Coal: Technology for Britain’s Future by Sir Derek Ezra (auth.)

By Sir Derek Ezra (auth.)

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Doubtless coal was first used as a source of warmth for human comfort; but it may have been used in other ways. Analysis of certain ash remains in South Wales suggests that coal had been used for cremation in the Bronze Age (c. 3000ac). There is evidence, too, that varieties of coal were used in ancient times to make ornaments. But it was probably not until the Roman occupation that it was known and used on any appreciable scale in Britain. The occurrence of coal and its vegetable origin Coal is a sedimentary rock.

The machine advances into the coal, scoops up the cut coal and delivers it to the conveyor on the left. Stability is provided by two hydraulic props in the centre, which form the base from which the machine advances. an industry where there is not enough space to do what is needed. This is brought home to the mining engineer when he tries to increase the rate of advance of his tunnels. Consequently some roadways are now being driven by tunnelling machines like huge horizontal borers. Retreat mining The difficulties of maintaining the rate of advance of the access roads to the face have caused many modern mines to drive them completely beforehand.

C. in the face on to the stage loader is also at the intake end of the face. This short steel conveyor can extend forward easily, allowing delivery of the coal on to the longer, main conveyor system out of the mine. C. is its drive motor. This concentration of equipment where the intake access road meets the face, creates congestion there. Partly for this reason it is often difficult to keep the roadways at each end advancing as fast as the face. Yet if they do not do so, they delay the face work, reduce output and greatly increase production costs.

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