Walkinshaw Oil Co.'s Experiments in Oil-Firing., 1885

type: Technology - innovations

The Glasgow Herald,
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Walkinshaw Oil Co.'s Experiments in Oil-Firing.

With an ever-increasing production of shale and products, the subject of using liquid oil for steam-producing purposes is being more and more into consideration. Mineral oil producers sometime back have experienced great difficulty finding a market for several of their residual products which in former times were easily disposed of at fairly remunerative prices, and some of Heavy oils sold as lubricants and batching oils to be considered very much in the light residuals owing to the prices that are current. In these circumstances it is felt to be desirable home outlets should be discovered to take up a surplus of oils,

As one means of utilising, that of gas-making may be mentioned. Heavy oils are admirably adapted for this, the plant being much more simple and restricted than that required for the usual coal gas manufacture, and the oil can be handled much more easily in every way. No doubt the rate at which gas can be supplied from coal does not leave at present a very the price for the oils; still the plan provides a way out for the surplus, and even at low rates leaves better prices for the portion required as lubricants and batching oils. Another means is to use these residual oils as a fuel.

Most oil works have a number of years past have, either in one form or other, been using their acid tars as fuel, and with more or less success The Walkinshaw Company have all along since its formation been doing so; it is only within the year that they have arrived at what is considered a most complete system for utilising liquid fuels. This is done by means of a patent injector burner, adapted to the different conditions, and by the aid of which it is possible to burn tars or oils for oil distilling or steam-raising under any form of still or boiler.

The success of the Walkinshaw Company in this line has just led them to adopt the plan on their works' locomotive, which they are now running under steam raised by what is known as creosote or torch oil. A small tank set on the top of the water tank holds the supply of oil which is conveyed by a pipe to the injector, and forced into the furnace, by steam. The result is a simple means of stoking; the driver, with a stop-valve at his hand, can regulate the supply exactly either by cutting off or turning on. The body of the furnace remain quite clean, and will, it is said, wear very much longer than is the usual experience, as there is no friction from ashes passing through them. Then there is little or no smoke and there are no red-hot ashes sent flying through the air, and which now prove a dangerous fire element, The quantity of oil used in a day of fully 12 hours' hard and constant work is 12cwt., as against about three times that quantity of good . sharp coal. The locomotive can so fired take a load of 50 tons up a gradient of 1 in 23, and maintain steam pressure all the way. The system is considered a great success, and is well worthy of consideration of all in any way interested in steam locomotion.

The Glasgow Herald, 12th August 1885


Shipping World directs the attention of the shipping trade to the importance of using mineral oil instead of coal on board ship for steam raising purposes. The Walkinshaw Oil Company, it says, sell oil for fuel at 25as a ton at Glasgow and "this oil is found to possess an evaporative efficiency of about 3 to 1 as compared with coal, which costs at Glasgow from 6s to 8s a ton. Oil is therefore cheaper fuel than coal, for the obvious reason that by use of liquid fuel cargo space will be largely saved, and many charges incidental to coal will be saved. Steamship owners can well afford to pay more for oil weight for weight then for coal., Even were coal-owners to lower their charges, the result would simply be that oil for land furnaces would be ruled out of court, but for steamers it would continue to be a profitable and advantageous fuel." The World states that the Glasgow and Londonderry Steam Packet Company have fitted up the Fern with oil tanks and piping, and as a result of several trials are satisfied that the new fuel will prove advantageous in many ways.

The Glasgow Herald, 16th December 1885