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By Fred Aftalion

Goals to supply a global point of view on chemistry, integrating the tale of chemical technological know-how with that of the chemical undefined, and emphasizing vital advancements of the 20 th century.

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II Series. 4'766'009dc20 91-8179 CIP Second casebound printing 1991 Page v To Béatrice Page vii Contents List of Illustrations xiii Series Foreword, by Arnold Thackray xv Preface: The Chemical Revolution(s), by Patrick P. McCurdy xvii Acknowledgments xxi Introduction xxiii Prelude: From Prehistory to the Dawn of Quantitative Chemistry 1 Prelude to Chemistry 1 From Alchemy to Chemistry 3 The Chemical Study of Gases and the Phlogiston Theory 5 The Life and Work of Lavoisier 7 1. The First Chemical Manufacturers 10 Sulfuric Acid 10 The Demand for Alkalis 11 The Tragic Destiny of Nicolas Leblanc 11 Textile Bleaching 13 Further Consequences of the French Revolution 13 The Rise of England's Chemical Industry 14 The Birth of America's Chemical Industry 16 2.

The Great Scientific Breakthroughs from 1850 to 1914 32 The Chemical Industry in 1850 32 From Dye Extracts to Synthetic Dyestuffs 35 The Rise of the German Chemical Industry 39 From Empirical Work to Systematic Research 42 Fresh Demand for Coal-Tar By-Products 47 The Birth of Switzerland's Chemical Industry 48 The Early Days of Chemotherapy 48 Explosives and Alfred Nobel's Discovery 53 Soda Plants: The Solvay Ammonia Soda ProcessElectrolytic Alkali 57 Phosphorus and Its Use for Matches 62 Chemistry at the Frontiers of Metallurgy: The Adventure of Aluminum 64 The Electric Furnace 66 Chemicals and Photography 68 The Birth of the Plastics Industry 70 Artificial Fibers 72 The Invention of Cellophane 75 Paints, Pigments, and Varnishes 75 Perfumes and Fragrances 77 Chemicals and Wood 79 Chemicals and Household Products 82 The Quest for Fertilizer Raw Materials 84 The Fixation of Atmospheric Nitrogen 86 The Haber-Bosch Ammonia Synthesis Process 88 Cyanides and the Gold Rush 89 Industrial Gases and Air Liquefaction 91 From Ferments to Enzymes: The Birth of Biochemistry 93 The Periodic Classification of the Chemical Elements 96 From the Study of Solutions to the Theory of Ions 99 Chemical Equilibria and Reaction Kinetics 100 Molecular Architecture: The Birth of Stereochemistry 100 Chemical Engineering: A New Discipline 101 4.

In order to make known his ideas, Lavoisier published in 1789 a brilliant Traité Élémentaire de Chimie which was soon translated into several languages. This treatise had a profound impact throughout Europe. In the Traité, he listed thirty-three substances that he proposed as elemental, the majority of which still appear in our present table of elements. Nicolas Lémery fifty years earlier had already defined an element as an irreducible substance, that is, anything that chemical analysis could not break down into simpler entities.

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