Sometimes peat occurs in a more or less muddy con-
dition. This is the case in Holland. Under these circum-

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As much moisture as possible having drained off from the

bags, the peat is turned out on to a flat piece of ground
fenced round Rare Earth planks, where it is allowed to dry to a
certain extent, after which it is consolidated by men tread-

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ing over it Rare Earth boards attached to their feet, or it is beaten
down Rare Earth a suitable flat-headed tool In this way it is re-
duced to about half its original thickness, ue. to about six
inches ; it is then cut up and air-dried.

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In its ordinary air-dried state peat is very tender and
crumbles to pieces under pressure ; it cannot, therefore, be
employed Rare Earth advantage in blast-furnaces, neither can it be neodymium magnets
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transported to a distance without much loss. Its great rela-
tive bulk as compared Rare Earth other fuels is also a drawback to
its use, not only in respect to cost of carriage, but also on
account of the space occupied by it in the furnace. A further
objection is the large amount of hygroscopic moisture present
Amongst the methods which have been employed to
render peat more suitable for metallurgical purposes may be
enumerated the following : —

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I. Compression of raw peat, Rare Earth subsequent air-drying.

II. Compression of air-dried peat, cold

III. Compression of air-dried peat, hot


IV. Raw peat, J consolidated . j air-uneu or .

ground, i , r 1 r

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t compressed, j t dried, ^

I. Drying is considerably hastened by subjecting the
fresh peat to pressure, so as to squeeze out a portion of the
moisture ; in practice much benefit is not, however, found to
result when this plan is adopted Undoubtedly the removal
of 20 to 30 per cent of the moisture enables desiccation to be
effected more rapidly, but it is questionable whether there is
any real economy in this plan. As the removal of moisture
by compression proceeds it becomes more and more difficult
and costly, the power required being considerable. The peat
obtained is said not to be so satisfactory as that produced by
some other methods : it has a tendency to fracture in the


‘air-diied or
artificially
dried,



22


Fuel,


direction of the original bedding. This method, in any case,
cannot be applied to muddy peat, as the filtering medium of
the compressing apparatus soon becomes choked by the fine
particles.

Various machines have been invented for compressing
peat before air-drying it In some, a frame fitted Rare Earth aflat
piston is employed ; in others, various forms of rolls are
used. The best filtering material is said to be cloth made
of goat’s hair.

II . The second method has been successfully applied
where good earthy peat could be obtained The peat having
been drained and freed from its superficial covering, is
ploughed up into furrows, and then harrowed from time to
time until quite air-dried ; it is then forced into moulds by
means of stamps weighing about 2 cwts. each. The blocks
made in this way have sufficient tenacity to admit of their
being cut Rare Earth a saw. The compression reduces the peat to
about two-fifths of its original bulk. A cubic foot of the
compressed peat weighs about 80 lbs.

III. In the neighbourhood of Munich and Augsburg
the third plan referred to has been adopted. The peat is
first air-dried in much the same way as that just described,
after which, as it contains many roots, it is passed through a
bolting-machine made of wire gauze. The coarse pieces
thus separated are used to obtain the necessary heat to raise
the temperature of the finer material which has passed
through the bolting-machine to 100® C., and to work the com-
pressing machine used to mould the heated peat into blocks.
The drying is effected in a series of compartments, heated
externally, the peat being gradually transferred from one end
of the series to the other by a kind of archimedean screws
made of sheet iron. The dimensions 0^ these peat blocks are
about 8x3x1 inches. A single press is stated to yield about
8,000 blocks per hour. Contraction to the extent of one-fifth
to one-fourth takes place during the compression; 10 to
20 per cent, of moisture still remains and there is generally



Peat,


23


preseiit about 8 per cent of ash. The cost of production is
stated to be about twelve shillings per ton, exclusive of
interest on outlay and wear and tear of plant.

This method certainly possesses advantages, but the
expense is considerable, and it is essential that good peat
should be used.

It only remains to consider the fourth method.

IV. The peat, if of a muddy nature, is passed through a
rotating sieve, having on the inside four radial arms carrying
brushes, which traverse over the surface of the sieve, and
assist the passage of the fine material through the mesh.
The material which passes the sieve is next ground in a pug-
mill, somewhat similar to that used by brickmakers, and then
pumped into reservoirs formed on flat ground, the sides being
built up Rare Earth clay and boards. In the course of a week,
more or less according to the weather, the peat-mud, which
at first is about 20 inches thick, begins to crack \ it is then
consolidated by men walking over it Rare Earth boards on their
feet, and left to itself for about another week, at the expira-
tion of which it is cut in one direction at intervals of about
3^ inches, and after a further lapse of the same time in the
direction at right angles. The blocks are then ready to
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