Harper's New Monthly Magazine (1896)
Electrical Review 38 (970): 826 (26 June 1896)
US Patent # 555,511
William Jacques' "Coal Battery" was claimed to operate with 82% efficiency; his critics, however, showed that he neglected to consider the thermal energy of the furnace and the power consumed by the air pump. As a result, the actual efficiency was only 8%. Furthermore, subsequent research concluded that the apparatus produced power by thermolectric action, not by electrochemistry. Jacques specifically speculated in his patent that "The phenomenon of electrolytic action causes the conversion of the potential energy of the carbon into electrical energy instead of heat, as is the case when oxygen combines with the carbon without the intervention of an electrolyte. It is desirable in order to facilitate the chemical action, and consequently obtain a more considerable current of electricity, to thoroughly impregnate the electrolyte with oxygen, and this may be done by admitting the air..." In the article published in Harper's, the battery action was explained thus:: "That the electric current was due to the chemical combination of the oxygen of the air with the coke (carbon), there could be no doubt. Quantitative tests showed that oxygen was taken from the air; that carbon was consumed; that carbonic acid was formed. Moreover, the electromotive force obtained agreed almost exactly with that which is theoretically obtained from the combustion of oxygen with carbon to form carbonic acid (1.04 volts). That the phenomenon was not due to thermoelectric action was proved by the fact that when the whole apparatus was so enclosed that all the parts were kept at uniform temperature the maximum, the maximum electromotive force and current were obtained. Again. Later experiments with far larger apparatus have not only confirmed these results, but have shown that under proper conditions the electrical energy thus obtained is substantially equal to the potential energy of the weight of carbon consumed within the pot..."
Harper's New Monthly Magazine (Date unknown; circa 1896)
"Electricity Direct from Coal"A lump of cannel is burning on the grate. What takes place? The air is drawn in beneath the grate and rises through the bars. Its oxygen combines with the coal to produce carbonic acid gas, which, together with the inert nitrogen of the air and the smoke or unconsumed carbon, rises in the chimney and escapes. This is the role played by the materials. How about the forces? The chemical union of oxygen with the coal sets free the coal’s stored-up energy, and this energy, being indestructible, must manifest itself in some way, and so shows itself as heat. This is the whole story of combustion.
Sitting before an open fire I have often dreamed of converting the stored-up energy of the coal into some form of energy even more useful to man than heat. We know that, theoretically at least, all of nature’s forces are inter-convertible; why should not the potential energy of coal be converted directly into electricity instead of heat? Could all of the energy be extracted from a single pound of coal and made to do mechanical work, this work would more than equal a day’s labor of a very strong man. In the great coal-fields that are distributed over the surface of the earth, nature has stored up a supply of energy safely estimated to equal the hand labor of the entire population of the world continued for a thousand years.
The most convenient and useful, and therefore the most tractable, form of energy is electricity. In the facility with which we may at will and without waste convert it into such other forms of energy as happens to be desired lies the superiority of electricity over all the rest of nature’s forces. Having electricity, we may easily produce heat or light, or mechanical motion, or chemical force; but electricity itself has hitherto been produced in quantity only by the use of complicated mechanism and with great waste.
Electricity today is generated by a dynamo that is turned by an engine which is operates by steam, and the steam is made from water by means of heat derived from the combustion of coal. But this is a long and circuitous process, with a large leakage at every step. Much of the energy of combustion goes up the chimney as heat or smoke; much of the heat is lost in boiling the water to make steam; much of the expansive force of the steam is wasted as it escapes from the engine; much of the power of the engine is wasted as friction; and there is some loss in the dynamo itself. Recent tests, made by a committee of the National Electric Light Association, show that the average plant wastes 97.4 per cent and utilizes as electricity only 2.6 per cent of the energy theoretically obtainable from the coal.
The problem then was to convert the energy of coal more directly into electricity; to do away with the dynamo and the steam engine; possibly even to do away with heat itself.
A multitude of experiments were made. In the earlier days my attempt was merely to do away with the dynamo and with steam, and convert heat into electricity. A fire of coke, burning on an insulated grate, gave some slight electrical manifestations, but they were not encouraging. Experiments with various novel forms of thermopile were tried, but a consideration of the theory of the subject soon made it evident that it was not even theoretically possible to convert more than a very small percentage of the energy of the coal into electricity in this way. The generation of electric currents by alternately heating and cooling the magnetic cores of wire coils gave no promise of efficient results. I tried nature’s plan of producing lightning -- the evaporation of water continual dissipation of vapor globules -- and though I succeeded in producing miniature thunderstorms, the quantity of electricity obtainable was not sufficient for any commercial use. Indeed, my researches have led me to doubt whether the total energy of a good brisk thunderstorm, dramatic as is its display, is equal to fire. For a minute fraction of a second the force of a stroke of lightning is terrific, but its duration is so brief that even if it could be harnessed, it would be capable of doing very little useful work. Many other plans, all of them intensely interesting from a purely scientific point of view, were tried; but from most of them no current was obtained that was economically capable of being put to any industrial use.
Nature is a coy mistress, yet she likes to be wooed, and to the diligent suitor gives occasional tokens of encouragement; and it happened that one day I surprised her in secret, and discovered the way by which we may abandon even combustion and heat itself, and convert the stored-up energy of coal directly into electricity.
It came to me almost as a revelation that if the oxygen of the air could be made to combine with the coal under such circumstances that the production of heat could be prevented, and at the same time a conducting path could be provided in which a current of electricity [missing line in the text] the coal for the oxygen would necessarily be converted into electricity and not into heat; for any given form of electricity will be converted into such other form as the surrounding conditions make most easy. Given the proper conditions, the potential energy of coal would rather convert itself into electricity than into heat.
This led to experiments in which coal was submerged in a liquid so that the oxygen of the air would not come in direct contact with the coal and produce combustion. Further, such a liquid was chosen that when air was forced through it to the coal, the oxygen of the air would temporarily enter into chemical union with the liquid and then be crowded out by a further supply of oxygen and forced to combine with the coal. We may picture each successive atom of oxygen, on its way from the source of air supply through the liquid to the coal, as temporarily entering into chemical union with each of a row of atoms of the liquid, just as each successive man as he circles around in the "grand right and left" of dancing temporarily clasps hand with each of the ladies of the set. When one substance passes through another in this way it furnishes a path in which an electric current may flow, so that by causing the oxygen to combine with the carbon through he intervening liquid opportunity is furnished for an electric current to develop, and since combustion cannot take place, the chemical affinity of the coal for the oxygen is converted directly into electricity, and not into heat. Liquids which thus allow atoms of oxygen and a current of electricity to pass through them may be called "electrolytic carriers".
I have thus discovered what I believe to be a new fact or principle not hitherto known to natural science -- a principal which I hope may be as valuable to pure science as my invention promises to be valuable to the useful arts. Stated scientifically, my discovery is that if oxygen of the air be cause to combine with carbon, not directly as in combustion, but through an intervening electrolytic carrier, the stored up energy of the carbon may be converted directly into electrical energy, and not into heat.
Crudely speaking, my invention consists in generating electricity by causing the oxygen of the air to combine with coal beneath the level of a suitable liquid.
The invention is a process; it is not a machine. The process may be carried on with very simple apparatus. An early form of apparatus consisted of a platinum crucible of the size and shape of an after-dinner coffee cup, partially filled with common potash, that was kept liquid by suspending the crucible over a gas flame. Within the potash was suspended, by means of a platinum wire, a lump of ordinary coke of the size of a peanut. Into the molten potash a stream of air was blown by means of a platinum tube like a straw. The wire by which the carbon was suspended formed the negative pole, and a second wire attached to the crucible the positive pole, of the generator. Attaching these wires to a small electric motor, I found that when air was blown into the potash the motor started; when the current of air was interrupted, the motor stopped. From this minute apparatus a current of several amperes was obtained. The electromotive force was a little over one volt.
That the electric current was due to the chemical combination of the oxygen of the air with the coke (carbon), there could be no doubt. Quantitative tests showed that oxygen was taken from the air; that carbon was consumed; that carbonic acid was formed. Moreover, the electromotive force obtained agreed almost exactly with that which is theoretically obtained from the combustion of oxygen with carbon to form carbonic acid (1.04 volts). That the phenomenon was not due to thermoelectric action was proved by the fact that when the whole apparatus was so enclosed that all the parts were kept at uniform temperature the maximum, the maximum electromotive force and current were obtained. Again. Later experiments with far larger apparatus have not only confirmed these results, but have shown that under proper conditions the electrical energy thus obtained is substantially equal to the potential energy of the weight of carbon consumed within the pot.
The invention had now been made. Electricity had been obtained directly from carbon. Would it work on a larger scale? Could the numerous practical difficulties be overcome? Platinum is more expensive even than gold, and hence some other metal must be used. Iron was tried, but the current obtained when the invention was practiced in an iron vessel was very small.
Vessels of copper, lead, zinc, tin, aluminum, nickel, magnesium, were destroyed. Gold and silver gave good results, but inferior to platinum. Again and again the experiments were repeated. There seemed to be no reason in theory why iron should not work as well as platinum, and vessels were made from samples of iron of all kinds.
Finally the reason was found. Most specimens of iron have an oily surface, which when heated, becomes converted into carbon, so that the iron tends to the action of the proper carbon itself. This led to a method of cleansing the surface of the iron; and when properly cleansed an iron pot is as good as one of platinum, and of course far cheaper.
The pots were now made larger and larger, until today they are made as large as a barrel; and the current is measured in hundreds of amperes.
Numerous other difficulties have had to be overcome. Coal, as it comes to us from the mines, is not a good conductor of electricity, and though an experimental apparatus was constructed in which it was found possible to consume ordinary coke shoveled onto a submerged grate, it has been found best to crush the coal and mould it into large sticks of convenient size to handle, and bake them to drive off the included gases and give them good electrical conductivity.
The rapidity with which the carbon is consumed, and consequently the strength of the electric current yielded by a cell, is greatly increased by thoroughly impregnating all parts of the liquid with an excess of oxygen; and this is best done by terminating the air supply pipe in a rose nozzle something like that of a watering pot, so that the air is injected into the liquid in a large number of fine sprays.
There are many kinds of liquid that may be used as electrolytic carriers, but unfortunately the most suitable become liquid only at elevated temperatures; so a certain amount of coal or other fuel has to be burned on a grate beneath the pots to maintain this temperature. As, however, there is no considerable consumption of heat, excepting as it is used in warming the incoming air or is lost by radiation, we may expect that in large apparatus, where a large number of pots are enclosed in a reasonably heat-tight oven, the consumption of coal on the grate will become comparatively very small. Even with a small two-horsepower apparatus, in which no very great precautions were taken to retain the heat, measurements showed that only one-third of a pound of coal per electrical horsepower hour was burned on a grate. A steam engine and dynamo of equivalent power would have consumed at least 40 times as much.
Molten potash has many advantages as an electrolytic carrier, but it has the disadvantage of absorbing more or less of the carbonic acid given off by the carbon or contained in the air; so that if potash be used, although a part of the carbonic acid is swept away by the nitrogen, and more may be carried to the surface and liberated by adding to the potash suitable carriers of carbonic acid, sooner or later the potash becomes contaminated and has to be cleansed. By choosing electrolytic carriers that have no affinity for carbonic acid, the need of frequent cleansing is avoided since, fortunately, the consumption of the carbon is so much more complete than it is in ordinary combustion that with reasonably pure grades of coal only a small amount of easily removable ash is formed.
The quantity of current that may be taken from a pot is about three-quarters of an ampere per square inch of carbon surface; so that a pot containing six sticks of carbon, each three inches in diameter and eighteen inches long, a size conveniently manufactured, handled and used, yields about 750 amperes, or a little more than one electrical horsepower. The electromotive force of each pot, whether large or small, is a little more than one volt. When greater voltage is desired, the requisite number of pots are connected in series and heated in one common oven. The air is pumped in by means of an electrically driven air pump, operated by a small portion of the current generated.
It would be premature to attempt to give any final data as to the efficiency of the new process when practiced on a large scale. Improvements are constantly being made. As compared with modern steam-engines, only relatively small carbon electric generators have as yet been built; and it should be remembered that with this generator, as with the steam engine, increased size means increased efficiency per pound of coal, particularly in the coal consumed on the grate. Following, however, are some results of a test (made by experts not connected with the development of the invention) upon a small and comparatively crude two horsepower carbon electric generator that has been in occasional use for some six months:
Average electrical HP developed: 2.16 HP
Average electrical HP used by air pump: 0.11 “ "
Average net electrical HP developed: 2.05 "
Carbon consumed in pots per electrical HP: 0.223 lb
Coal consumed on grate per electrical HP: 0.336 "
Total fuel consumed per electrical HP: 0.559 "
Electricity obtained from 1 lb of coal*: 1336 watt hours (32% of that theoretically obtainable)
(* 0.4 lb in pots & 0.6 lb on grate)
Thus the efficiency of this particular generator was 12 times greater than that of the average electric light and power plant in use in this country, and 40 times greater than plants of corresponding size.
There are, however, many details still to be worked out, and many improvements yet to be made, before the carbon electric generator can be put into general commercial use on a scale comparable with that of modern steam engines. Contrary to some statements that I have read, I believe it will be some time yet before the dynamo is relegated to the attic with the spinning wheel, or the wheels of the steam engine cease to revolve.
It is interesting to speculate as to what may be the outcome of this discovery when, in the fullness of time, all of these details shall have been worked out.
The first great field for this invention is power. The invention of the steam engine soon doubled the productive capacity of the labor of the world. In this country alone it is today doing work equal to the hand labor of 100 million men, or a population of 350 million people. Now comes a power many times as efficient as steam, and much more convenient.
There appears to be no insurmountable obstacle to the construction of carbon electric generators that shall heat and light our railway trains, and propel them with a velocity of 100 miles an hour. Since electricity, like steam, may be applied directly as a rotary motion to every pair of wheels throughout the train, not only cold the train be safely propelled with great velocity, but it could be started and stopped quickly, and would be under perfect control. There would be no cinders or smoke.
Our transatlantic liners -- no longer "steamships" -- would not then find a limit o speed set by fuel-carrying capacity. The greater part of the space now given up to coal, and all that is now devoted to boilers and engines, would be available for passengers and freight... &c. [Rex Note: The closing paragraph is missing in my copy of this article] Figure 1: An Elementary Cell ~ Taken apart to show iron pot, stick of carbon with iron suspension, andair supply pipe with nozzle. This carbon is 20 inches long and 10 inches in circumference, and yields a current of about 150 amperes. The eelctromotive force is 1 volt.
Figure 2: Carbon Electric Generator ~ Operating an electrc motor. This generator consists of a heat-tight oven within which six cells flike Fig. 1 are connected in series, and suspended over a coal-burning grate. Figure 3: Large Carbon Electric Generator ~ With which experiments are now being made. The brick oven is 10 feet square and 6 feet high. Two of the cells are shown removed. Each contains 6 carbons 3 feet long. It is expected that, when perfected, this generator will yield about 40 electric horsepower.
The Electrical Review 38 (970): 826 (26 June 1896) ~
100 cells in series on top of furnace (Electrolyte temperature: 400-500° C); Output: 16 A / 90 V )"A carbon, C, is plunged into a solution of caustic soda, E. A pump, A, forces air into a perforated nozzle, R, which distributes the air uniformly in the electrolyte. The positive pole is fixed upon the iron receiver, I, containing the solution, and the negative pole [B] upon the carbon which is supported and insulated from the receiver by a collar, S. Two tubes, o and i, serve for the admission and discharge of the solution."
U.S Patent # 555,511 (3 March 1896) Method of Converting Potential Energy of Carbon into Electrical Energy William W. Jacques
To all whom it may concern:
Be it known that I, William W. Jacques, of Newton, in the State of Massachusetts, have invented a new and useful Method or Process of Converting the Potential Energy of Carbon or Carbonaceous Materials into Electrical Energy. Of which the following is a specification.
It is well know that carbon and carbonaceous materials -- such as anthracite and bituminous coals, coke and gas-carbon -- have a chemical affinity for oxygen, and that when brought at a proper temperature in contact with oxygen, whether pure or diluted, as in the case of air, such carbons enter into chemical combination with the oxygen and the potential energy of the coal is converted into heat. This process is known as "combustion".
I have discovered that if oxygen, whether pure or diluted, as in air, be caused to combine with carbon or carbonaceous materials, not directly, as in the case of combustion, but through an intervening electrolyte, the potential energy of the carbon may be converted directly into electrical energy instead of into heat.
My invention is founded on this discovery; and it consists in the process of converting the potential energy of carbon or carbonaceous materials into electrical energy by chemically combining oxygen with said carbon or carbonaceous material through an intervening electrolyte.
A convenient and practical way of carrying out my invention is to immerse a cylinder of carbon in molten sodium hydrate and force a current or blast of air into the molten sodium hydrate in such manner that the sodium hydrate becomes saturated with oxygen in excess over that which the sodium hydrate normally contains. A circuit being completed from the sodium hydrate, which is the electrolyte, by means of a collecting electrode not chemically acted upon by the electrolyte and an extraneous conductor to the carbon an electric current flows continuously from the sodium hydrate through the collecting electrode and the exterior conductor to the carbon, the strength of the current depending primarily on the rapidity with which the air is blown into the sodium hydrate, and the oxygen of the air caused to combine with the carbon.
In this process the carbon is gradually converted into carbonic acid, which mostly bubbles up through the electrolyte and escapes. The resultant composition of the sodium hydroxide remains unchanged, excepting as hereinafter explained, and oxygen from the air is consumed. The nitrogen with which the oxygen of the air is diluted, having no chemical affinity for any other substance present, simply bubbles through the electrolyte and escapes. The sodium hydrate is contained in a vessel of pure iron, upon which it has no sensible chemical action when melted, and this iron vessel serves as the collecting electrode or positive pole of the generator, while the carbon forms the oxidizable electrode or negative pole.
My conception of the function of the electrolyte is that it carries oxygen electrolytically from the air to the carbon, or that the phenomenon of electrolytic action causes the conversion of the potential energy of the carbon into electrical energy instead of heat, as is the case when oxygen combines with the carbon without the intervention of an electrolyte. It is desirable in order to facilitate the chemical action, and consequently obtain a more considerable current of electricity, to thoroughly impregnate the electrolyte with oxygen, and this may be done by admitting the air under pressure in a considerable number of fine sprays. It is also desirable to maintain a constant circulation to the electrolyte, so that new portions, freshly charged with oxygen, may successively be brought in contact with the carbon. Such circulation is well obtained by the ebullition into which the electrolyte is thrown by the admission of air under pressure. Again, it is desirable, in order to prevent the setting up of electromotive forces opposed to the proper electromotive force of the generator, to keep the whole body of the electrolyte and the contained carbons and containing vessel, used also as a collector, at a more or less uniform temperature throughout, and this is conveniently done by the ebullition of the electrolyte due to the air forced in. Again, the constant ebullition of the electrolyte removes from the surface of the consumed carbon such ash and other products of chemical action as may form upon it, thus leaving fresh surfaces exposed to the action of the electrolyte.
Figure 1 shows a suitable apparatus for practicing my invention, making use of sodium hydrate as an electrolyte and air as a source of oxygen supply. Figure 2 is a plan view of the "rose" for distributing the air.
I is a pot, of pure iron. Good rolled Norway iron answers the purpose.
E is the electrolyte, which in this case is caustic soda (sodium hydrate). It need not be free from the usual impurities found in the commercial article.
C is the carbon, which must be, when placed in the electrolyte, a good conductor of electricity.
B is a metallic clamp for making a good electrical connection between the carbon and the lead wire w2 .
p2 is the binding post by which the lead wire u2 is connected by the metal clamp B.
p’ is the binding post by which the lead wire w’ is connected to the iron pot I.
F is a furnace surrounding the generator and used to keep the generator and the inclosed electrolyte at the proper temperature (say 400-500o centigrade).
A is an air pump that forces air through the tube T into the rose R, from which it is forced into the electrolyte in a number of fine sprays. The rose R is shown also in plan in Figure 2. It is made of some metal not acted upon by the electrolyte and is pierced with a large number of fine pinholes, as shown.
S is a cover of non-conducting material, which serves also to support the carbon and insulate it from the iron pot.
v is a vent for allowing the refuse gases to escape.
o is an outlet for drawing off the electrolyte when contaminated, and I is an inlet for supplying fresh electrolyte.
The apparatus being put together as shown and the electrolyte having been brought to the proper temperature, the pump A is operated and air is forced into the electrolyte, causing a violent ebullition, which ebullition supplies to the electrolyte an excess of oxygen, brings fresh portions of the electrolyte continually in contact with the carbon, detaches the carbonic acid and ash formed on the surface of the carbon, and keeps the whole interior of the generator at a uniform temperature.
Although the greater part of the carbonic acid, whether resulting from the union of carbon and oxygen or already existing in the air supply, bubbles up through the electrolyte and escapes, a portion of this carbonic acid combines with a portion of the caustic soda to form carbonate of soda, and this, together with the ash from the carbon, slowly contaminates the electrolyte, and in the course of time lessens its efficiency. The efficiency of the generator may, however, be maintained by drawing off from time to time a portion of the contaminated electrolyte and admitting a fresh portion to take its place.
The contaminated electrolyte may be purified by well-known simple processes.
The contamination of the caustic soda by its union with carbonic acid may be reduced, and its life consequently prolonged, by adding a small percentage of oxide of magnesium. My conception of the action of the oxide of magnesium is that the free carbonic acid combines with it in preference to the caustic soda, and that the carbonate of magnesium so formed is quickly decomposed into carbonic acid, which escapes, and oxide of magnesium which is again ready to repeat its action. Briefly, the oxide of magnesium serves as a carrier to convey the carbonic acid through the electrolyte.
My invention is not limited to the particular electrolyte above mentioned, nor to the air as a source of oxygen supply, nor to the apparatus described above.
There are many electrolytes that may be used in practicing my invention. Following are some of the desirable characteristics: They should become liquid t a convenient temperature. They should possess good electrolytic conductivity. They should be capable of readily taking up oxygen from the air or other source of supply, and also capable of readily giving up oxygen in combination with the carbon. They should not have a strong affinity for carbonic acid, and, in case air is used as a source of oxygen supply, should not have any considerable affinity for the nitrogen and other substances with which the oxygen of the air is diluted. The molten hydrates of potash and soda are especially suitable for practical use.
Instead of using the air as a source of oxygen supply, it is evident that I may use oxygen artificially prepared by any of the well-known methods, and, as might naturally be supposed, the chemical action takes place more rapidly with pure oxygen than when the oxygen is diluted, as in air.
The air or oxygen may be supplied to the electrolyte in a heated condition.
The collecting electrode or positive pole, which may or may not be made of conducting material not considerably acted upon by the electrolyte, from which action, however, the current flow from the electrolyte to the collecting electrode tends to protect the latter. Platinum is almost universally applicable, though expensive. Pure iron is very generally applicable and inexpensive. Steel and iron containing any considerable quantity of carbon should be avoided, in that they may set up an inverse electromotive force, which materially reduces the efficiency of the generator.
Forms of carbon that I have found convenient for use are gas-carbon, anthracite coal that has been baked as to give it conducitivity, bituminous coal from which sufficient o the hydrocarbons have been driven off to give it conductivity, charcoal, and in fact any form of carbon or carbonaceous material which has or to which may be given sufficient conductivity to allow of the conduction of the electric current to or from the seat of chemical action. I prefer to mold the carbon into one or more solid cylinders or plates (which may be done by well known processes) as excellent electrical connection may be conveniently made between such carbons and the lead wires.
The volume of current from such a generator as I have described is very large, but the voltage is smaller than is demanded for most commercial purposes. Greater voltage may of course be obtained by coupling any desired number of generators in series, or the voltage from a single generator may be increased at the expense of the volume of current by well-known methods of transformation.
1) The method of converting the potential energy of carbon or carbonaceous materials into electrical energy, which consists in chemically combining oxygen with said carbon or carbonaceous materials through an intervening electrolyte.
2) The method of converting the potential energy of carbon or carbonaceous materials into electrical energy, which consists in chemically combining oxygen with said carbon or carbonaceous materials by impregnating an intervening electrolyte with an excess of oxygen.
3) The method of converting the potential energy of carbon or carbonaceous materials into electrical energy, which consists in chemically combining oxygen with said carbon or carbonaceous materials by impregnating an intervening electrolyte with air.
4) The method of converting the potential energy of carbon or carbonaceous materials into electrical energy, which consists in chemically combining oxygen with said carbon or carbonaceous materials by impregnating a molten basic electrolyte with oxygen or air and collecting the electricity from the electrolyte by an electrode not chemically acted upon by said impregnated electrolyte when the circuit is completed.
5) The herein described process of generating electricity through the combination of oxygen with carbon by supplying a blast of oxygen or air to a carbon electrode through an electrolyte.
6) The herein described process of generating electricity through the combination of oxygen with carbon by supplying a blast of oxygen or air to a carbon electrode through molten sodium or potassium hydrate.
7) As a generator of electricity by the chemical combination of carbon with oxygen, an oxidizable electrode of carbon or carbonaceous material, an electrolyte continuously impregnated with oxygen and a collecting electrode not chemically acted upon by said impregnated electrode when the circuit is completed.
8) As a generator of electricity by the chemical combination of carbon or carbonaceous material, a molten basic electrolyte continuously impregnated with oxygen or air, a collecting electrode not chemically acted upon by said impregnated electrolyte when the circuit is completed, a containing vessel of iron and means for maintaining the electrolyte in a molten condition.
9) As a generator of electricity by the chemical combination of carbon with the oxygen of the air, an oxidizable electrode of carbon or carbonaceous material, an electrolyte of molten sodium or potassium hydrate continuously impregnated with oxygen by a blast of air, a collecting electrode not chemically acted upon by said impregnated electrolyte when the circuit is completed, a containing vessel of iron and means for maintaining the electrolyte in a molten condition.
William W. Jacques
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