coal gas

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A fuel produced by distilling coal at high temperatures to extract its gaseous content, consisting of carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and methane in varying concentrations, depending on the quality of coal used to produce it. Coal gas was used widely as a domestic fuel, but it was dangerous, mainly because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, a popular mode of suicide. It has been mostly superseded by natural gas, i.e. gaseous hydrocarbons, mainly methane.

Subjects: Chemistry — Public Health and Epidemiology.

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