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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 5 (September 24, 1926)

A Coke Reclaiming Plant

A Coke Reclaiming Plant.

A plant for reclaiming coke from locomotive ashes is being constructed by the Boston & Maine Railway Company, Mass., says the “English Mechanic,” of 4th June. It is anticipated that the railway in question will be able to obtain in this manner practically all the fuel required for station heating, amounting to approximately 30,000 tons a year. This project, which is believed to be the first of its kind will recover from the locomotive waste, now dumped in the ash heaps, the unburnt coke which tests have shown to be present to the extent of 33 to 48 per cent. It is anticipated that about 30 per cent. will be recovered by the new process. The latter is an adaptation of the one used in the hard coal fields for separating impurities, and is based on the comparative specific gravity principles, and the utilisation of the water flotation method by which the coke is segregated and the cinder residue precipitated. It has been found that a considerable quantity of combustible coke is taken from fuel boxes in cleaning locomotives after each journey, and this unburnt material will contribute a large part of the new product. The method outlined will, if the results warrant, be extended to other fuels.