Link #119: 100 Tonnes of Ash Was Ejected by Titanic per Day!



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Link #119: 100 Tonnes of Ash Was Ejected by Titanic per Day!

RMS Titanic
RMS Titanic departing Southampton on April 10, 1912. Author: F.G.O. Stuart (1843-1923), PD Image.

As explained in our last post, it’s possible for human ashes to be converted into real diamonds that can be used as normal diamonds. This service, offered by a company in Switzerland, is for people who feel a special bond with their loved ones and don’t want to be far from them even in death.

However, the people behind the Titanic didn’t have any such special bonds with their ship because the ash it created was jetted out into the sea. Even if they wanted to, they couldn’t have kept the ash because the Titanic created more than 100 tonnes of ash on a daily basis!

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How Did the Titanic Create So Much Ash?

Steam powered vessel
Steam powered vessel, PD Imiage.

The Titanic was the largest passenger ship on the planet when it was commissioned. It measured a massive 269 metres in length which also made it the largest moving manmade object on Earth.

Even though movement on water is easier than movement on land, it still requires generation of energy. The Titanic depended on the burning of coal for propulsion. The by-product produced when coal is burned is ash.

Since the Titanic burned between 600 to 650 tonnes of coal per day, massive amounts of ash were also produced. The Titanic produced approximately 100 tonnes of ash on an everyday basis.

What Did the Titanic Do With All That Ash?

Titanic boiler
Titanic boilers display model, handcrafted with styrofoam, made to actual size. Image credit: cliff1066™/CC BY 2.0

Dealing with so much ash is no easy task on land leave alone on water. The only option available to the designers of the Titanic at the time was to eject the ash into the water around the ship.

However, even deciding to eject ash into the surrounding ocean wasn’t enough. The reason was that all the boiler rooms on the Titanic were located below the surface of the ocean. This meant that the designers had to come up with the most efficient way of ejecting almost 100 tonnes of ash into the surrounding ocean.

In order to resolve this problem, a device known as an ash ejector was employed. Each boiler room had two ash ejectors. The ash was collected at the bottom of a boiler. It was then carried from that location to the ash ejector.

The ash ejector was a device which used both air and water to eject the ash into the water. People responsible for dealing with the ash, known as trimmers, shovelled the ash into a grating.

Rushing air then took the ash from the bottom of the grating and into a rushing stream of water. This water took the ash through a pipe before ejecting it into the sea from the side of the ship.

Did the Titanic Eject Ash Near Harbours Too?

The Titanic pictured in Cobh Harbour, 11 april 1912
The Titanic pictured in Cobh Harbour, 11 april 1912, PD Image.

If the Titanic had ejected so much ash into its surrounding waters in harbour regions, then the other ships would’ve been affected. So, when the Titanic was in harbour waters, it would stop venting ash into the surrounding ocean.

In fact, in such situations, the Titanic would shut most of its boiler rooms and only operate out of one which was the number one boiler room. Here, there were no ash ejectors but instead ash hoists that could be used to put all that ash into canvas bags.

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