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he says, " I have always thought that there must have by re-distillation. Such a spirit is clear, has no strong been a formative epoch, in which every creature had odour, and leaves no residue when evaporated from the power of special adaptation to its own needs-nay the hand. Two or three years ago the best English even to its own wishes or caprice. In this epoch of petrol had a specific gravity of 0.680; but, for reasons
plasmation when the so-called force of heredity- io be mentioned later, the density has been gradually which tends to reproduction according to the type of raised, and is now generally about 0.720 or more. the progenitor--had but little power, the world being Chemically, light oil or petrol is a mixture of several still young, the organism must have been far more members of the homologous series of paraffin hydrosusceptible of modification by external forces (p. 36). carbons, C,H2n+2- It is generally assumed to be .The actual power of adaptation in organisms is mainly heptane, C,H., and octane, C,H, but both at the present day well nigh non-existent as compared lower and higher members are usually present, and with what they must have possessed in the past (p: 211), some analyses indicate that the range may commonly
. . The varied forms assumed by those groups of be from hexane, CH4, to undecane, CH A point individuals called by naturalists species, would be to notice is that whilst petrol as a whole is a light, merely the result of a plasmative force exerted by volatile oil, it is by no means a homogeneous liquid. surrounding conditions on primitive beings (p. 208). The different hydrocarbons composing it have not the
May it not be that the Rafflesia, and a host of same volatility as one another, and they require other aberrant species, both animals and plants, are different quantities of air for their complete comexamples of the autocreation of organisms (derived bustion. from exceptional circumstances of the environment) The heavier oil obtained from crude petroleum correand suddenly appeared à l'improviste, as it were, in sponds to what is ordinarily known as kerosene, petrothat primitive epoch during which organic matter was leum oil, or paraffin. It is obtained by refining the easily plasmated, so as to adapt itself with facility fraction which distils between 150° and 200°, and even to extraordinary conditions of existence? (p. 389). has a density of about 0.78 to 0.81. This product con
. . Therefore, contrary to the present prevailing tains higher members of the paraffin series than those tendency to attribute a powerful action to variability of petrol. It is consequently less volatile, and has a during the existing period, and to consider every species higher flash-point. as inconstant, I hold the opposite opinion, namely,
Kerosene is not only cheaper than petrol, but safer that at the present time species do not vary in Nature, in the handling. Why, then, is petrol used so largely returning thus to the old idea of the nearly absolute
as a motor fuel instead of kerosene? And why are frsity of existing species (p. 210).” It is interesting
some kinds of petrol better than others? To answer to compare these views with those arrived at by Alfred
these questions we have to remember that, to form the Wallace, who wandered in the same jungles; and, as proper explosive mixture for the engine, it is necessary Dr. Guillemard, the English editor, rightly observes, to have the vapour of the liquid mixed with a particular * Whether the scientific reader does or does not admit proportion of air. With too little air the mixture burns the validity of all Dr. Beccari's theories concerning too gently; with too much there is a diluent ellect. species-formation, he cannot call in question his and liability to failure of ignition. The ready volatility abundant experience of the country, or his knowledge of petrol allows of the requisite mixture being made of the subjects of which he treats.' A. C. H.
more easily, more certainly, and with a simpler form of carburetter than when kerosene is used. Failure to
ignite is less frequent, and the combustion is cleaner. OILS FOR MOTOR-CARS.
Nevertheless, since the supply of petrol is not limit
less, attempts are being made, with some success, to OSSIBLY this article may be of interest to readers utilise kerosene as a source of motor energy..
The of Nature who are not chemists, and therefore principle employed is that of heating up the vapour of no apology need be made for treating certain parts the kerosene, or the liquid itself, in order to allow of of the subject in an elementary manner. The com- a readier admixture with the air in the carburetter. mercial names for motor-oils are numerous and con- This is effected either by the heat of the exhaust or fusing, and the automobilist may well be puzzled to by some other special contrivance. A “ smokeless discriminate between them, even if his chemistry has petroleum engine” has recently been described which by no means become a mere schoolboy reminiscence. is said to run without smoke or smell, and without
The various liquids in use at the present time as "sooting” the cylinder. It will not, however, start fuels for motors are derived from three sources, namely, with the cold kerosene. Petrol is used for the first crude petroleum, coal tar, and alcohols. By far the revolutions in order to heat the vaporiser and raise largest quantity is furnished by the petroleum. Coal- the kerosene to the necessary temperature. tar ** spirit" is scarcely beyond the experimental stage. As regards differences of quality met with in motor Alcohol is somewhat largely used abroad, but at pre- spirits (petrol), the first thing to notice is that the sent is almost out of the question in this country. higher the density of the liquid the nearer does it
Products from Crude Petroleum.—These, so far as approach to the character of kerosene and to the motor fuel is concerned, are two: a light oil and a possession of the disadvantages peculiar to the latter. heavier or " burning" oil. The light oil, in one grade to meet the growing demand, makers have been nore or another, is variously known as gasoline, petroleum and more inclined to eke out their supply of petrol by spirit, petrol, petrol spirit, motor spirit, mineral spirit, including a portion of the heavier fractions that were motol, moto-essence, naphtha, petroleum-benzine, and formerly rejected. Hence many of the present oils are benzoline. Of these, gasoline has the lowest density, to that extent of inferior quality. Next, the density benzoline the highest. The oil is obtained in the dis- | alone is not an infallible criterion, because a spirit tillation of American crude petroleum, and may be having a density of, let us say, 0.700, may be made up said generally to be the portion of the distillate pass- in different ways. Ideally, it might consist of a single ing through the still between the temperature-limits hydrocarbon having the density in question. On the of 60° C. and 150° C., and having a specific gravity other hand, it might be compounded of two hydroranging from o 68 10 0.74. The limits, however, vary carbons having widely different densities, such as 0.660 somewhat with the different refineries. To obtain a and 0-740 respectively. In the first case it would distil good motor “ spirit” this fraction of the distillate is completely at one uniform temperature, in the second purified with sulphuric acid and with soda, and rectified there would be a difference of perhaps a hundred