive at the conclusion, therefore, that, to
take its place, some kind of substitute, of which we have large reserves,
must be developed.

The following conditions have to be dealt with :

(1) Domestic fuel problem in Ontario and Quebec.

(2) Imported bituminous coal used as fuel on railways and as a
source of power in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

(3) Domestic fuel problem in Prairie Provinces.

(4) Cheap power problem in Prairie Provinces.

(1) The following solutions of the domestic fuel problem in Ontario
and Quebec are suggested: (a) By the installation of by-product coke-
ovens at certain points on the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes system, the
coke being used for domestic purposes in place of anthracite coal; (6) by
the development of a peat industry, where peat deposits are near the market
for such fuel; (c) eventually, electric energy will, to a limited extent,
replace coal for heating and cooking purposes

(2) The establishment of the distribution system of the Ontario
Hydro-Electric Power Commission has been effective in largely replacing



PULVERIZED FUEL 5

imported coal as a source of power in Ontario by electric energy derived
from our water-powers. But for the work of this commission, many indus-
trial plants in Ontario would have been hampered during the war, if not
forced to shut down, for lack of power.

The economic solution of the railway fuel problem may be secured
by the electrification of our railways which, for obvious reasons, would be
undertaken step by step. So far as certain portions of the Prairie Provinces
and Western Canada are concerned, the problem may be solved by the use
of pulverized lignite or sub-bituminous coal, by the use of briquetted fuel
made from lignite or bituminous coal, and by the increased use of our
own bituminous coal, which is equal in every respect to that imported.

Consideration of this problem of importing coal requires that it be
discussed under two headings, viz. : "Anthracite Coal" and "Bituminous
Coal".

Anthracite Coal This domestic fuel is a luxury, not a necessity; the
higher grades of sub-bituminous and lignite coals can be used in its place,
and have several advantages over hard coal. In 1918-19, for the first time,
Winnipeg used western coal to a very considerable extent, and it gave
good satisfaction, notwithstanding the fact that most people were not
familiar with the manner in which it should be used.

Bituminous Coal The imported bituminous coal is used largely for
railway use, but a portion is also used for ordinary power purposes.

The value of the imports of coal into Fort William, Port Arthur, and
Manitoba ports of entry amounts to from $14,000,000 to $18,000,000
annually. This figure represents actual money that goes out of the country.
This money would otherwise be spent in developing Western Canadian
industries.

That American coal is used to such an extent, particularly by the rail-
ways, is due to the fact that the United States coal is hauled from the lake
ports to the western markets in cars which have been used for hauling grain.
This, nevertheless, curtails the markets for Canadian coals. Transporta-
tion conditions on our railways during the winter months, from September
1st to February 1st, are not desirable, because, during that period, the
railways have two superimposed peak loads, viz., the grain haul from the
west, and the coal haul from Canadian mines, which amounts to several
millions of tons. The railways must, therefore, have double the roiling
stock and equipment that would otherwise be necessary. In fact every
year there is a scarcity of cars available for the movement of grain and coal.

The problem, which must be solved, therefore, is briefly this: How
can Canadian coal be used in place of imported coal, without costing the
consumer more, and at the same tinm solve the transportation problem?
The answer to this problem and the putting of it into practice will mean
twice the number of men employed in the coal mines in the west, and, at
the same time, retaining in the country the large amount of money above
mentioned.



6 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

The coal mines of Alberta and Saskatchewan have a capacity for
producing some 15,000,000 tons of coal per annum. This fact is of
importance when it is considered that the actual production of coal in
these provinces in 1918 did not exceed 6,319,663 tons. There is no doubt,
even under existing conditions, but that the production could be increased
some 4,000,000 tons if the demand should warrant it.

The enlargement of the markets for western coal would also be the
means of reducing the price of this coal to the consumer. For example,
practically all the domestic coal-producing mines in Alberta are closed
down from March 1 to August 15, which means that the fixed charges
during this period must be borne by the coal produced during the autumn
and winter.

Actual operation shows that, in the same time, operating at 50 per
cent capacity as against 85 per cent capacity, the cost of production per
ton of coal amounted to over $1.10.

This situation could be improved by the Government carrying out
the recommendation made by the Conservation Commission* that a sup-
reme engineering authority be appointed, with full powers to prevent the
use of wasteful methods in the mining of coal ; also by the stocking of coal
during the summer months.

Under present conditions dealers will not stock coal during these
months, owing to additional costs necessary to cover carrying charges,
etc. A dealer who stocks coal also has to compete with those who deliver
direct from the cars during the winter. There are, therefore, no induce-
ments offered for stocking coal.

In order to secure a more equable distribution during the entire year,
and thus relieve the car shortage which occurs in winter, while at the same
time permit of the working of the coal mines during the summer months,
it appears desirable that special freight rates should be granted on coal
shipped eastward during this period and also that the mines should give
special summer prices for coal. The differential between the cost of
summer and winter coal should be great enough to encourage not only the
dealers to stock up, but also to induce consumers to lay in their winter
supplies.

It is of first importance also that an investigation be carried out by
the Government to determine what special processes could be applied to
the more economical use of the low-grade fuels in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

In a report, Conservation of Coal in Canada, published by the Com-
mission of Conservation, in 1911, the briquetting of the lignites of the
west was advocated to obtain the above conditions. One of the first
problems cbnsidered by the Honorary Advisory Council for Scientific
Research was the possibility of the briquetting of carbonized lignite.
Indications point towards the establishment by the Dominion Govern-
ment, in conjunction with the Governments of Saskatchewan and

'Conservation of Cool in Canada, Commission of Conservation, 1914, pp. 3-5.



PULVERIZED FUEL 7

Manitoba, of a commercial plant to demonstrate the practicability of the
process. Should the result be satisfactory, it will not only provide a
suitable fuel for the farmers in place of imported anthracite coal, but will
cause a great development of the coal-mining industry of Saskatchewan.

DISTRIBUTION OF IMPORTED COAL

As the coal-fields are situated in the eastern and western portions of
Canada, the interior portion, from Cornwall, Ont., on the east, to Swift
Current, Sask., on the west, is supplied by coal from the United States.
The central and eastern portion, comprising central and eastern Ontario,
is supplied via St. Lawrence, Lake Ontario and Niagara River ports; coal
for the west is hauled by rail to Buffalo and Lake Erie ports, whence it is
carried by water and rail to its destination. The bituminous coal is used
principally for railway and the anthracite for domestic purposes.

Table I shows the imports of coal into Ontario and Quebec. Tables II,
III and IV show the imports of coal into Fort William, Port Arthur,
Fort Frances and Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta ports of entry.

TABLE I IMPORTS







I


lituminous coa


1, in tons








1913


1914


1915


1916


1917


1918


Ontario.. .
Quebec....


10,021,334
796,401


11,874,793
1,558,792


7,938,042
1,558,792


8,696,181
1,025,220


10,196,990
2,571,806


12,091,932
3,860,721






J


Anthracite coa


, in tons








1913


1914


1915


1916


1917


1918


Ontario...
Quebec. . .


2,861,073
1,151,634


2,946,468
1,167,660


2,912,187
1,217,459


2,945,358
1,224,534


3,086,622
1,251,283


3,362,322
1,719,870



TABLE II IMPORTS OF ANTHRACITE COAL





1913


1914


1915


1916


1917


1918


Fort William
Port Arthur


294,162
167 705


376,835
205 380


316,744
146 207


194,225
86 390


378,189
121 654


386 , 109
170 315


Manitoba


17 321


29 719


22 274


37 409


21 503


12 290


Saskatchewan ....
Alberta./


43
21


111
119


- 105


40


32


1
















Totals. ..'....


479,252


612 164


485 330


318 064





















541643



8 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

TABLE III COAL IMPORTS BITUMINOUS SLACK, SUCH AS WILL PASS A I-INCH SCREEN.





1913


1914


1915


1916


1917


1918


Fort William .


41,630


91,758


136 435


152 873


179 815


214 380


Port Arthur


3,641


16,954


29,347


12 884


8 101


43 715


Fort Frances








15,440


20,680


22 477


l Manitoba


46 , 092


36,785


56 587


45 296


50 911


25 856


Saskatchewan
Alberta


340
691


298
165


174
224


697
254


91

144


562
815
















Totals


92,394


145,960


222,767


227,444


259,742


307,805



TABLE IV COAL IMPORTS BITUMINOUS ROUND AND RUN-OF-MINE, AND COAL N.O.P.





1913


1914


1915


1916


1917


1918


Fort William


1,568,936


1,966,458


897,470


915,471


1,095,128


1 500 034


Port Arthur


961,722


1,002,368


641 , 293


697,239


860 149


779 314


Fort Frances








46,638


50,345


83 812


1 Manitoba


69,011


23,434


46,898


65,351


47,737


378 199


Saskatchewan
Alberta


1,823
59


2,803
118


460
499


334
567


223
67


298
115
















Totals . . .


2,601,551


2,995,183


1,586,620


1,725,600


2,053,649


2,742,772



The coal brought up the Great lakes is carried as return freight in
snips engaged in the ore-carrying trade. Owing to the higher wages paid
the miners and higher transportation charges, industries in Canada
dependent on United States coal are handicapped. The increase of prices
will tend to increase the distribution of Canadian coal farther east and make
possible the development of uses for inferior coal.

The most important users of imported coal are the railways and
transportation companies.

RAILWAY FUEL

One of the most important factors in locomotive haulage is that of a
suitable and economic fuel. The extent to which coal is thus used in
Canada is shown by the following table: 2



Year


Tons of coal


Cost


1912..


7,783,736


$24,160,823


1913


9,263,984


28,426,355


1914


8,547,675


26,710,758


1915


6,903,418


20,889,055


1916 . .


8,995,123


27,961,186


1917 ,


10,130,799


36,784,642


1918


10,173,344


52,630 430









J Probably a considerable portion was all-rail coal via Emerson and Gretna, Man.
^Railway Statistics, Department of Railways and Canals, 1918, p. xxx.



PULVERIZED FUEL 9

The tonnage of coal used annually on railways in Canada is equiva"
lent to nearly 68 per cent of our total coal production for same period.
In 1918 the coal production of Canada was 14,977,926 tons, while in
the same year the railways consumed 10,173,344 tons of coal. In
addition, 52,507,528 gallons of fuel-oil was used as locomotive fuel.
The oil was imported from the United States and represented the equiva-
lent of 312,545 tons of coal.

The development of fuel-oil, for use on railways and steamships, has
resulted from the discovery of large oil-fields in California. Oil fuel has
many advantages over coal, but its use or non-use will largely depend
upon whether it is the most economical fuel under the circumstances.
Railway companies have adopted it, not on account of any compulsion
on the part of the Government, but from business considerations. On
account of the ease with which it can be loaded into boats and fired, and
because it occupies less space than coal, thereby giving greater freight-
carrying capacity to steamships, it will be used on this class of traffic even
after its price exceeds the price of its heat-equivalent in coal.

Fuel-oil has been used to a considerable extent on railways in the
United States since its introduction in 1900. The partial exhaustion of
adjacent oil-fields has caused some of these lines to revert to coal. The
reversion will be still more evident as the increasing prices for oil offset
its advantages. The use of fuel-oil in Western Canada will depend upon
the low price of crude oil from California or other states bordering on the
Pacific and from Mexico. With regard to this subject, David T. Day,
in The Production of Petroleum in 19 13 1 , states: "In California the
railways were the first to absorb large quantities of California oils. This
legitimate use has become permanent from lack of other fuel, and it has
extended to other kinds of generation of power, including marine trans-
portation for shipments coastwise and to foreign countries. A serious
menace to the continued use of oil for fuel in California 2 is the recent change
in the character of the crude oils of that state. Many of the new pools
yield oils suitable for refining and for the production of large quantities
of gasolene and kerosene. Up to the beginning of 1913, about 30 per
cent of the oils of California was refined and the rest was sold for fuel, as
crude, or after very slight distillation of the lighter products. This
practice changed materially during 1913, so that the proportion of crude
oil used direct as fuel became reversed, and, although no accurate figures
are available, 70 per cent is about the proportion of crude oil which was
refined during that year, before the heavier portions were sold for fuel.
The result of this, however, will be, not to decrease the use of oil for fuel,
but to change the method of its application, particularly to the internal-
combustion engine burning kerosene and heavier distillates". It is
another significant fact that in 1915 the number of producing wells was
increased, but the average yield per well per day dropped from 47 barrels

iMineral Resources of the United States, p. 952.
"The italics are the writer's.

541643*



10 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

in 1914 to 39 barrels in 1915. Although the petroleum business in
California during 1915 was poor, and the price of oil one and one-half
cents per barrel less, this was due largely to the effects of the war. The
price, however, will increase for the above reasons, and there will be a
greater demand for it for steamship use, incident to the placing in full
operation of the Panama canal. The writer is of the opinion that, in so
far as Canadian railways are concerned, the economic advantages of
fuel-oil for locomotive use over that of Canadian coal is more favourable
now than will be the case in the future. Should this prove to be the case
the railways will, no doubt, for economic reasons, revert to the use of coal.

The coal reserves of Canada are considerable, but a large proportion
is unsuitable for use in the ordinary way as locomotive fuel. The coals
of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and portions of Alberta are lignite or sub-
bituminous, high in moisture, and cannot be used as locomotive fuel on
account of the liability of setting out fires from excessive sparking.

In 1913, the Board of Railway Commissioners issued an order 1 calling
upon the railways to equip their locomotives with fire-preventive devices,
to discontinue the use of certain grades of lignite coal on their locomotives,
and to guard against outbreaks of fire along their rights-of-way.

In so far as supplies of fuel are concerned, the eastern portion of
Saskatchewan forms the competitive area between the United States coal,
on the one hand, and the high-grade bituminous coal of the Rocky mountains
and adjacent region, on the other. It is evident, therefore, that the cost
of fuel in this portion of the province is high. On account of our large
imports of coal and fuel-oil, which, under these circumstances, are costly
fuels, anything that can be done to increase the efficiency of generating
power from coal or economically curtail the use of fuel-oil by the substitu-
tion of coal or lower-grade fuels which formerly could not be used on ac-
count of their liability of setting out fires from sparks, should be welcome.

PULVERIZED FUEL
HISTORY

Nearly a century ago pulverized coal as a fuel was experimented with,
but its application to industrial purposes really commenced in 1895, when
used in connection with the burning of cement. Its comparatively slow


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