By Fred Aftalion
Goals to supply a world standpoint on chemistry, integrating the tale of chemical technological know-how with that of the chemical undefined, and emphasizing very important advancements of the twentieth century.
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Barilla, imported from Spain and produced from the ashes of plants like saltwort (Salsola, hence the name "sal soda") was a cheaper source of alkalis, but its sodium carbonate content varied, seldom exceeding 15 percent. Rougher kinds of soda with a strong salt content were also obtained through calcination of seaweed (kelp) collected along the coasts of Brittany, Ireland, and later Scotland. These different sources of sodium carbonate barely added up to 10,000 tons per year, and France, more than other countries, was feeling the need for supplies steady in quantity, quality, and price.
Courtesy Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Collection. 19 4. Jöns Jakob Berzelius. Courtesy Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Collection. 21 5. Amedeo Avogadro. Courtesy Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Collection. 23 6. Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac. Courtesy Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Collection. 24 7. Frédéric Kuhlmann. 33 8. William Henry Perkin. Courtesy Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Collection. 36 9. Justus Liebig's laboratory, Giessen, 1842. Courtesy Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Collection. 40 10. Friedrich August Kekulé. Courtesy Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Collection.
Before Black's work it was believed that all gases were the element air more or less filled with various impurities. Hydrogen, previously known as "inflammable air," was discovered in 1766 by Henry Cavendish, who generated it from the action of an acid on a metal such as iron. Hydrogen was later used in balloons and dirigibles. " On August 1, 1774, Priestley obtained a gas by heating red calx of mercury (now recognized as mercuric oxide) in a closed vessel by means of a lens focusing sunlight. He found that a candle burned brilliantly in this gas.
A history of the international chemical industry by Fred Aftalion