Improved apparatus for measuring gas
A.D. 1857, September 29.—N° 2507.
NEWTON, WILLIAM EDWARD.—(A communication from Alfred Nobel.)—" Improved apparatus for measuring gas." The object of this invention may be effected, first, " by partially or wholly saturating the gas with the vapour of some liquid, such as water or alcohol, naphtha, or some hydrocarbon. Second, by absorbing the vapour of water contained in the gas by means of some hygroscopic substance, such as chloride of calcium, sulphuric acid, or other suitable substance. Third, by the chemical reaction of a portion of the gas upon certain substances, such as chloride, with which illuminating gas combines, and forms a liquid under the name of ' Dutch drops.' "
The Patentee prefers to adopt the mode first referred to, and the apparatus required may consist "of a vessel of metal, glass, or any other suitable material, and of any convenient shape. This vessel is partially filled with the liquid with which the gas is to be saturated, and from the upper part of the vessel are suspended a number of strings or threads of some fibrous material, which will, by its capillarity, absorb and draw up a quantity of the liquid, and present an extensive evaporating surface to the action of the gas in its passage through the apparatus. A given and ascertained small proportion only of the gas (say one- third part of the entire quantity) need pass through the apparatus, and this only is allowed to obtain access to the interior or absorbing part, while the greater portion of the gas is made to pass round the vessel. The gas in passing through, will absorb and carry off a certain quantity of the liquid, and is by accurately measuring or weighing the quantity that remains in the vessel that the amount of gas that has passed through is ascertained.
"A dial and index may be adapted to the apparatus to indicate the alterations of the level of the liquid in the absorbing vessel, and consequently the whole amount of gas that has passed," may be readily calculated.
An increase or reduction of temperature in the gas flowing through may be compensated for by means of the expansion and contraction of mercury contained in a vessel which more or less contracts the passage for the gas by elevating and depressing the end of a glass rod into the passage as required.