Man. Gas Processes
Contamination Threat Modes
Residuals - Components
Sources of MGP Liquid Effluent
FMG Plants in the US
Parallel MG Technologies
Think you've found a gas works?
Locating and Confirming a Site
Locations of US Gas Plants
FMGP In The News
FMGP In The Arts
Coal-tar Site Litigation
Related sites on the Internet
Literature of Manufactured Gas
Publications by Dr. Hatheway
Slide Shows by Dr. Hatheway
Slide Shows by others
Locations of Gas Plants and Other Coal-tar Sites in the
THE STATE OF ALASKA
Those who are
fascinated with the technologies and history of manufactured gas soon become
curious over whether or not gas was ever manufactured in Alaska. The obscure
answer is “yes,” but the facts are difficult to locate and to ascertain.
vastness of its land area, its great distances and historically sparse
populations it is logical that the extreme coldness of temperature and
overwhelming periods of seasonal darkness would constitute a crying need for
gas, both for lighting and for heating.
Most of the
parameters of difficulties are summed up in a 1915 letter to the trade journal
The Gas Industry (April, p. 293) sent by one G. R. Larkin, at the Skagway
gasworks, and formerly of the Pittsfield Gas Co., Massachusetts. This letter was
obviously written as tongue-in-cheek humor, but it is presented in quote as a
means of setting the flavor of the topic at hand.
“We don’t use
gas mains here nor service pipes, but, because of the fact that gas freezes
immediately upon production, we cut in chunks and sell it as you would ice.
We have a gas holder, but it is similar to your ice houses; while men go about
with axe and tongs rather than with wrench and cutter. Another economical
discovery has been the use of ice as fuel. By the aid of the hot air, which our
men throw out, the ice is decomposed, giving off a quality of gas far superior
to anything known in Pittsfield. We are constantly hiring men for this work.
- Yours till Skagway thaws, G. R. Larkin.”
considerable sense that the forested areas of the State, proximate to population
centers, would have been the scene of wood-gas plants. None have yet come to the
author’s attention, though Juneau, in the Alaskan Panhandle, would seem to
present a near-perfect opportunity. However, wherever permafrost was present,
however, the costs of excavating pipe distribution trenches to an appropriate
depth of protection, would have been considerable, and thus, it would be proper
to expect that any Alaskan town gas plants would have been closely position to
the Central Business District and that the area of distribution would have been
rather constrained at any Alaskan location.
candidates for gas-manufacturing sites have been uncovered in the course of
general environmental restoration activities, though no connection with
manufactured gas has been made by parties to such remediation. In particular,
the ALASCOM communications station adjacent to the Nome Prison, yielded “800
gallons of coal tar and heavy fuel oil,” in 1991. Around the same time,
development of the Odiak Park subdivision, along Chase Street, in Cordova, was a
military staging area on the Copper River Railroad (Kennecott Corporation), in
the vicinity of the Roundhouse and rail yard, where “heavy, black oil,” was
found in utility trenches and in other excavations.
consequence of transportation difficulties, the present-day preferred form of
“natural” gas actually is provided as reconstituted liquefied petroleum gas
(LPG) distributed by truck from Anchorage, to Fairbanks, where it is piped to a
limited consumer base, and about 30 percent less in cost than the more
appropriate sub-arctic fuel, oil.
In summary, the Professor Hatheway finds reason to expect future encounters
with a variety of small Alaskan manufactured gas plants of the following
varieties: wood gas, coal gas, oil gas, and producer gas. Their residuals
and wastes will approximate the usual culprits.
Click the blue "EPA" link below to view the
Alaska map of the EPA 1985 Radian FMGP Report.
Click the green "Hatheway" link
below to view the
Alaska map of Professor Hatheway's research.
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