OIL: Happy Coincidence

Toluene—the conclusive T in TNT—goes under full allocation next week. So there will be less for paint solvents, dyes, etc., for civilian use. But for such currently essential uses as blowing the Axis to pieces, the production future of toluene looks bright. Furthermore there is a happy coincidence between the techniques of toluene and aviation gasoline production.

In World War I, the only large-scale commercial method of producing toluene was from by-product coke ovens, which were then a bright new technological improvement over beehive ovens. Germany's Heinrich Koppers, at the instigation of U.S. Steel, had begun revolutionizing U.S. coke production with...

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