Wuxiaworld > Release that Witch > Chapter 568: The Dry Distillation Tower

Chapter 568: The Dry Distillation Tower

Chapter 568: The Dry Distillation Tower

Translator: TransN Editor: TransN
"Um..." Sylvie carefully examined the shell and checked it against Roland's design for a long time. She pointed at the detonator and said, "It seems this bronze tube is not aligned with the nail on the top."

"How about the spring?" asked Anna. "Is it still stuck at both sides of the iron pan?"

"One has gone bad."

"To the left or the right?"

Anna asked about every detail, and then wrote all the problems down in a notebook.

After collecting the reasons leading to the failure, they began the next round of test firing, where Summer's playback ability could be used four times. Thus the efficiency of the improvement had become unprecedentedly high.

Unfortunately, the next two rounds of test shooting failed again. Roland had to declare that the testing would continue the next day.

To Summer and Sylvie, their work for the day was finished. Afterwards, they could either go back to the castle to enjoy a delicious afternoon tea or go to the Convenience Market to check for novel goods. But to Anna and Agatha, the test firing of the grenade was merely a small part of their tight schedule, especially to Anna. She not only had to improve the fuse based on the reasons that were found to have led to failure, but she also needed to finish the research and assembly of the steam turbine.

Roland had planned to follow her to the North Slope backyard to check the turbine model, yet his guard Sean brought a piece of news from the City Hall.

"Your Majesty, Lesya, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Construction, wished for you to visit the Furnace Area. He said he had completed the construction of the first oven for dry distillation."

...

As the necessary equipment of the coking plant, 10 towers for dry distillation were planned, and they were to be located around the furnace cluster at the foot of the North Slope Mine area.

Due to the over-cutting of trees for the burning of bricks and iron making, the area that the furnace cluster took up enlarged from the original open space of less than 1,000 square meters to a wide open area stretching along the mountain. If Roland had not strictly prohibited the cutting of trees near the town, none of the trees at the northern part of the Border Area would have survived.

Although coal had been found, charcoal that was easy to get was still the major fuel for iron making. With trees available getting further and further from the furnace cluster, the workers targeted the top of North Slope Mountain. Every day there were hundreds of logs cut off and rolled down from the mountaintop. Watching from a distance, it looked like the green peak had a small "bald spot".

Normally, Roland would not ask the workers to protect the environment in this matter. As long as the dust that would have risen did not affect the town, he would not care even if all the trees on North Slope Mountain were cut down. After all, to the Impassable Mountain Range, this protruding mountain range was nothing but an insignificant corner. With Leaf maintaining the basic vegetation, there was no need to worry about soil erosion.

As to the ground reclaimed at the foot of the mountain, it naturally became the most suitable building sites for coking plants.

Followed by Nightingale and his guards, Roland walked through the noisy Furnace Area and reached the first tower for dry distillation. Lesya walked up to welcome Roland instantly, bowed and said, "Your Majesty, as you demanded, I've constructed this double layer furnace with refractory bricks. According to the drawing, the upper layer should be sealed with an iron gate while the interlayer should be equipped with a mobile iron plate. But I don't know who can make them. The same is true of the copper pipe and chimney on the small side furnace. Apart from these metal components, the rest has been completed."

Roland lowered his head and went to the interior of the furnace to have a thorough examination. He was totally impressed by what he saw. He had to admit that Lesya, the former member of the Mason Guild, the old friend of Karl Van Bate, was indeed excellent at masonry. The inner walls of this nearly six-meter high tower for dry distillation was evenly constructed; the spaces between bricks were all of similar thickness; the bricks were all interlaced, without two layers of verticals seams aligned. One could see that Lesya's laying skill was extraordinary and his working attitude was very serious. After all, the products different people made could be drastically different, even if they referred to the same drawing.

"Well done." After the examination, Roland praised him saying, "I'll arrange the cast of the iron gate and iron plate. You'll only need to cover with refractory bricks on the side exposed to fire."

"Your Majesty," hesitating for a while, Lesya asked, "could you please tell me how the furnace operates?"

"Why? Do you wish to become a coking worker?" Roland said jokingly.

"Of course not." Lesya hurriedly shook his head. "Since I've never built such a strange furnace, I had to build according to my speculation for the places that I wasn't sure of on the drawing. So if I can understand its function and working mechanism, not only can I finish the second furnace faster, but also I can improve the places that I wasn't sure about before."

[Ah, that's his reasons.] Roland thought and said smilingly, "This kind of furnace is mainly used for the dry distillation of coal. You must have seen how the charcoal is burned. The burning of coal is similar but on a bigger scale. The lower layer is for burning, the upper layer is for baking, and both layers use coal as filling.

"Baking coal with coal?" Lesya surprisedly asked.

"That's right. After the dry distillation, coal can be transformed into coke. Coke can reach a higher temperature while burning, which makes it a better fuel for smelting steel. In addition, the process of dry distillation will create several by-products. The pipes on the tower wall are used to collect them, rather than to exhaust gases as a chimney does.

"Then... why do you build a small furnace at the side of the main furnace?"

"No air is allowed on the upper layer during the dry distillation, otherwise the coal will directly burst into flames." Roland pointed at the reserved holes between the two furnaces and said, "While burning, the limestone in the small furnace will produce a large amount of carbon dioxide—you can consider it as a sort of non-flammable gas..."

"Your Majesty, I know that," Lesya said, "I learned it from the night classes."

[That'll be easy then.] Roland felt gratified. [It seems that the universal education has broadened its content under the effort of Scroll.] He continued, "Through the pipes, the carbon dioxide will reach the upper layer of the furnace and push away the air, and then the coal can be dry distilled. As for the limestone, the off-white stones burned to make cement, are all over the North Slope Mountain."

...

After examining the dry distillation tower number one, Roland retraced his steps. On the way back, he took a short break at the Furnace Area.

Seeing this busy scene, Roland could not help but feel thrilled. Standing side by side, the various brick furnaces looked like an orderly red forest. Rising from the forest were tens of entangled gray, white, and black smoke columns, which constituted a rather modern picture when seen together with the plainly dressed workers and outdated equipment. Over ten steam engines were roaring, dragging the conveyor belt to carry chunks of materials and charcoals into the blast furnace. A track system was paved from the mine to the furnace and many mine wagons traveled between the two stops. The speed of transportation had greatly improved.

After finishing the construction of the steel plant and forge plant, this place would be another core location of City of Neverwinter. Ore exploitation and steel smelting proceeded the transformation of the steel into various raw materials which were then transported to processing plants. These processes symbolized an industrial flower arising from here. The human beings were bestowed with extraordinarily refining powers, which consequently gave them the courage to conquer everything.