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Book Chapter

The development of the manufactured gas industry in Europe

By
Russell Thomas
Russell Thomas
WSP, Kings Orchard, 1 Queen St, Bristol BS2 0HQ, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2018

Abstract

The manufactured gas industry was one of the great technological innovations of the industrial revolution. Whilst it was developed in Great Britain, this was not in isolation, and required the input of many European engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs for its success. Although the innovation of making inflammable gas for lighting may now seem quite simple, it brought considerable change to society. Initially, gas was used for lighting, replacing candles and oil lamps, greatly improving safety within factories by reducing the occurrence of fires. The concerns over street crime and the potential benefits of brighter gas street lights were key factors in its wider uptake. Lighting was its primary use for the first 70 years. As competition emerged from electricity, the gas industry found new markets in heat and power. Gas manufacturing also produced a range of by-products which were later found to have some very useful properties and became important feedstocks to the chemical industry. Manufactured gas was the first integrated utility energy network and its success in Britain led to a rapid spread across Europe. Since its demise and replacement by natural gas, it has left a shared but unique legacy in each country.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

History of the European Oil and Gas Industry

J. Craig
J. Craig
Eni Upstream & Technical Services, Italy
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F. Gerali
F. Gerali
University of Oklahoma, USA
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F. MacAulay
F. MacAulay
Echo Energy plc, UK
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R. Sorkhabi
R. Sorkhabi
University of Utah, USA
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Geological Society of London
Volume
465
ISBN electronic:
9781786203656
Publication date:
January 01, 2018

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