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Sorry, I forgot that German nouns must start with a capital letter. It's been a long time since my A levels.

 

I have no idea of the rate for a clath. Could you enlighten us please?

 

As John explained Methane clathrates of which there are humungus reserves however there might be problems with extraction as the conditions under which they exist tend to be unstable .....worth a google to wikipedia

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As John explained Methane clathrates of which there are humungus reserves however there might be problems with extraction as the conditions under which they exist tend to be unstable .....worth a google to wikipedia

I weighed up the relative reliability of Wiki and of CWFers' knowledge. That's why I asked for info on here!

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Having been on top and inside the 300 foot <waterless> holder at Battersea it's slightly sad to see it coming down at the moment.

 

A lot of the London gas holders have large patches (overplating) on the crown where Mr Hitlers bombs went through.

 

Years ago, divers went into one holder in Beckton for an internal inspection and found a skeleton of a horse and the cart still attached. (It must have fell in during construction and drowned).

 

I have fond memories of standing on top of one deflated St Pancras holder and it and me being raised up to full height when we purged it with an inert gas (CO2) via a mobile CO2 generation machine.

 

The ones I was involved with for demolition (either as person in charge or aiding) are Stepney, Richmond, Mill Hill when I used to work for B Gas as a resident engineer.

 

To Athy - N Gas is not poisenous - only potentialy asphyxiating.

Edited by mark99
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There will, then, be millions of short-sighted people stoking their fires and stoves this evening (though I suspect that some of the coal which they use will be imported).

Normally importing things that we can produce in this country is not a good idea. If we import coal then at least our reserves will be available to make all the products that we take for granted for generations to come.

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So of course the solution is obvious: we start making our own again, using the coal of which we have ample reserves, and storing it in these gasometers or gasholders, do we not? Er, no, we knock 'em all down and continue paying the Russkies for our gas. I do wonder sometimes if our decision makers have gone stark raving mad.

 

Gas holders aren't a very effective way of storing gas when you're dealing with the quantities that we get through nowadays. A big gas holder stores about 50,000m3. Rough, our largest gas storage facility stores more than 3 billion m3. You'd need an awful lot of gas holders to make much of a contribution.

 

More gas storage is definitely needed but it'll come in the form of large, underground storage facilities not gas holders.

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Gas holders aren't a very effective way of storing gas when you're dealing with the quantities that we get through nowadays. A big gas holder stores about 50,000m3. Rough, our largest gas storage facility stores more than 3 billion m3. You'd need an awful lot of gas holders to make much of a contribution.

 

More gas storage is definitely needed but it'll come in the form of large, underground storage facilities not gas holders.

 

 

The largest holders were in the region of 200,000 m3 but there only were a few those. Southall Waterless Holder on the G. Union remains at about 200,000 m3. Battersea was 200,000 too. Most were 25,000 to 50,000 agreed.

 

What holders were good for were di-urnal swing or storage right at the point of use ie town centre - but as mentioned this type of di-urnal storage has largely moved to the higher pressure mains on the outside of towns being run down (pressure wise) at time of high demand and pumping up during offpeak hours ("line packing") as the mains network has been integrated and good pressure controls added.

 

Nationally the storage for seasonal demand rather than diurnal demand has moved to underground reservoirs of one form or another. It is important to remember that there are many forms of storage needs. Seasonal, peak shaving, di-urnal, economic. Holders were only really ever diurnal.

Edited by mark99
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Gas holders aren't a very effective way of storing gas when you're dealing with the quantities that we get through nowadays. A big gas holder stores about 50,000m3. Rough, our largest gas storage facility stores more than 3 billion m3. You'd need an awful lot of gas holders to make much of a contribution.

 

More gas storage is definitely needed but it'll come in the form of large, underground storage facilities not gas holders.

It's comforting to know that nature gave us a clue.

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Gas holder tanks were usually made from proper wrought iron, which was much less likely to rust, but would be much more difficult to weld. Chris Topp, who owned the June and converted her to sail, used to buy all the gas holder shells he could for his blacksmithing business, as they were the best local source for wrought iron.

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I've no idea whether Sam Springer actually used old gasometer steel for his boats, one of my regular yards is currently doing a stretch job on a Springer from the 80s. The builder doing the job, widely experienced and authoritative in these matters, was most impressed with the quality of the original steel....maybe there's truth in the tale!

 

Cheers

 

Dave

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I've no idea whether Sam Springer actually used old gasometer steel for his boats, one of my regular yards is currently doing a stretch job on a Springer from the 80s. The builder doing the job, widely experienced and authoritative in these matters, was most impressed with the quality of the original steel....maybe there's truth in the tale!

 

Cheers

 

Dave

I think it's highly unlikely that it was a regular source of material for his production, though entirely possible that he started out by building a few boats with secondahnd plate. Apart from other considerations, there would be no guarantee of supply of the sizes and thicknesses needed.

I used plate recovered from oil tanks for a couple of rebottoming and repair jobs in the 1970s.

 

Tim

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What an evocative piece of journalism (and photo-journalism).

 

Soooo, let's get this clear. We used to make our own gas in Britain. Then we discovered North Sea Gas, so we did not need to make it any more. Now (I believe) North Sea Gas no longer fulfils our needs so we have to import gas from friendly, trustworthy countries such as Russia.

 

So of course the solution is obvious: we start making our own again, using the coal of which we have ample reserves, and storing it in these gasometers or gasholders, do we not? Er, no, we knock 'em all down and continue paying the Russkies for our gas. I do wonder sometimes if our decision makers have gone stark raving mad.

 

Yielding to the inevitable, bring on the next Sam Springer, then at least the scrap metal can be used to create something appealing and enduring rather than being fashioned into B&Q garden barbecues or whatever.

It's quite ironic that most of our coal these days comes from Russia as well.

 

 

The story about Sam Springer and gasometers is a bit of an urban myth. It originates from the truth that Sam would use sheet steel wherever he could find it which apart from anything else probably accounts for the fact that a fair few Springers have rotted in spectacular fashion, yet there are examples afloat today that haven't been touched. Sam may have once used some steel from a scrapped gasometer, like the joke that ends with ".. but you shag just one sheep..."

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And sticking your head in the gas oven was an effective method of suicide.

Are you suggesting that if the jailers had used natural gas in Poland during WW2, many people would have survived the death camps? Surely natural gas is toxic too?

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Natural gas is almost 100% pure methane. As such, it's not toxic, and if there's enough oxygen in the mix, you'd not notice the difference between that mix and normal air when breathing it, apart from the smell of the stenchant.

 

Coal gas, as supplied in the days when there was a gasworks in every town, contained a lot of carbon monoxide, which would kill you very quickly indeed. A favoured way of committing suicide then was to put your head in the oven, and turn it on without lighting it. Carbon monoxide will burn, and has a pleasantly blue coloured flame which I quite often see above the coal in my stove.

  • Greenie 1
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I think natural gas would suffocate rather than being toxic

 

That's presuming that no one introduces a spark or naked flame before it can take effect wink.png

 

If you had full breathing apparatus and went inside an operational gas holder and then light a match or flame - the flame would extinguish immediately (well it would not light) as there is no O2.

 

To explode there must be between 5 and 15% gas only and the rest air. There is nothing but gas in the holder so it will not ignite.

 

That's why watersealed gas holders (the ones that you see go up and down) are safe - they don't explode..... if punctured say when full e.g. with a flame torch, they set alight only where the gas escapes under pressure into the the air and then the whole holder slowly deflates until it sinks into it's own bath of water and self extinguishes.

 

Waterless holders (e.g. Battersea, Southall) on the other hand.- a German design (M.A.N Ltd = Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg) ........ they work like a engine cylinder with a piston inside. If the gas gets past the internal piston (past the seal like a piston ring - actually it's tar and fibre) the gas can mix with air above the piston - can create a sort of lean mixture between 5-15% (hazardous - just add source of ignition) ........Note you never see this type of holder rise and fall as you can't see the internal piston which rises/falls ............ you only see the static external cylinder from outside. Only if you go right to the top and go inside (on top of piston) do you see the piston move - and by golly it's a bloody big piston with a 250 foot stroke. smile.png

Edited by mark99
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That's why watersealed gas holders (the ones that you see go up and down) are safe - they don't explode..... if punctured when full e.g. with a flame torch, they set alight only where the gas escapes under pressure into the the air and then the whole holder slowly deflates until it sinks into it's own bath of water and self extinguishes.

 

I believe that is exactly what happened when the IRA bombed Greeenwich Holder Station - the holder burned until it was submerged and extinguished itself

 

 

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That's why watersealed gas holders (the ones that you see go up and down) are safe - they don't explode..... if punctured when full e.g. with a flame torch, they set alight only where the gas escapes under pressure into the the air and then the whole holder slowly deflates until it sinks into it's own bath of water and self extinguishes.

 

I believe that is exactly what happened when the IRA bombed Greeenwich Holder Station - the holder burned until it was submerged and extinguished itself

 

 

 

 

They also tried to bomb a gas holder on my side of the Thames when I was a young engineer - I remember walking round the site and being shown how/where they got in.

Edited by mark99
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Are you suggesting that if the jailers had used natural gas in Poland during WW2, many people would have survived the death camps? Surely natural gas is toxic too?

 

Nope.

 

If you get the concentration high enough so that there is no oxygen, then you can asphixiate somebody, but if I breathe a 50/50 ,mix of natural gas and air, I won't die (unless I happen to explode).

 

Town Gas is a mix of gas and Carbon Monoxide. If I breath a 50/50 mix of town gas and air, 25% of what I am breathing is Carbon Monoxide.

 

250,000 ppm CO would kill me VERY rapidly!

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