THE PRODUCTION OF AMMONIA FROM COALby@scientificamerican

THE PRODUCTION OF AMMONIA FROM COAL

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As exemplifying to a certain extent the application of methodical research to an industrial problem, I propose to bring before you to-day an account of the work I have been engaged in for many years in relation to the procuring of new and abundant supplies of ammonia, and to investigations connected therewith. Through the classic researches of Lawes and Gilbert, who proved, in opposition to no less an authority than Liebig, that ammonia is a most valuable manure which enables us not only to maintain, but to multiply, the yield of our fields, and thus to feed on the same area a much larger number of inhabitants, the immense importance of an abundant supply of ammonia, more particularly for the Old World, with its teeming population and worn-out soil, has been apparent to every one. For many years Europe has paid to South America millions upon millions of pounds for ammonia in the shape of guano, and more recently, since the supply of guano practically ceased, for nitrate of soda, which effectually serves the same purpose as ammonia. During the past year South America exported 750,000 tons of nitrate, of which 650,000 went to Europe, representing a value of not less than 6,500,000l.
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