Charles Wye Williams, Boilers and Fuel

By Paul Quinn, published November 2007

Abstract

Charles Wye Williams (1780-1866) was a scientist, industrialist and one of the nineteenth century’s most prominent steamship owners, and an early student of the chemistry of combustion in marine boiler furnaces. From 1838, his work on improving the efficiency of marine steam engines led to the adoption of improved furnaces designs, changes to the shape and layout of boilers, the use of higher pressures and the change from coke to coal as the fuel of choice.   This practical work came together with the science of thermodynamics in 1853 when John Elder and Charles Randolph’s compound engine delivered significantly reduced fuel consumption over any marine steam engine then available.

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Filed under: Atlantic | Irish Sea | Other (Eighteenth C)
Subjects include: Miscellaneous | Science & Exploration | Shipbuilding & Design

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