In 1949 one of the authors suggested’ that, by the use of the exhaust-heated cycle for a gas-turbine power plant, the new problems and difficulties then besetting those who were trying to produce a coal-burning gas turbine, including (a) feeding of pulverized coal under pressure, (b) burning pulverized coal under pressure, (c) gasifying coal under pressure, (d) separating ash from high-temperature gases, (e) establishing the tolerance of turbine blades to ash erosion, might be replaced by two problems different in degree but not in nature from those encountered in the design of boilers, namely, (1) combustion of coal in a furnace at essentially atmospheric pressure; (2) heating of a compressed gas by transfer of heat from hot combustion products. It appeared that adaptation of the existing technology to the gas-turbine conditions should prove easier than the evolution of a completely new technology. It was recognized, however, that the differences in degree made it impossible to design, with confidence, a power plant which might be expected to be immediately successful. It was, therefore, suggested that a purely experimental plant should be designed, constructed, and tested to lay the foundations for a future successful design. Representatives of the two major Canadian railroads considered that this proposal might lead to the evolution of a coal-burning gas-turbine locomotive that would play a useful part in their operations. The Dominion Coal Board felt that such a program might lead to the development of improved ways of utilizing coal and thereby effectively help the Canadian coal industry. The Department of Mines and Technical Surveys then placed a contract with McGill University for such a program to be carried out under the senior author’s direction. Since that time, a vast amount of work has been done. The experimental plant has been built and has now completed its first series of tests. A great deal of theoretical design and economic consideration has been given to possible applications. The present paper reviews what has been done, and discusses the lessons that have been learned and their application in the future.

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