Imatges de pàgina


On Soil-Analysis.


April 26, 1862.

an opening 1th of an inch or more in diameter. In addition any soil, either uncultivated or cultivated, some of the Hasks the liquid was boiled for several requires to render it productive and remunerative for minutes, but three or four were not heated to the boiling any given crop; and, of course, the deficiency in the point. All the flasks were then set away in a quiet soil of one or more of the eleven elements determined by place, free from currents of air. After twenty-four or chemical analysis." forty-eight hours, according to the temperature, the We cannot help feeling that the above assertions, flasks in which the liquid was not boiled after being put which are here made unqualifiedly, were intended to be into them (although all the liquid had been boiled before understood with a large amount of reserve, and subject it was put into the flasks) were found to be troubled and to various conditions. Otherwise, we must regard them covered little by little with mucor. The liquid which as quite unjustified, if not absurd. The chemical analysis had been boiled in the flasks remained limpid, not only of soil reveals nothing as to its tenacity or lightness, its for days, but even for entire months, although all the porosity or retentiveness for water; yet these physical flasks were left open. There can be no doubt that the and mechanical conditions more than anything else curves and sinuous forms of the necks served to secure determine the adaptation of a soil for any particular the contained fluid from the fall of germs.

crop. The best grass lands are not the best wheat lands, The common air entered these Hasks as they were and although it would scarcely be questioned that wheat cooling, but so slowly during the gradual cooling of the requires a richer soil than grass in order to produce an hot liquid, that the germs were either destroyed by the average crop, and although, as we know, it often happens heat or were deposited in the curvatures of the narrow that many successive hay crops may be removed from a necks of the flasks, so that no viable germs reached the meadow without sensible diminution of the yield, while liquid. When the neck of one of these flasks was broken uninterrupted cropping with wheat nearly always reduces off, and the remaining portion placed vertical, in a day the capacity of the soil in a very few years below a proor two the liquid became mouldy or filled wiih bacteria. fitable point; yet each average bay crop removes from a This method, which so well explains the preceding, and field more of every ingredient of vegetation than the which can be so readily practised by any one, carries grain and straw together of an average harvest of wheat. conviction to unprejudiced minds. It gives also peculiar Such, at least, is the testimony borne by the most interest to the proof which it presents to us, that there recent and trustworthy data. Dr. Anderson, of Glasgow, is nothing in the air except its dust, which is a condition basing his calculations on the best analyses, and on the of organisation. It thus appears that oxygen acts only extensive agricultural statistics gathered in late years by to sustain life furnished by germs, while of gas, fluids, the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, electricity, magnetism, ozone, things known or unknown, makes the annexed estimate of the amount of the printhere is nothing in the air except the germs which it cipal ingredients removed from an acre by average crops carries which can originate organic life.

of seven staple British farm products (Trans. Highland (To be continued.)

and Agricul. Soc., 1861, p. 568).

On comparing the amount of matters removed from an

acre by the wheat and hay crops, we find that the latter On Soil-Analysis, by Professor S. W. JOHNSON,

requires four times as much potash, lime, and sulphuric

acid, twice as much silica, and one-fifth more nitrogen. of Yale College.

Again, we know that oats are raised on soils which (Continued from page 199.)

are considered too poor for the profitable production of We now come to Dr. Owen's fourth result of soil | wheat, and the Table shows us that an average crop of analyses,—viz., its power of indicating “the suitability oats requires more of every mineral ingredient than is of the soil for any particular crop.” Closely related to necessary for a corresponding wheat crop. this is the fifth item,- viz., that analysis can show “what In fact, wheat is the crop to grow which continuously

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April 26, 1862. *

Chemistry and the Manufacture of Iron.


requires, according to universal agricultural experience, amount of soil the whole of any soluble nutritive land richer than that needed for any other of the seven substance present, provided its quantity be no more than crops whose chemical statistics are given in Dr. Ander- the plants require, and the other elements of fertility son's Table, and notwithstanding, with the exception of are at hand in excess. barley and the potato tuber, it removes the least from

(To be continued.) the soil.

The farmer knows that wheat delights in a deep, rather heavy soil.-one which holds moisture well and yet is not wet. Barley and oats flourish on soils that

Preparation of Formic Acid by means of Carbonic are too dry and light, and grass on those which are too

Acid, by MM. KOLBE and SCHMIDT. wet for wheat.

A MIXTURE of bicarbonate and formiate of potassium is But how does the matter stand when these external | obtained in twenty-four hours by spreading potassium conditions are taken into account? Does not analysis in thin layers under a receiver closed by tepid water, aid us then in a good degree? Let us take a case similar and into which an atmosphere of carbonic acid is introto what has repeatedly occurred in actual practice. We duced. have a soil which, as the result of long cultivation or

Sodium behaves in the same way, but the yield is less, from natural deficiencies, is incapable of yielding a The saline mixture is white. When neutralised by remunerative crop of wheat. Its texture is good, it has sulphuric acid and distilled, it evolves the formic acid, produced wheat abundantly, and needs nothing but a which boiled with carbonato of lead forms beautiful little of the right kind of manure to restore its power of needles of formiate of lead. giving a crop. We put upon it Peruvian guano at the No carbonic acid is produced when a concentrated rate of 300 lbs. per aere, and the harvest is a good one. solution of carbonate of potash is submitted to electroThe entire addition to the soil is but 308.ths = one ysis.---Annal. der Chem. und Pharm., cxix. 251. hundredth per cent. The amounts of phosphoric acid, of alkaline earths, and nitrogen added, are, for each, but but both per cent. of the soil taken to the depth of a

TECHNICAL CHEMISTRY. foot. These quantities are rather minute for even the improved analysis of the present time to estimate suc

Chemistry and the Manufacture of Iron. cessfully.

No. I. Calculations like this show that the chemist cannot discriminate by his an alysis between, first, a soil which

vich Fire-bricks. - Composition Method for Testing, is unproductive from the temporary exhaustion of some

&c.-As an analytical chemist, I have had much to do of its available ingredients; second, the same soil which

with ironmasters and blast furnace managers, and find is rendered fertile again for a year by the use of 300 lbs.

that, although some of them are acquainted to a certain of guano; and third, the same made over-rich so that

extent with chemistry,- these are very few,--the majority

The consenothing will grow on it, by an application of a ton of of them know little or nothing about it. guano.

quence is, that an analysis of either the material used or On page 18 of the Second Kentucky Report, Dr. produced is not so generally appreciated as it ought to be. Owen remarks as follows :—" During last summer a soil

In three or more papers I shall endeavour to describe was collected in Bullit county, from an old field which as fully as possible the chemistry relating to this manuhad been fifty or sixty years in cultivation, and which facture, and to point out the importance of an analysis will now no longer produce clover. I venture to predict to those engaged in it. that when the analysis of this soil shall be completed it

Fire-bricks. In this country fire-brick is generally will be found to be deficient in some of these consti

netin used for constructing the furnace, and it is of the first tuents, and the analysis will probably show what other importance that this should be of good quality. Froin green crop might succeed better for the renovation of an

of an analysis of a brick, along with its physical appearance, such land."

| an intelligent manager ought to be able to say whether On page 230 of the Third Kentucky Report, Dr. Peter or not it will unswer his purpose. gives the analysis of this soil, and says :-. The inability

A fire-brick, to be generally useful about blast furof this soil to produce clover is explained by its very naces, must not only withstand high temperatures withsmall proportion of lime, and rather small amount of out “ running,” but also the action of melted slag when sulphuric and phosphoric acids. The addition of plaster

J at this temperature. Some bricks will stand almost any of Paris or some of the calcareous marls would probably

| temperature if let alone, but when brought into contact restore it to the capability of supporting a clover crop."

with melted slay they fuse, or, again, if touched by the The per-centage of the ingredients which Dr. Peter

workmen's tools they break easily; and hence, although considers deficient are as follows:

very suitable for some special purpose where heat alone

is required, they are generally of very litile use indeed. Carbonate of lime. 0'072 = lime 0'040

A good fire-brick ought always to be very close, and Sulphuric acid . 0'055

possess a good specific gravity. Closeness of grain and Phosphoric acid . 0'070

density sometimes make up for a little inferiority in Small as are these quantities, the smallest of them, composition. Of course, I speak now of bricks that are viz., that of lime, yet amounts to 1200 lbs. per acre, to be exposed to chemical action as well as heat. Under which is enough to supply ten clover crops of three tons other circumstances this is not of so much consequence. each, and as by the analysis it all exists in the form of Fire bricks generally contain silica, alumina, oxide of carbonate, it must all be available. We know from the iron, and potash. Silica and alumina are the principal vegetation experiments of Boussingault, Ville, and Sachs, constituents; in fact, the more nearly the brick is free that plants are capable of absorbing from a limited from the other bases the better it may be considered,

because the greater the number of bases a silicate con* The wineral ingredients of plants.

tains the more easily it is fused. For instance, a double


Analysis of an Artificial Manure.


April 26, 1862.

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silicate of magnesia and lime is more readily fused than pieces of brick ; they will be found to have been peneeither of the compounds alone. To a certain extent, trated to different depths by the limestone ; the one acted also, the less the per-centage of alumina the better. The upon most must be considered the worst. Exposed in this following table shows analysis of four fire-bricks, which way, Nos. I. and 11). were very little acted upon; No. IV. differ much in composition :

| was semi-fused to about one-eighth of an inch in depth; Analysis of Fire bricks.

and No. ll. to a quarter of an inch.
No. 1. No. 11. No. 111. No. iv.

(To be continued.)
Silica . . . 70-9359:13 82'71 63:17
Alumina . . 26-81 29'26 11.84 33.20
Lime . . . 1.01 176 2.61 1'27

Analysis of an Artificial Manure, by Dr. T. L. PHIPSON, Magnesia . .

2'03 45


F.C.S., Member of the Chemical Society of Paris, Peroxide of iron. '98 5'58 2'50 142

&C., &c. Potash . . a trace 2.68 31 40

The artificial manure of which I publish the analysis 100*23 99'44 100 42 100°76

was manufactured by the Guaranteed Manure Company No. 1. is a first class Stourbridge fire-brick. It was

of London, according to my directions, and is daily pro

duced at the rate of several thousand tons a year. It found to stand a very intense and long-continued heat.

| appears to be the most perfect artificial manure that has In the hearth of a blast-furnace it remained little acted

I set been produced, both as regards its chemical compoupon by either slag or iron. By referring to the table,

sition and its effects upon the land. it will be seen that the per-centage of silica is very high; besides this only 2.49 per cent. of directly injurious

Water . . . . . . . 10 DO bases are present.

Fibrine No. 11. is a very inferior Newcastle brick. When

Albumine . . . . . . 1176 tried in coke ovens it was found to“ run.” In the capola,

Gelatine ,

Humic acid too, it required so frequently renewing, that for this

Grease purpose it is now very seldom used.

No. IJI. is a brick made from a mixture of clay and Sulphate of ammonis ,

12-30 sand. Owing to the very large per-centage of silica Sulphate of lime ,

26.50 which it contains, it is well adapted either to stand Sulphate of magnesia ,

145 intense heat or to be placed in positions much exposed Sulphate of potash. .

120 to the action of slag. There is an opinion, which is held Sulphate of soda .

Oo20 by some ironmasters, that a silicious brick is not calcu Biphosphate of lime, CaO, Phos

II 'OO lated to withstand the action of a basic slag; there is a

Phosphate of lime,-3 Cao, Phos danger, they say, of the lime contained in the slag

Phosphates of iron and alumina


Phosphate of magnesia uniting with the silica of the brick and forming a fusible

. . Chloride of sodium .

245 silicate of lime. Tried by an experiment, which I shall

Chloride of potassium

0'05 detail directly, this is not a correct opinion. The infusi Chloride of calcium .

traces bility of the silica in a great measure prevents this Oxide of iron . .

0.82 action. Besides, a brick containing more base is much Oxide of alumina .

0973 more likely to form a double silicate of lime and alumina, Oxide of manganese.

traces which, melting at a lower temperature than silicate of Soluble silica . .

0°40 Jimc alone, would, in the same space of time, expose

Silicate of alumina, magnesia, and iron 198 more surface to the action of fresh portions of slag.

Sand, with a little charcoal

• . 3'10 No. iv. is a sample of a very good Newcastle firebrick.

99-83 In the following manner the comparative value of a

Other matters and loss . . . . number of samples of bricks can be readily determined:

ICO 'Oo Take a piece about one cubic inch in size from each brick, and fix them in separate plumbago crucibles with char

Total nitrogen = 4'11 per cent., equal to coal, in the manner shown in section in diagram; now

Ammonia = 5'00 per cent. cover both brick and charcoal over, to the depth of a

Soluble phosphates equal to soluble phosphate of lime, 18.00 per cent.

Soluble salts (sulphate of lime excepted) = 28-85 per cent.

It is evident that, whatever theory we profess with regard to the fertilising action of manures, such a composition as the above must constitute a more valuable fertilising agent than Peruvian guano. This, in fact, has been found to be the case in practice. It is not sufficient to consider what elements are found in a manure; we must also take into consideration the state in which they are presented to the plant. Pure gelatine, though very rich in nitrogen, is no fertiliser ; coprolites

and bone-meal require to remain a long time in the soil a. Fire brick. 6. Charcoal packing. c. Limestone. before they become assimilable, and in certain soils where quarter of an inch, with limestore: the crucible must no acids are produced they never can be absorbed. then be covered in the usual way, and exposed to the highest heat of the wind-furnace for an hour. After the

* See an interesting account of some experiments with twelve crucibles are cool, break the lids off and examine the lished in the Ayr Advertiser, January 9, 1862.

kinds of manure, by Captain Campbell, of Craigie (Ayrshire), pub

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April 26, 1862.' }

On the Preparation of Resin of Podophyllum.


I find the best method of collecting it. The most successful PHARMACY, TOXICOLOGY, &c.

of these consisted in heating the whole aqueous liquid,

as contained in the precipitating vessel, in a water-bath On the Preparation of Resis of Podophyllum,

till, just below the boiling point, nearly all the resin was by EDWARD PARRISH.

fused and collected on the bottom and sides of the jar;

then by a spoon or spatula the main portion could be The process for preparing resin of podophyllum consists collected together, and by rotating the mass all adjacent in exhausting May apple-root with strong alcohol, con- particles could be made to adhere to it. The “ Eclectics" centrating the tincture, and throwing it into water to are in the habit of adding muriatic acid to the water to precipitate the resin ; collecting, washing, and drying aid the separation of the resin. I have found this highly this. Upon each of these points a few comments are advantageous, both with reference to collecting the preoffered.

cipitate as only partially separated by water alone, and Exhausting the Root.-In my former experiments to procuring the remaining portion after the more comI used the steam-displacement apparatus invented by the pletely separated precipitate has been removed. There late C. Augustus Smith, and found alcohol at the boiling is an objection on the part of some to such an addition, point, used in this way, to produce a very concentrated under the supposition that the change must be a chemical tincture, though the use of the steam displacer involves one, but I observe no difference between specimens, a good deal of unnecessary trouble in small operations. whether collected with or without this addition, and am For treating one or two pounds of the powdered root, inclined to attribute the more complete coagulation of which should be fine, a large funnel is convenient, the the particles of resin under the influence of the acid, powder being moistened with a very little, say six fuid which may be used in very small proportion, to a mecha. ounces of alcohol to the pound, and poured upon á plug nical rather than a chemical alteration of tow or cotton in the apex of the funnel, well shaken The Drying of the Precipitated Resin in and packed after each addition. On a further addition powder is not a very easy matter. It is rather unsuitable of alcohol, the tincture passes, drop by drop, very strong, to wrap in paper, especially where artificial heat is to so that a pound may be thoroughly exhausted with from be used, which is apt to fuse it and occasion its absorpone and a-half to two pints. The proper point to desist tion by the paper. “In one case in which it had been from the addition of the menstruum is conveniently collected on a filter, I was obliged to re-dissolve it in ascertained by dropping the percolate into water, when, alcohol, and then pour it out on plates of glass, in the if it contains an appreciable portion of resin, each drop manner directed for citrate of iron. It was readily will occasion a slight cloudiness.

scraped off from the glass, but was not in handsome Concentrating the Tincture.-In large operations

scales. If collected in mass by fusion under water, as it will be desirable to recover the alcohol, which may be above described, it may be kneaded and pulled so as to done with very little trouble with a pharmaceutical still.

wash it thoroughly and lighten its colour, and may thus In evaporating a pint or two of the tincture, an evapor- be dried without the least difficulty by wiping with ating-dish on a sand-bath, or submitted to the regulated paper and exposing to the air at ordinary temperatures. flame of a gas-furnace, will serve a good purpose. The if prepared in powder it is readily reduced by trituraextent of the evaporation is a point of importance, to tion. I prefer it in lumps or pieces, in which condition determine which I have made a number of experiments. it is more characteristic, and resembles resin of jalap of If the tincture is not concentrated enough, a consider- the shops. It is more characteristic, and less liable to able proportion of the resin will remain in solution when sophistication or adulteration, when in the condition of added to water; if too much, it will not mix with water

broken mass, than in that of powder in which it is sufficiently to produce a favourable separation of the

usually sold. resin ; in the case of a recipe furnished with a view to The Yield, by the process descrihed, varies from its insertion in the Pharmacopæia, I obtained three

three to five per cent of the root. There is, perhaps, fourths as much resin on the partial evaporation of the always some loss in the course of the process, which is liquid after the separation of the first precipitate as was proportionably less in operating on large quantities. — precipitated on the original admixture with water. The American Journal of Pharmacy. best point at which to arrest the evaporation appears to be at from two and a-half to three and a-half fluid ounces of the evaporated tincture to each pound of the Process for the Extraction and Investigation of Poisonous root treated.

Alkaloids, by MM. V. USLAR and J. ERDMANN.* Precipitating by Water.— The proportion of water

On the Characteristic Reactions of some Poisonous to which the evaporated tincture should be added is not

Alkaloids, by M. J. ERDMANN.I unimportant. I think four parts of water to one is, perhaps, most desirable. If the specimen of the root

On some Characteristic Reactions of Nitric Acid, by treated was highly resinous, and the extraction was very

M. J. ERDMANN.I complete, the alcoholic fluid extract may be rather thick Many difficulties attend the extraction of an alkaloid and even of a syrupy consistence at the degree of con- when, as in medico-chemical researches, it is associated centration above indicated. In this case it is better to with other organic matters. The following is a method add it to the water while hot and comparatively fluid. recommended both by its simplicity and its generality.

Collecting the Precipitato. In some instances in / It is founded on the following facts : which this process has been varied to test the eligibility 1. Free vegetable alkaloids are soluble in amylic of certain modifications, the resin has been so imperfectly alcohol, especially by aid of heat. precipitated as in part to pass through a filter, remaining 2. Pure or alkaline water does not remove the bases suspended in the filtrate; in others, though arrested by thus dissolved; but, the filtrate, it could be only partially separated after

Annalen der Chemie und Pharmacie, vol. cxx., p. 121. drying: in no case could it be successfully collected by 1 + lbid., vol. cxx. v. 188. subsidence ; so that several experiments were made to lbid, vol. cxx., p. 193.


On Fermentation as a Cause of Various Diseases.


April 20, 1862.

3. It separates them completely when it has been previously acidulated with hydrochloric acid, the organic

On Fermentation as a Cause of Various Diseases, chlorides which are forined being almost insoluble in

by M. POLLI. amylic alcohol.

CHEMISTS who have for several years been successfully : 'The following is the method of operation :-Reduce studying the phenomena of fermentation, have observed the suspected matter into a pulp with water, slightly that this mode of reaction, among organic principles, acidulated with hydrochloric acid. Then leave it to possesses an importance much greater than is generally digest for two hours at a temperature of from 60° to supposed. It is, in fact, to fermentation that the spon86° C.; pass a wet cloth over it, and exhaust the residue taneous decomposition of animal and vegetable tissues is with acidulated warm water, and after mixing the owing,-as dry rot, eremacausis, gangrene, &c., and the liquids add a slight excess of ammonia ; concentrate whole series of successive transformations which organic over an open fire, and dry in a water-bath. After ex- matters undergo until they are converted into water, hausting the residue with warnı amylic alcohol, filter carbonic acid, ammonia, and mineral matters. It is by it through a paper previously moistened with amylic fermentation that fatty bodies give glycerine; that salicine alcohol.

furnishes glucose; that myronate of potash is converted The filtered product is generally mixed with fatty or into essential oil of mustard ; that neutral substances, colouring matters, which must be eliminated by quickly such as urea and allen toin, form ammonia ; that amygdashakirg up the liquid with almost boiling water, acidu-line produces the poisonous substances,- oil of bitter lated with a little hydrochloric acid. The amylic alcohol almonds and Prussic acid. then yields the alkaloid, while it retains the greater part Ferments act by contact or by catalysis. Sometimes of the fatty or colouring matters. Draw it off by a they are living creatures; sometimes very active unsmall india-rubber pipe, $ then shake the warın aqueous organised substances. Diastase, emulsine, and pepsine liquid with a fresh supply of amylic alcohol, and the act as ferments. They can cause organic substances to foreign matters will be got rid off without much trouble, double, become hydrated, or isomeric. so that the acid solution containing the alkaloid in the According to M. Polli, there exists considerable state of hydrochlorate is completely decolorised. Slightly analogy between the processes of fermentation and concentrate this solution, add a slight excess of am several organic metamorphoses which take piace in monia, and then amylic alcohol, which after repeated certain maladies : an albuminoid matter which, in a shakings takes up the alkaloid.

certain deteriorated state, acts as a ferment, and par- After duly separating the two layers of liquid, with-ticular substances preceding from its action.* draw the upper one, containing alcohol and alkaloid, But analogy is insufficient. It has been shown by and attack the lower layer by adding a fresh portion of carefully made experiments that the composition of the warm amylic alcohol; then mix the alcoholic liquids blood during disease undergoes alterations and variations; and evaporate them by a water-bath, and the residue is and that artificial disease, closely resembling natural generally pure alkaloid. If it has preserved its colour, ones, can be produced by introducing into the bloodthe operator need not continue the operations just vessels substances acting as ferments. Multiple abscesses described ; that is to say, dissolve in hydrochloric acid, induced by injecting pus into the veins of dogs; septic shake with amylic alcohol, and draw off by a small pipe; affections caused by the injection of purulent putrid supersaturate with ammonia, shake with amylic alcohol, matters into the veins of animals; diseases with all the and eliminate it by evaporation in a water bath. characteristics of typhoid fever provoked by the injection

of putrefied blood into the circulatir.g current; finally, purified by this treatment; should it not be, the process contagious diseases, such as the glanders, which are promust be repeated. ||

duced by injecting glandered humours, prove that a The authors have verified their process in various general affection can be simply produced by introducing ways. Hydrochlorate of morphine mixed with panada, into the blood a substance to play the part of a ferment. or putrid meat, exposed to the sun for fifteen days, was There are diseases produced by morbific ferments, which integrally detected by the special reaction it gives with may be called catalytic maladies, in which the morbific sesquichloride of iron; nevertheless, the experiment matter, inducing metamorphoses by contact with the was tried with less than a decigramme of hydrochlorate, alterable principles of the blood, is the primary cause of mixed with 1 or 2 kil. of organic matter. The different all the symptoms presented by the animal economy. It portions employed varied between 0.054 grammes and is impossible to deny that fermentation takes place in 0'005 grammes.

the blood. - They have also recovered a drop of nicotine and two Admitting that the starting-point of many diseases is drops of coniine respectively added to 750 grammes of the action of a specific ferment in the blood, is it possible panada.

to prevent its effects to render it inactive in the living The same with 9 milligrammes of strychnine, 8 milli- organizm, as can be done by chemical means outside the grammes of narcotine, as well as with a mixture formed body? This is the cardinal point which gives interest of 0.012 grammes of morphine and o'013 grammes of to this pathological question. narcotine mixed with a pulp of vegetables and meat, and M. Polli believes that he has proved, by a series of left for four days to putrefy.

facts and conclusive experiments, that it is possible to · The alkaloids when recovered were separated from neutralise morbific ferments in the blood of animals by each other by ether.

chemical substances which do not act in a manner in

compatible with life; and that with these substances it $ This precaution is essential to prevent the inhalation of the

is we must hope successfully to treat diseases of which vapours of ainylıç alcohol.

fermentation is the primary cause. To all acquainted with tho alteration produced in vicotine and coi iive by the presence of air, it will be difficult to understand how M. Pasteur says that the ferment is not an albuminous matter alkaloids an escape the causes of decomposition to which thoy are

altered by oxygen, but an organised creature of which the permis exposed during this process, which not only does not protect them brought by the air; and that the presence of albumin us matter is from the action of the air, but exposes them to it in presence of a condition indispeusable to all fermentation, because these substances

are necessary ior the development of the furinent.

ammonia atlie temperiture

a water-buth.

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