Definitions for coal gas
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gaseous mixture produced by distillation of bituminous coal and used for heating and lighting
The poisonous gas, used domestically for cooking etc and formerly for lighting, prepared by heating coal with steam; it is a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide; synthesis gas or town gas.
Coal gas is a flammable gaseous fuel made by the destructive distillation of coal and contains a variety of calorific gases including hydrogen, carbon monoxide, methane and volatile hydrocarbons together with small quantities of non-calorific gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen. It was the primary source of gaseous fuel for the United States and the UK until the widespread adoption of natural gas during the 1940s and 1950s in the US, and the late 1960s and 1970s in the UK. It was used for lighting, cooking, and heating and was often supplied to households via a municipally owned piped distribution system. Originally created as a by-product of the coking process, its use developed during the 19th and early 20th centuries tracking the industrial revolution and urbanization. By-products from the production process included coal tars and ammonia, which were important chemical feedstock for the dye and chemical industry with a wide range of artificial dye colours being made from coal gas and coal tar. Facilities where the gas was produced were often known as a manufactured gas plant or a gasworks. The discovery of large reserves of natural gas in the North Sea off the UK coast during the early 1960s led to the expensive conversion or replacement of most of the nation's gas cookers and gas heaters, with the exception of Northern Ireland, from the late 1960s onwards.
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