During this time, Bennett became involved with various coal mining ventures in Greece and Turkey. These were ultimately unsuccessful, but gave him expertise in mining and coal chemistry. He spent four years in Greece, and was involved in protracted negotiations involving land claims by members of the deposed Turkish royal family.
In 1938, he was asked to head Britain's first industrial research organization, the British Coal Utilisation Research Association (BCURA). With the outbreak of World War II, BCURA's research was focussed on developing fuel efficient fireplaces and finding alternatives to oil. BCURA developed cars powered by coal-gas and a coal-based plastic.
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