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USES OF NITROGEN. To tlte Editor, of tl(e Chemist. Sir,—Observing in your little Publication, page 108, the subject of Nitrogen, I wish to make a few remarks, which may not prove uninteresting to your readers.
You say, we are as yet ignoraut of the utility of this gas iu constituting so large a portion of the atmosphere; the mode of its operation; and that it is the oxygen alone that disappears in respiration and combustion. It has been, you will allow, most satisfactorily proved, that oxygen only breathed, caused a laborious and hurried respiration, and is incapable long of supporting animal life; if so, why doubt for a moment whether or not oxygen (Query, azot?) be inhaled, and inform me how it is supplied, to be emitted in such large quantities in the decomposition of all animal substances. In my experiments I have proved, and therefore agree with Mr. Troussett, that the gas emitted from the skin is pure azot; and as, in vegetables, it combines with carbon, hydrogen, and a small portion of oxygen, to form oil, wax, resin, &c. so in my opinion, does it combine with the same substances, though in different proportions, to form the fat, gelatine, and vmscular fibiae of all living animals.
OBSERVATIONS ON SOME MASSES OF IRON FOUND ON THE EASTERN CORDILLERE OF THE ANDES. (By Messrs. Mariano de Rivero and Boussingault.) Oia arriving at Santa Rosa, a village on the road from Pamplona to Bogota, we were informed that a mine of iron had been discovered in1 the neighbourhood, and that a fragment of this mineral was used by the farrier of the village for an anvil; but we were agreeably surpiisrd when we discovered that the supposed mineral was a mass of iron full of vacuities of an irregular form, and having all the characteristics of meteoric iron. This mass was found on the hill of
Tocavita, half a mile from the village, to the eastward, on Holy Saturday, in the year 1810, by Cecilia Corredor. We repaired to the spot, and saw the excavation which it was necessary to make to get out the mass, for it was almost buried, a single point of some inches only appearing above the surface. The hill of Tocavita, as well as the land about Santa Rosa,-consists of a sand stone of the secondary formation, which is there of a considerable extent. Santa Rosa is about twenty leagues to the northeast of Bogota, in 5° 40' lat., and 75° 40' long, west of Paris, and 2744 metres above the level of the, sea; The inhabitants of the village all united their elforts to fetch this mass of iron down; it remained eight years at the municipality, and was afterwards for seven years made use of by the farrier.
The iron, though full of holes, did not any where contain signs of being covered with a vitreous cake or varnish. It was malleable, granulated, easily filed, had a brilliant white colour, and its specific gravity was 7.3. This mass contained 102 cubic decimetres, and consequently must have weighed about 750 kilogrammes, upwards of Hi 10 pounds. At the same time that this mass was discovered, a great many fragments were also found at different other parts of the hill; and during our short stay in that neighbourhood, we collected several small pieces. We analysed a portion of the large mass in the followingmanner:—A piece, weighing 1 gramme 28. of this mass having been thrown into nitric acid, was rapidly dissolved, leaving only a very small residuum; we then evaporated nearly to dryness; in order to oxidate the iron sufficiently, water was then added, ,and a pre-, citate produced by ammonia. The oxide separated by the filter was washed in Warm water; the ammoniacal liquid was tinged green; and the prussiate of potash produced a precipitate of a light green, which indicated the presence of nickel and not of copper. When this ammoniacai solution. was reduced to the half of its volume by evaporation, vie added caustic potash to it; and, to be certain of the entire decomposition of the double salts of ammonia and nickel, we evaporated to dryness. Water was added to the residuum, and the oxide of nickel which we obtained, washed, and calcined, weighed 0.14. By treating the oxide of iron obtained with acetic acid, a further proportion of 0.01 of nickel was obtained. Thus the elementsof this substance are oxide of iron 1.17, oxide of nickel 0.15; or 100 parts contain 91.41 iron, 8.59 nickel. The authors then give an account of the analysis which they made of several other meteoric masses of iron, and they found in all of them about 8 parts in the 100 to be nickel. In some of the stones they found a small portion of insoluble matter, which they conjecture to be a mixture of iron, nickel, and perhaps chromium.
DICTIONARY OF CHEMISTRY.
Anatase. A very scarce mineral, found only in Dauphiny and Norway, remarkable for showing a variety of colours by reflected light.
Anatto. A pigment obtained from the seeds of the bixa orellana, a tree cultivated in America and the West Indies, used in dyeing and colouring cheese.
Andalusjte. A massive mineral, of a flesh colour, first found in Andalusia, in Spain, whence its name.
Andreolite, harmolome. Crossstone.
Anhydrite. A species of gypsum, the marmo bardiglio di Bergamo of statuaries; it takes a fine polish.
Anil, nil. The plant from the leaves of which indigo is prepared. It grows in America.
Animals, chemically considered, are chiefly composed of azot, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen; and with these, phosphorus and lime— forming the bony parts, sulphur, soda, magnesia, iron, &c, are frequently found combined invariable proportions. The analysis of animal substances is as yet very incom
plete and imperfect, but is now prosecuting, particularly in France, with considerable success.
Anime, gum animc. A resinous substance, brought from America, used by perfumers, and by surgeons, to form plasters, which have been thought beneficial for nervous affections of the head.
Annealing. A process somewhat analogous in principle (o tempering metals. Its object is to render substances, otherwise brittle, tough; and it is usually performed by cooling them gradually after they have been heated.
Anthracite. Blind coal, Kilkenny coal, glance coal. A peculiar coal, which yields neither flame nor smoke, and leaves whitish ashes behind.
Anthranotiiiqn. A name given by M. Von Grotthus to the supposed base of sulpbocyanic acid.
Antimoniates. Compounds of antiraonic acid and different bases.
Antimonic Acid, peroxide of antimony.
Antimonious Acid, deutoxide of antimony, argentine flowers of antimony.
Antimonites. Compounds of antimonious acid and different bases.
Antimony. A peculiar undecompounded metal. The antimony of commerce is an ore consisting of sulphur and this metal.
, butter of, chloride of
, hydrosulphuret of,
kermes mineral, formerly a very celebrated medicine.
Ants, acid of, formic acid.
Apatite, phosphate of lime. A mineral found in the tin mines of Cornwall and other places.
Aphlogistic Lamp. A lamp which burns without flame,in vented by Sir Humphrey Davy, and employed by miners, it being an addition to the safety lamp of the same illustrious chemist.
AN ARTIFICIAL VOLCANO. Mix together two parts of nitrate of zinc and one part of subacetate of cobalt, and expose the mixture to the heat of a .spirit lamp in a small glass globe with a short neck, or in a platina spoon. The mixture soon becomes liquid, and seems at first of a rose colour, then purple, then blue, and in an instant it catches fire, detonates, becomes dry, and of a line green. The product spreads over the glass like small rolled up leaves of tea. A single sheet of paper will receive the whole of the eruption of the crater of this mimic chemical volcano.
ERRORS AMONG THE MASTERS; OR, DR. THOMPSON AND M. VAUQUELIN.
To the Editor of the Chemist. Sir,—Some of your readers who are deep in the study of chemistry may thank me for the following translation of some observations of M.Vauquelin.the celebrated French chemist, on a passage in Dr. Thompson's System of Chemistry. They are contained in the Annates de Chimie et Physique for April 1824. . . I am, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
In Thompson's System of Chemistry, says M. Vauquelin, p. 311, (the passage is to be found at p. 273, vol. i. sixth edition,) it is Stated:—" When electric sparks are passed through phosphuretted hydrogen gas for some time, the phosphorus is deposited, and pure hydrogen gas remains; but the volume of the gas is not altered by this process. Hence it follows, that phosphuretted hydrogen gas consists of hydrogen gas holding a quantity of phosphorus in solution. This quantity is discovered by subtracting the specific gravity of hydrogen gas from that of phosphuretted hydrogen." Further on, at p. 275, he says:—" Hydrophosphoric gas may be procured by exposing phosphuretted hydrogen to the direct rays of the sun. A quantity of phosphorus is deposited, and the gas changed into bihydrogu ret of phosphorus. When sulphur is sublimed in this gas, the volume is doubled, and two volumes of sulphuretted hydrogen
gas are formed.'' An effect which, according to the same author, continues M. Vauquelin, takes place when potassium is heated in it. From this the conclusion is drawn that bihydroguret of phosphorus is composed of two volumes of hydrogen gas united to the same quantity of phosphorus as exists in one volume of phosphuretted hydrogen gas, and these two volumes are condensed into one. There is in this, as is very evident, a manifest contradiction. If phosphuretted hydrogen gas consists of hydrogen gas holding a quantity of phosphorus in solution, without being condensed, and if this gas is converted by the effect of the sun's rays, or by electricity, into bihydroguret of phosphorus without changing its volume, it is evident that the latter is also a solution of phosphorus in hydrogen, without condensation, and that there is no difference between these gases but in the quantity of phosphorus. In fact, in order to make the second part of the reasoning of Dr. Thompson correct, the phosphuretted hydrogen gas should be condensed to the half of its volume in becoming bihydroguret of phosphorus, which, according to Dr.Thompson's own statement, does not take place. This would be the first time, probably, that hydrogen gas was ever seen to condense its volume in parting with a solid body which it held in solution, though the contrary is frequently met with. It is, however, of some consequence to ascertain if the volume of the bihydroguret is doubled when sulphur is sublimed in it; for as it is ascertained that sulphuretted hydrogen gas contains a volume of hydrogen eqtfal to its own volume, it must be admitted, that if the volume of bihydroguret was doubled by the sulphur, it must contain two volumes of hydrogen gas condensed in one; but this does not happen, as will be seen by what follows: — Experiment 1st. One hundred measures of phosphuretted hydrogen gas, exposed for some days to the influence of the sun, deposited phosphorus, and ceased to take fire in the air; the volume was not sensibly diminished l-50th part. I supposed that this v;as, thus exposed, was . decomposed, when, on allowing bubbles of it to escape through the mercury, it did not burn; it appeared, however, that it was not entirely decomposed, for, some time afterwards, having lifted up the bell-glass, in which it was contained, suddenly, it caught fire, and deposited a good deal of sulphur. Ex. 2nd. One hundred measures of phosphuretted hydrogen gas were heated with sulphur; their volume increased about l-10th, aud they were converted into hydrosulphuric acid gas.— Ex. 3d. One hundred measures of bihydroguret of phosphorus having been heated with sulphur, were decomposed, and changed into sulphuretted hydrogen gas, but they did not sensibly alter their volume more than about 4$ measures.— Ex. 4th. One hundred and twentyfive measures of phosphuretted hydrogen gas, mixed with distilled water, and placed in a dark situation, were speedily decomposed; the phosphorus was deposited, and the gas no longer took fire in the air* The diminution of volume was l-25tb." Ex. 5th. Phosphuretted hydrogen gas placed in contact with distilled water, and exposed to the cold produced by mixing ice and salt, was speedily decomposed, though in a dark place. Water and cold, then, promote more actively than the sun, the decomposition of phosphuretted hydrogen. This decomposition cannot be attributed to the presence of air in the water; for its volume is not sensibly diminished; besides, this gas is little soluble in water. These experiments prove that phosphuretted hydrogen gas and bihydroguret of phosphorus are simple solutions of phosphorus in hydrogen gas, without its being condensed; for the small augmentation of volume which took place in melting sulphur in bihydroguret of phosphorus is of no consequence; besides, this augmentation takes place in both. Thus these two gases contain volumes of hydrogen gas equal to their own volumes, and only
differ in the proportion of their
phosphorus. ' „ it,,,..
The Editor hopes that the present notice, though late, will not prevent any of the friends of the Chemical Society from attending the proposed Meeting. He has received W. J/s permission to name him, and his assent to the meeting taking place at his offered room. As before announced, therefore, those gentlemen who wish to form among themselves such a SojcieU, will have the goodness to meefat Mr. Joues's, No, 55, Great" Frescot-street, at eight o'clock on Saturday evening^ The Editor must again express his own regret at being unable to attend, more particularly as he has been requested by a country Correspondent to make known the regulations adopted in such a Society. At the same time, he will be happy to make the Chemist the vehicle for submitting to public perusal any of the proceedings of the Society which he and they think worthy of publication. •
ON THE PURIFICATION OF
To the Editor of the Chemist. Sir,—Could you, or any of your Correspondents, inform me of a receipt for purifying water which contains iron J By giving me art answer in some following Number you will greatljr oblige, —
— ■i I" ,'!■ '!,<
Juvenis, and James Mursh,.iM,yoi^ next.
We have unfortunately mistaVd' ttie communication of ASOTri E'k! B>\'rWi"*> Maid, or it would have appeared in.' the present Number. We ftei>m-.ii**. not deserve any further favours, but knowing that woman's charity is always greater tiiwinm&tftfiin&iye hope we shall.heat' from her again.
%* ■Commumc.qliims (post pud) io be addressed to i/ic.Editor,pt (li^f^ijj*
Ushers'. . t . » .■Mt,ik»i tirlfc. In.
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