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Monday, 23 March 2015


In 202 BC, the Han dynasty of China was already drilling for natural gas, using bamboo pipelines to transport the gas for miles.and burning it in stoves.

The word ‘gas’ was coined by the Flemish chemist Jan Baptist van Helmont (1579–1644). He is thought to have formed the word from the Greek ‘chaos’, which was the primal unformed mass out of which the world was created.

Jan Baptist van Helmont also invented the word blas but it didn’t catch on.

During the late 18th century, there were several successful attempts in Europe to derive gas from coal for lighting. William Murdock (1754–1839) a Scottish engineer, who was employed by the firm of Boulton and Watt, was one of the first to achieve a sustained practical application. His cottage at Redruth in Cornwall was the first domestic residence to be lit by gas.

Murdoch House in Redruth

Despite his pioneering work with gas Murdoch never made any money from this invention due to his failure to obtain a patent.

Avogadro’s Law states that equal volumes of all gases, under the same pressure and temperature, contain an equal number of molecules. Lorenzo Romano Amedeo Carlo Avogadro di Quaregna e di Cerreto (1776-1856) was an Italian scientist and count.

The Gas Light and Coke Company was the  first gas company in the world to provide a public supply and also the first ever public utility company. It was founded by Frederick Albert Winsor in London and incorporated by Royal Charter on April 30, 1812.  It is identified as the original company from which British Gas plc is descended.

The Gas Light & Coke Company, Westminster, London, c 1812.

James Sharp patented one of the first gas stoves  in Northampton, England in 1826..His invention was marketed by the firm Smith & Philips from 1828.

The Victorian scientist Michael Faraday was asked by the British government if it was possible to prepare poison gas in battlefield against Russia during the Crimean War. He agreed it was feasible but refused unequivocally to direct the project.

The USA first used gas chambers as a method of judicial execution in 1924.

Liquefied petroleum gas (“cooking gas”) is propane or butane; Natural gas is mainly methane.

Natural gas is odorless. Gas companies are required to add a chemical called mercaptin as a safety precaution, so people know the smell and can identify a leak.

Hydrogen and Helium are the most plentiful gases in the universe.

Source Daily Express

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