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Sewer gas destructor lamp




Biogas forming in sewers via anaerobic digestion can be a potentially smelly and explosive hazard (chiefly due to methane).

Patented Sewer Gas Destructor Lamp

Unlike ordinary gas lamps for street lighting, the main purpose of sewer gas destructor lamps is to remove sewer gases and their hazards. JE Webb of Birmingham patented a sewer gas destructor lamp. Many of these lamps were installed in the UK in towns and cities such as Sheffield, Winchester and Blyth, Northumberland. With a flame generated by burning town gas, sewer gases were drawn from the sewer below and burnt off along with the town gas to produce mainly carbon dioxide.

Lamps in Sheffield

The lamps tended to be installed at places where sewer gases were likely to collect, such as at the tops of hills. The city of Sheffield, being a hilly area, had many sewer gas destructor lamps and many remain.

Sheffield on the Net - City Curiosities has a section The Old Gas Lamps. - Eldon Street, which states:

Eighty-four of these street lamps were erected in Sheffield between 1914 and 1935, the largest number in any British town, due mainly to the many hills in the area where gas could be trapped.

Picture of an example lamp

The lamp in the picture (taken in 2003) was still alight in the 1980s, but was extinguished by the end of the 20th century. It is situated at the corner of Stannington View Road and Mulehouse Road in Crookes, Sheffield, UK.

Current justification of the lamps

Although many of the existing lamps in Sheffield and elsewhere are now disused, the lamps still have a use today in reducing the hazards of explosion and also perhaps in reducing the greenhouse effect by stopping methane escaping into the atmosphere. The sewer gas destructor lamps convert methane (a potent greenhouse gas) from the sewers into carbon dioxide (a lesser greenhouse gas).


The City of Winchester, UK
Photo of lamp in Seaton Delaval, Northumberland, UK
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sewer_gas_destructor_lamp". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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