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Industrial acids, test papers and waters

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Industrial Acids, Test Papers & Waters[edit]

From the Household Cyclopedia, 1881


To Procure Pyroligneous Acid[edit]

This acid is procured from any kind of green wood (such as cord wood), used for making charcoal; a cord of wood will produce about 80 galls. It is obtained in the following manner: A brisk oven is filled with coal or wood, until it becomes sufficiently hot to heat an oven over it to that degree as to reduce green wood to a charcoal. The upper oven should be closely stopped except a tube at the top to carry off the steam or acid, which tube is passed through water, and the steam thus condensed forms the acid.

To Prepare the same.

Place a large east-iron cylinder, or retort (similar to those used for the production of coal gas), in a furnace, so that it may receive as much heat, all round, as possible. One end of this cylinder must be so constructed as to open and shut, to admit wood, and exclude the air.

Oak, in pieces about 1 foot in length is to be put into the cylinder, which is to be filled as full as possible, without being wedged, and the door must be shut close to exclude air; from the cylinder let a worm run through cold water to condense the acid; by this it is conveyed to a large cask placed on one end, where there is a pipe to carry it from that to 2 or 3 more; thus it is completely secured from flying off in the vaporous state. The fire is now to be raised to a great heat, sufficiently powerful to convert the wood completely into charcoal. When the acid ceases to come over, the fire is to be taken out, and the mass of wood left to cool in the confined state, when it becomes perfect charcoal. In the first cask, tar is chiefly contained with the acid; it precipitates to the bottom and is drawn off by a cock; it is afterwards boiled in an iron boiler to evaporate the acid, before it is fit for use. If the acid is not strong enough, it is put into large square vats about 6 inches deep, for the purpose of making a large surface, to evaporate a part of the water contained in the acid, more especially by a slow heat. These vats are bedded on sand upon the top of a brick stove, where a gentle heat is applied; thus it may be procured in a pretty strong state.

This acid is a liquid of the color of white wine, possesses a strong acid and slightly astringent taste, combined with an empyreumatic smell. When allowed to remain in a state of rest for 8 or 10 days, tar of a black color subsides, and the acid is then comparatively transparent. To purify it further, it undergoes the process of distillation by which it is freed from a still greater portion of the tar, with which it is combined, and is thus rendered still more transparent. But through the process of distillation be repeated without end it will never be freed from the volatile oil with which it is combined, and which is the cause of empyreuma constantly attending it. In short, it contains the same properties for the preservation of animal matters from putrefaction as smoking them by wood does, which is practiced at present by the most barbarous nations, and which has been handed down from the remotest ages of antiquity.

Glacial Acetic Acid (Ice Vinegar)[edit]

To 83 lbs. of fused acetate of soda add 100 lbs. of sulphuric acid and distill. Place the distillate in ice at 50o Fahr., it will become solid. Allow it to drain. It is the monohydrated acid.

Oil of Vitriol[edit]

The strongest or Nordhausen or fuming acid is made by distilling green vitriol at a red heat. The residue is colcothar or crocus martis. It is used for dissolving indigo and other purposes where an acid of great strength is required. The ordinary sulphuric acid is made by causing vapors of sulphurous acid (from burning sulphur), nitric acid and water, to combine in a leaden chamber. The weak acid is concentrated in leaden pans, and afterwards in a platinum still.

Nitric Acid[edit]

Or aqua fortis, may be made by distilling at a gentle heat in a glass retort, equal weights of saltpetre (nitrate of potassa), and sulphuric acid. The receiver should be kept cooled by a cloth dipped in water. To obtain it pure it must be redistilled over nitrate of silver.

Hydrochloric Acid[edit]

Or muriatic acid (marine acid, spirit of salt). Take 3 parts common salt, 5 of oil of vitriol, and 6 of water. Mix the oil of vitriol with 2 parts of water in a thin glass vessel, and allow the mixture to cool. Put the salt into a glass retort connected with a receiver containing the remaining 3 parts of water. Pour the mixture of sulphuric acid and water upon the salt, and distill with a gentle heat. To purify it, mix with an equal volume of water, and distill over chloride of barium.

Chlorine Water[edit]

Pass a current of chlorine gas, made by the action of commercial muriatic acid upon black oxide of manganese, into a bottle half filled with water, shaking occasionally. Water will absorb twice its volume of this gas, acquires thereby a yellowish color, and the peculiar smell of chlorine. It is used in medicine and to bleach linen, take out fruit marks, etc. It should be kept in the dark, or in a bottle covered with blue paper.

Sulphurous Acid Water[edit]

Is made as above, using sulphurous acid instead of chlorine. This gas may be prepared by the action of sulphuric acid upon copper, charcoal, or sulphur. Water absorbs 50 volumes of the gas. The solution is used for bleaching purposes, in medicine, and to check fermentation.

Test Liquors, Test Papers, Etc.[edit]

Distilled water only should be used in these preparations. In preparing the papers the liquid should be placed in an earthenware plate or dish, and the paper carefully immersed in it so as to be uniformly wetted then dried out of the reach of acid, ammoniacal, or other vapors likely to affect it; and afterwards kept in bottles, jars, or cases.

Brazil Paper[edit]

Dip paper in a strong decoction of Brazil wood and dry it. [It is rendered purple or violet by alkalies; generally yellow by acids.]

Cabbage Paper[edit]

Make a strong infusion of red cabbage leaves, strain it, and evaporate it by a gentle heat till considerably reduced. Then dip the paper in it and dry it in the air. [This paper is of a grayish color; alkalies change it to green, acids to red. It is a very delicate test; if rendered slightly green by an alkali, carbonic acid will restore the color.]

Dahlia Paper[edit]

From the petals of violet-dahlias, as cabbage paper.

Elderberry Paper[edit]

This is merely paper stained with the juice of the berries. Its blue color is changed to red by acids, and to green by alkalies.

Indigo Paper[edit]

Immerse paper in sulphate of indigo, wash it with water rendered slightly alkaline, then with pure water, and dry it in the air.

Iodide of Potassium and Starch Paper[edit]

Mix starch paste with solution of iodide of potassium, and moisten bibulous paper with it. [It becomes blue when exposed to ozone. Chlorine has the same effect.]

Lead Paper[edit]

Paper dipped in a solution of acetate of lead. [When moistened it detects sulphuretted hydrogen, which renders it black.

Blue Litmus Paper[edit]

Bruise 1 oz. of litmus in a mortar, and add boiling water; triturate together, put them in a flask and add boiling water to make up to half a pint; when cool strain it, and dip paper in it. More color may be extracted from the litmus by hot water, but the liquid will require to be concentrated by evaporation. [Acids change the color to red, but it does not become green with alkalies.]

Red Litmus Paper[edit]

As the last, adding to the strained infusion few drops of nitric acid, or of pure acetic acid.

Rose Paper[edit]

Make a strong infusion of the petals of the red rose, and dip unsized paper in it. [Dipped in an alkaline solution so weak as not to affect turmeric paper, it assumes a bright green color.]

Manganese Paper[edit]

Dip paper in a solution of sulphate of manganese. [It becomes black in an ozonized atmosphere.]

Rhubarb Paper[edit]

Dip paper in a strong infusion of rhubarb, and dry it. [Alkalies render it brown. It is not, like turmeric paper, affected by boracic acid.]

Starch Paper[edit]

This is merely paper imbued with starch paste. Cotton cord is sometimes used instead of paper. [As a test for iodine, which turns it blue.]

Turmeric Paper[edit]

Boil 1 oz. of coarsely powdered turmeric-root in 1/2 a pint of water for 1/2 an hour, and strain; dip paper in the liquid and dry it. [It is rendered brown by alkalies, and also by boracic acid and borates.]

Artificial Waters[edit]

The following afford approximate imitations of those waters. The earthy salts, with salts of iron, should be dissolved together in the smallest quantity of water. The other ingredients to be dissolved in the larger portion of the water, and the solution impregnated with gas. The first solution may be then added, or be previously introduced into the bottles. The salts, unless otherwise stated, are to be crystallized.

Baden Water[edit]

Chloride of magnesium, 2 grs.; chloride of calcium, 40 grs.; sesquichloride of iron, 1/4 gr. (or 3 minims of the tincture); common salt, 30 grs.; sulphate of soda, 10 grs., carbonate of soda, 1 gr.; water, 1 pt.; carbonic acid gas, 5 volumes.

Carlsbad Water[edit]

Chloride of calcium, 8 grs.; tincture of chloride of iron, 1 drop; sulphate of soda, 50 grs.; carbonate of soda, 8 grs.; carbonated water, 1 pt.


Carbonate of soda, 5 grs., sulphate of soda, 4 scruples; chloride of sodium, 10 grs., sulphate of magnesia, 3 grs.; chloride of calcium, 5 grs.; carbonated waters, 1 pt. Or it may be made without the apparatus, thus: - Bicarbonate of soda, 30 grs.; chloride of sodium, 8 grs., sulphate of magnesia, 3 grs.; water, 1 pt. Dissolve, and add a scruple of dry bisulphate of soda, and close the bottle immediately.


Carbonate of soda, 2 scruples; sulphate of potash, 1 gr.; sulphate of magnesia, 5 grs.; common salt, 10 grs.; chloride of calcium, 3 grs.; carbonated water, 1 pt.

Pullna Water[edit]

Sulphate of soda, 4 drs.; sulphate of magnesia, 4 drs.; chloride of lime, 15 grs.; chloride of magnesium (dry), 1 scruple; common salt, 1 scruple; bicarbonate of soda, 10 grs.; water slightly carbonated, 1 pt. One of the most active of the purgative saline waters.

Pullna Water, without the Machine.[edit]

Bicarbonate of soda, 50 grs.; sulphate of magnesia, 4 drs.; sulphate of soda, 3 drs.; common salt, 1 scruple. Dissolve in a pint of water; add, lastly. 2 scruples of bisulphate of soda, and close the bottle immediately.

Salts for Making Pullna Water[edit]

Dry bicarbonate of soda, 1 oz.; dried sulphate of soda, 2 oz.; dried sulphate of magnesia, 1 1/2 oz.; dry common salt, 2 drs.; dry tartaric acid, 3/4 oz. (or rather, dry bisulphate of soda, 1 oz.).

Seidlitz Water[edit]

This is usually imitated by strongly aerating a solution of 2 drs. of sulphate of magnesia in a pint of water. It is also made with 4, 6, and 8 drs. of the salts to a pint of water.

Seidlitz Powder[edit]

The common Seidlitz powders do not resemble the water. A closer imitation would be made by using ef-floresced sulphate of magnesia instead of the potassiotartrate of soda. A still more exact compound will be the following: - Effloresced sulphate of magnesia, 2 oz.; bicarbonate of soda, 1/2 oz.; dry bisulphate of soda, 1/2 oz. Mix and keep in a close bottle.

Seltzer Water.[edit]

Chloride of calcium and chloride of magnesium of each 4 grs. Dissolve these in a small quantity of water, and add it to a similar solution of 8 grs. bicarbonate of soda, 20 grs. common salt, and 2 grs. of phosphate of soda. Mix, and add a solution of 1/4 of a gr. of sulphate of iron. Put the mixed solution into a 20-oz. bottle, and fill up with aerated water. But much of the Seltzer water sold is said to be nothing more than simple carbonated water. An imitation of Seltzer water is also made by putting into a stone Seltzer bottle, filled with water, 2 drs. bicarbonate of soda, and 2 drs. of citrate acid in crystals, corking the bottle immediately. Soda powders are sometimes sold as Seltzer powders.

Vichy Water[edit]

Bicarbonate of soda, 1 dr.; common salt, 2 grs.; sulphate of soda, 8 grs.; sulphate of magnesia, 3 grs. tincture of chloride of iron, 2 drops: aerated water, 1 pt. Dorvault directs 75 grs. of bicarbonate of soda, 4 grs. of chloride of sodium, one fifth of a gr. sulphate of iron, 10 grs. sulphate of soda, 3 grs. sulphate of magnesia, to 1 pt. of water. By adding 45 grs. (or less) of citric acid an effervescing water is obtained.

M. Soubeiran, relying on the analysis of Longchamps, imitates Vichy water by the following combination: - Bicarbonate of soda, 135 grs.; chloride of sodium, 2 1/2 grs.; cryst. chloride of calcium,;2 grs.; sulphate of soda, 11 1/2 grs.; sulphate of magnesia, 3 3/4 grs.; tartrate of iron and potash, 1/8 gr., water, 2 and one-tenth pts. (1 litre); carbonic acid, 305 cubic inches (5 litres). Dissolve the salts of soda and iron in part of the water dissolve and add the sulphate of magnesia, and then the chloride of calcium in the remaining water. Charge now with the carbonic acid gas under pressure.

Vichy Salts[edit]

Bicarbonate of soda, 1 1/2 oz.; common salt, 15 grs.; ef-floresced sulphate of soda, 1 dr.; effloresced sulphate of magnesia, 1 scruple; dry tartarized sulphate of iron, 1 gr.; dry tartaric acid, 1 oz. (or dry bisulphate of soda, 1 oz.). Mix the powders, previously dried, and keep them in a close bottle.

Simple Sulphuretted Water[edit]

Pass sulphuretted hydrogen into cold water (previously deprived of air by boiling, and cooled in a closed vessel), till it ceases to be absorbed.

Aix-la-Chapelle Water[edit]

Bicarbonate of soda, 12 grs.; common salt, 25 grs.; chloride of calcium, 3 grs.; sulphate of soda, 8 grs.; simple sulphuretted water, 2 1/2 oz.; water slightly carbonated, 17 1/2 oz.

Bareges Water[edit]

Crystallized hydrosulphate of soda, crystallized carbonate of soda, and common salt, of each 2 1/2 grs.; water (freed from air), 1 pt. A stronger solution for adding to baths is thus made: - Crystallized hydrosulphate of soda, crystallized carbonate of soda, and common salt, of each 2 oz.; water, 10 oz. Dissolve. To be added to a common bath at the time of using.

Naples Water[edit]

Crystallized carbonate of soda, 15 grs.; fluid magnesia, 1 oz.; simple sulphuretted water, 2 oz.; aerated water, 16 oz. Introduce the sulphuretted water into the bottle last.

Harrowgate Water[edit]

Common salt, 100 grs.; chloride of calcium, 10 grs.; chloride of magnesium, 6 grs.; bicarbonate of soda, 2 grs.; water, 18 1/2 oz. Dissolve, and add simple sulphuretted water, 1 1/2 oz.

Chalybeate Waters[edit]

Simple Chalybeate Water. Water freed from air by boiling, 1 pt.; sulphate of iron, 1/2 gr.

Aerated Chalybeate Water[edit]

Sulphate of iron, 1 gr.; carbonate of soda; 4 grs.; water deprived of air, and charged with carbonic acid gas, 1 pt. Dr. Pereira recommends 10 grs. each of sulphate of iron and bicarbonate of soda to be taken in a bottle of ordinary soda water. This is equivalent to 4 grs. of carbonate of iron.

Brighton Chalybeate[edit]

Sulphate of iron, common salt, chloride of calcium, of each 2 grs.; carbonate of soda, 3 grs.; carbonated water, 1 pt.

Bussang, Forges, Provins[edit]

And other similar waters, may be imitated by dissolving from 1/2 to 2/3 of a gr. of sulphate of iron, 2 or 3 gr. of carbonate of soda, 1 gr. of sulphate of magnesia, and 1 of common salt, in a pint of aerated water.

Mont d’Or Water[edit]

Bicarbonate of soda, 70 grs.; sulphate of iron 2/3 gr.; common salt, 12 grs.; sulphate of soda, 1/2 gr.; chloride of calcium, 4 grs.; chloride of magnesium, 2 grs.; aerated water, 1 pt.

Passy Water[edit]

Sulphate of iron, 2 grs.; chloride of sodium, 3 grs.; carbonate of soda, 4 grs., chloride of magnesium, 2 grs.; aerated water, 1 pt.

Pyrmont Water[edit]

Sulphate of magnesia, 20 grs.; chloride of magnesium, 4 grs.; common salt, 2 grs.; bicarbonate of soda, 16 grs.; sulphate of iron, 2 grs.; Carrara water, 1 pt.

Portable Lemonade[edit]

Take of tartaric acid, 1/2 oz.; loaf sugar, 3 oz.; essence of lemon, 1/2 dr. Powder the tartaric acid and the sugar very fine, in a marble or wedgewood mortar (observe never to use a metal one), mix them together, and pour the essence of lemon upon them, by a few drops at a time, stirring the mixture after each addition, till the whole is added; then mix them thoroughly, and divide it into 12 equal parts, wrapping each up separately in a piece of white paper. When wanted for use, it is only necessary to dissolve it in a tumbler of cold water, and fine lemonade will be obtained, containing the flavor of the juice and peel of the lemon, and ready sweetened.