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BERKELEY

LIBRARY

UNIVERSITY OF
CALIFORNIA

EARTH

SCIENCES
LIBRARY




\



GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 0* KENTUCKY.*



CHEMICAL ANALYSES.



A



FIRST, SECOND, AND THIRD CHEMICAL REPORTS, AND

CHEMICAL ANALYSES OF THE HEMP

AND BUCKWHEAT PLANTS.



BY ROBERT PETER, M. D., ETC., ETC., CHEMIST TO THE SURVEY,
AND JOHN H. TALBOTT AND A. M. PETER, ASSISTANTS



STEREOTYPED FOR THE SURVEY

BY E. POLK JOHNSON, PUBLIC PRINTER,
1890.



v,\'\

JF ART H

SCIENCES



CONTENTS.



FIRST CHEMICAL REPORT 1

SECOND CHEMICAL REPORT 181

THIRD CHEMICAL REPORT 347

CHEMICAL EXAMINATION OF THE HEMP AND BUCKWHEAT PLANTS, 439



285980



PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION (NEW SERIES).



It being necessary to publish a new edition of the Reports
of the Geological Survey, it is thought proper to change the
arrangement of the reports in the several volumes. This is
advisable in order to bring together in one volume the several
reports relating to a given subject or locality. In the first
edition (second series) the volumes were made up of reports,
regardless of subjects treated, and in order to learn all that
may be published of a locality, the reader must examine sev-
eral volumes. For instance, the reports on the iron ores and
the iron manufacture of Greenup, Carter, Boyd, and Lawrence
counties is in volume i, and the Report on the Geology of the
above named counties is in volume 2. The Chemical Reports
and the reports on the Timbers are scattered through four
volumes. This arrangement of reports could not have been
avoided in the early history of the Survey without a delay
in the publication of the volumes. It is thought that the
arrangement in this edition will more fully meet the wants
of the public, and will render the reports more valuable.

The first volumes of this edition will comprise the fol-
lowing: Chemical Analyses, Reports on the Eastern Coal
Field ; Reports on the Western Coal Field ; Reports on
Timbers. Other volumes will be published from time to
time, preserving the same order of grouping reports. Some
of the preliminary reports contained in the first edition have
been omitted, in order that there may be no duplication when
the final reports are published. I am of the opinion that
enough preliminary or reconnoissance work has been done
by the Survey, and the work will be directed with a view of
securing (so far as the means will permit) complete reports
on the geology, soils, timbers, etc., of the various regions



IV PREFACE.

studied. As the stereotyped plates of the omitted prelim-
inary reports are preserved, new editions may be ordered
should there be a demand for them. A change has also been
made in the size of the volume by decreasing the size of the
margin, which, it is thought, will make the volume a more
convenient size, both for library use and for sending through
the mails.

JOHN R. PROCTER,

State Geologist.



GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF KENTUCKY.

N. S. SHALER, DIRECTOR.



CHEMICAL REPORT



SOILS, MARLS, CLAYS, ORES, COALS, IRON FUR
NACE PRODUCTS, MINERAL WATERS, &C., &C.,

OF KENTUCKY,
BY ROBERT PETER, M. D., &c., &c.,

CHEMIST TO THE KENTUCKY GEOLOGICAL SURVEY.
ASSISTED BY

JOHN H. TALBUTT, S. B., CHEMICAL ASSISTANT.

THE FIRST CHEMICAL REPORT IN THE NEW SERIES AND THE FIFTH SINCE THE
BEGINNING OF THE SURVEY.



INTRODUCTORY LETTER.



CHEMICAL LABORATORY OF THE |

KENTUCKY STATE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, V

LEXINGTON, KY., April igth, 1875. j

Professor N. S. SHALER, Chief Geologist, &c. :

DEAR SIR : I have the pleasure herewith to report the
results of the chemical work performed in this laboratory, for
the State Geological Survey, since September, 1873, to nearly
the present date. So much could not have been effected but
for the able and efficient assistance of Mr. John H. Talbutt,
who has given his constant attention to this labor.

Very respectfully,

ROBERT PETER.



CHEMICAL REPORT



SOILS, MARLS, CLAYS, ORES, COALS, IRON FUR-
NACE PRODUCTS, MINERAL WATERS, &c., &C.,

OF KENTUCKY.



BY ROBERT PETER, M. D., &c., &c.



In the eighty-six soil analyses, which are appended, only a
portion of ten counties of the State is represented, and the
greater number of these soils are not to be classed amongst
our most fertile. The limits of the range of variation of their
several constituents is shown in the following table, viz :





Pr. ct.


No.


County.


Pr. ct.


No.


County.


Organic and volatile matters vary
from


7.985

I5-763
3.890
.520

555
.662
.286

74.840
2.650
5-075


in 1300

in 1 396

in 1 330
in 1329

in 1424

in 1396
in 1407

in 1396
in 1558
in 1329


of Boyd to

of Carter to
of Campbell to
of Campbell to

of Fayette to

of Carter to
of Carter to

of Carter to
of Hardin to
of Campbell to


1.815

2.740
045
034

.045

.062
trace.

92.455
.225
.800


in 1398

in 1571

in 1572
in 1298
fin 1396
\ in 1566

Jin 1325
1 in 1327
in 1567

in 1 634

in 1572
ini57r


of Carter.

of Hardin.
of Hardin.
of Boyd.
of Carter,
of Hardin.
of Campbell,
of Campbell.
of Hardin.

of Ohio,
of Hardin.
of Hardin.


Alumina and iron and manganese
oxides vary from


Lime carbonate varies from . . .
Magnesia varies from


Phosphoric acid varies from . .
Potash varies from


Soda varies from


Sand and insoluble silicates vary
from


Water expelled at 380 F. varies
from


Water expelled at 212 F. varies
from





The extremes may represent very rich and very poor soils ;
but not the general character of the soils of the counties
named.



CHEMICAL REPORT. 5

The method of analyses of the soils does not vary much
from that described in volume III of the Kentucky Geological
Reports. The principal object was, as there stated, to obtain
comparative results, which would enable the scientific agricul-
turist to form an opinion as to the chemical constitution of our
soils in their relation to husbandry; without attempting to
perform the almost hopeless task of giving all the minuter con-
stituents of each, or of presenting all those physical conditions
which exert so great an influence on their practical fertility.
To this end the several soils were treated as nearly alike as
possible : air-dried together, digested for an equal time at
nearly the same temperature in acid of a uniform strength,
&c., &c. The specific gravity of the chlorohydric acid used
being about i.io.

The process of digestion in water, containing carbonic acid,
was not employed in all, because of the press of work in the
laboratory, mainly. There can be no doubt, however, that, used
with proper care, this process will indicate the relative propor-
tion of soluble plant food in the soil at the time. As this may-
very well vary, under different physical atmospheric conditions,
it was not considered of essential value in the comparative
analyses.

The well-known fact that various physical conditions exert a
powerful influence on the productiveness of soils which have
a similar chemical composition, has, in recent times, singularly
perverted the minds of chemists, and consequently of agricul-
turists, in relation to the value of soil analyses. Because the
chemical conditions of a soil are not the only ones necessary to
productiveness, they have, by a perverted logic, jumped to the

conclusion that these conditions are of no consequence what-
ever.

But if these chemical conditions are indispensable to the fer-
tility of the soil, how much injury has been done in recent
years to the scientific study of the soil and of agriculture, by
the great outcry which has been raised against this kind of
investigation ! The comparative chemical examination of the
soils of a State or country can only be made under the patron-

5



6 CHEMICAL REPORT.

age of the government. Individual efforts are inadequate to
effect it ; nor could they, if adequate, so economically conduct
it. The writer believes that the geological survey of any
region should always include this study of the soils ; yet very
little has been done in this direction in all the recent State
surveys, and a valuable opportunity has been lost, which in
many instances cannot recur, of studying the chemical con-
ditions of the virgin soil of various parts of our country.

.Chemists are naturally somewhat averse to soil analysis; it
requires so much time and labor, so much care must be taken
to secure accuracy, and there is so little variety in the work,
and so small an appreciation of its value and significance
amongst the people when done, that they gladly avoid it.
But, in the course of time, most of them who are not too
much prejudiced against the teachings of experience, arrive
at the same conclusion with Prof. Aug. Voelcker, of the Eng-
lish Royal Agricultural College: "There was a time when I
thought with many other young chemists, that soil analyses
would do every thing for the farmer; three or four years of
further experience and hard study rather inclined me to side
with those men who consider that they are of no practical
utility whatever; and now, after eighteen years of continued
occupation with chemico-agricultural pursuits, and, I trust,
with more matured judgment, I have come to the conclusion
that there is hardly any subject so full of practical interest
to the farmer as that of the chemistry of soils. The longer
and more minutely soil investigations are carried on by com-
petent men, the greater, I am convinced, will be their practical
utility." Jour, of Roy. Agr. Soc. of Eng., 1865.

Even Prof. S. W. Johnson, whose somewhat harsh criticism,
in 1 86 1, of some of the former labors in this field of the writer,
seemed to sound the key-note of the clamor against this kind
of study in this country, has so far yielded his opposition as to
give us in his valuable work, "How Crops Feed'' 1870, the
comparative analyses of several soils, and to point out the sig-
nificance of their chemical composition. But he is careful to
caution the reader, page 368, that although the analysis may



CHEMICAL REPORT. 7

show the amount of the mineral fertilizers in a soil, it cannot
tell how much of them " is at the disposal of the present crop ;"
and on page 271 : "These facts show how very far chemical
analysis, in its present state, is from being able to say defi-
nitely what any given soil can supply to crops, although we owe
nearly all our precise knowledge of vegetable nutrition directly or
indirectly to this art."

He might very truly have added, that we should not be able
to say that a suitable chemical composition ol a soil was not
the only condition necessary to its fertility, unless we had
thoroughly studied that condition. It is only by means of
chemical analyses that we find out the equally indispensable
nature of the physical conditions. He cannot fail to admit
that it is impossible to make progress in our knowledge of
the soil and its actions and conditions without a thorough
study of its chemical characters.

In accordance with this outcry against this sort of investi-
gation the difficulties of obtaining good samples for analyses
has been exaggerated. In a country like that of most of this
State, where there is comparatively but little quarternary or
transported material constituting the soil, and especially before
its character has been much altered by a dense population,
there is little difficulty, with the use of necessary precautions,
in obtaining representative samples of large areas similar in
character and position. In many large districts in our State
the soil has been formed in place by the disintegration of the
rocks. In other parts, where surface action has been greater,
more judgment and care must be exerted in the collection of
the soils ; but in no part of the State, probably, is so great
local variety to be seen in the soils as frequently may be
observed in the northeastern States, where the transporting
action of water and of ice, in former epochs, has produced a
high degree of local irregularity in the nature of the surface
deposits.

In the collection of the samples of our Kentucky soils the
causes of local and accidental differences of composition were,
as much as possible, avoided.

7



8 CHEMICAL REPORT.

Because of the very small proportion of the essential ingre-
dients of the soil, which are carried off in crops, as compared
with the whole amount of the earth, taken to the depth through
which the roots of plants absorb nourishment, it has been
denied that it is possible by chemical analysis to show their
diminution in the old field soil, as compared with the virgin
soil. Indeed it has been logically demonstrated to be impos-
sible. But, it should be recollected that when, by the acid
digestion, we separate these essential soluble ingredients from
the greater mass of the soil, left as sand and insoluble silicates ;
which amount to from about seventy-five to ninety-two per cent.
of the whole, the probabilities of error in the determination
of these minuter ingredients must not be calculated into the
whole weight of the soil, but into that smaller part which we
have thus extracted from it.

Logic apart, the fact still remains, that in one hundred and
forty-nine duplicate analyses, made by the writer for the Ken-
tucky. Arkansas, and Indiana Surveys, in which the chemical
composition of the virgin soil was compared, under similar
conditions of treatment, with soil of a neighboring old field in
the same locality, one hundred and twenty-two out of the one
hundred and forty-nine showed a marked diminution of most
of the essential ingredients of the soil in that of the old field
as compared with the virgin soil. This certainly is not an
accidental result.

In the soil analyses at present reported the results are not
so striking in this relation. Partly because the samples had
not, in several cases, been collected with special reference to
this investigation, and partly because of greater local variations
of the soil in the regions in which they were obtained.

In calculating the probable amount of exhaustion of the
essential soil ingredients, it should be recollected that as
much, and sometimes more, may be alienated from the soil
by the solvent action of the atmospheric agents, while the
surface is much exposed in the cultivation of hoed crops,
than is absorbed and removed by the products. Hence the
exhaustion of the soil is much more rapid under these cir-



CHEMICAL REPORT. 9

cumstances than is generally allowed. In other words, the
exhaustion of the soil when under cultivation in hoed or
plowed crops, during which time a large portion of its surface
is kept bare of vegetation and subjected to the leaching
action of rains, is much greater than can be accounted for by
the amount of the essential ingredients which are taken from
it in its products.

In several instances, in the analyses of the soils described
above, the "sand and insoluble silicates," left after digestion,
for ten days in the acid, were analyzed by the admirable pro-
cess of Professor J. Lawrence Smith, for the determination of
the amount of fixed alkalies held in the form of insoluble
silicates. As will be seen, in the detailed report and in the
tables, the quantity of potash and soda thus held in the soil
in the samples in question are, in most cases, considerable,
ranging from 0.485 to 2.731 per cent, of potash to the whole
soil, and 0.165 to 1.306 per cent, of soda.

It is evident that, although at present insoluble, and hence
unavailable for plant nourishment, these alkalies are doubtless
gradually released and brought into a soluble form by weath-
ering and under the influence of the products of vegetable
decay, so that they tend to prolong the fertility of the soil.

The seventeen limestone and lime analyses, of specimens
from nine counties only, represent but a small part of our vari-
ous lime rocks. But even these exhibit their great industrial
value, including, as they do, limestones useful for the fluxing
of our iron ores, as well as for purposes of construction in the
form of building stone or cement, while some of them would
be valuable as fertilizers on the land. The so-called litho-
graphic stone of Barren county and of other corresponding
localities may, for some purposes, with well-selected samples,
replace the more costly foreign stone.*

The eighty-two iron ores which have been analyzed are from
eleven counties, principally of the v.ortheastern portion of the

*NoTE. I have found iL> impossible to use this stone for crayon or transfer work.

N. S. SHALER.

VOL. I.-CHEM. 2. 9



IO CHEMICAL REPORT.

State. Sixty-four of these are limonite ores ; twenty-seven are
clay ironstones or carbonate ores ; and only one, to be found
probably only in limited quantity in Lawrence county (see No.
1594), is of the red hematite variety.

The proportion of metallic iron, in the limonite ores exam-
ined, varies from 19.344 per cent, to 57.148 per cent. In the
carbonate ores analysed the per centage of metallic iron ranges
from 10.960 per cent, in what may be termed only a ferruginous
limestone, up to 40.465 per cent.

Of the one hundred and ten specimens of coal, &c., which
were examined by proximate analysis, eighty-nine were from
eleven counties in Kentucky; of -which five counties, viz:
Boyd, Carter, Greenup, Lawrence, and Menifee, are in our
northeastern coal field ; and six, viz : Butler, Edmonson, Gray-
son, Hopkins, Muhlenburg, and Ohio counties, are in the
southwestern coal field. All these coals are of the splint, dry
coal, or semi-cannel coal variety; cleaving generally into thin
layers, which have more or less fibrous coal between them.
Although some of them make a good coke, they do not gen-
erally soften or swell much when heated or burnt, and hence,
when they do not contain an unusual quantity of sulphur, they
can be used, without preliminary coking, for the smelting of
iron. Some of these coals, however, are quite sulphurous, and
some contain a large proportion of ash,f but the better sam-
ples compare favorably with the best coals of the neighbor-
ing States.

For the purpose of this comparison seven of the best coals
of the State of Ohio, two of the best of those of Illinois, and
four of the celebrated "block coals" of Indiana, used there
for iron smelting, &c., were submitted to similar processes of
analysis with our Kentucky coals. We give the general com-
parative results in the following tables :

fin some cases, as the samples for analysis were taken from new and imperfect openings, it
is more than probable the coals will be found to be better than is represented in the analyses
given.



CHEMICAL REPORT.



II



AVERAGE COMPOSITION OF THE COALS FROM THE NORTHEASTERN KEN-
TUCKY COAL FIELD.



'COUNTIES.


Number of
samples
analyzed.


Specific
gravity.


Volatile
combustible
matters.


Fixed car-
bon in the
coke.


Per cent, of
ash.


Per cent, of
sulphur.


Boyd


13


337


33-43


54-35


*8.46


|2.292


Carter


16


.331


33-39


53-45


8.17


Ji.886


Greenup


14


375


34.50


52.20


9-37


3- l6 5


Lawrence


6


.326


36.27


53.85


6.86


1.285


Menifee


2


.319


33-55


53.42


10.36


2.544
















General average . .


51


1-3376


34-23


53-45


8.62


2.234



AVERAGE COMPOSITION IN THE SOUTHWESTERN COAL FIELD.



COUNTIES.


Number
analyzed.


Specific
gravity.


Volatile
combustible
matters.


Fixed
carbon.


Per cent, of
ash.


Per cent, of
sulphur.


Butler


I


378


30.66


54-94


II .00


2.544


Edmonsoi)


8


.360


34.01


52.34


10.56


3.312


Grayson


8


.385


31 .17


49.78


? 14.^8


2.083


Hopkins


2


.385


32.95


52.55


II .20


5.019


Muhlenburg ....
Ohio


II


.312
1 .362


36.42
34-9


53-26
53-77


6-74
8.16


2.949
3-103
















General average . .


33


1-3636


33-7


52-77


10.34


3-166



* By leaving out the exceptional ash of No. 1291, the average is 7.94.

j- Without No. 1291 this average would be = 2.036.

I This is the average of fifteen of the coals only.

\ By leaving out the exceptional ash of No. 1454, the average would be = 12.21.

AVERAGE COMPOSITION OF THE SELECTED COALS FROM NEIGHBORING

STATES.



STATES.


Number
analyzed.


Specific
gravity.


Volatile
combustible
matters.


Fixed car-
bon in the
coke.


Per cent, of
ash.


Per cent, of
sulphur.


Ohio


7

2

3


1.327
1.310
I-3I3


34-51
3'-95
35-93


55-17
59.06

54-24


6-43
5-96
7-23


1.494
1.924
1.946


Illinois




General average . .


12


I.3I7


34-13


56.12


6-54


1.768



This comparison is more or less imperfect, because the sam-
ples, which were too few in number to make it complete, were
not averaged with special reference to it. Yet it measurably
corroborates opinions held by geologists and others in regard



12



CHEMICAL REPORT.



to our two coal fields. For instance, it will be seen in the
general averages that the coals of the southwestern field have
more ash and sulphur, and a higher specific gravity, than those
of the northeastern, and that the relative proportions of the
combustible matters, volatile or fixed, are less in the former
The differences, however, are not very remarkable.

In each of these particulars the coals from our neighboring
States of Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana, show less difference than
might have been expected, in view of the fact that they had
been collected from some of the most celebrated coal mines,
as representing the best coals of those States. The following
tables illustrate this :

TABLE OF THE EXTREMES OF COMPOSITION OF THE COALS.



COUNTIES.


Volatile combus-
tible matters.
From


Fixed carbon.
From


Ashes.
From


Sulphnr.
From


Boyd


20. 70 to \6 7o


46 86 to 57 90


5 10 to 14 74


i 28c to c jfii


Carter


27.22 to 36.26


44.64 to 58 88


3 20 to 12 10


724 to 1 /lX3


Greenup


71 .66 to 77.70


47 oo to 56 70


5 40 to 13 oo




Lawrence


77. QO to 7Q.OO


47 84 to C7 80


i 80 to 1 3 70


776 to i 78c


Menifee


77 .06 to 74. O4.


50 24 to 56 60


7 40 to 1 7 06














Greatest extremes . . .


27.22 to 39.00


44.641058.88


1 .80 to 14.74


.72410 5.361


Butler


70 66




I I OO


2 C44


Edmonson


32 .00 to 39 oo


4C 46 to ?4 26




I 059 to 8 685


Grayson


25.86 to 35 80


4O 14 to C C C2


7 50 to 29 60


777 to 7 *56c


Hopkins


70 oo to 7? oo


5 1 10 to 54 oo


6 90 to i c co


2 7150 to 7 280


Muhlenburg


30 60 to 43 08


49 80 to c8 80






Ohio


77. no to 76. 20


52 20 to 55 10


7 10 to 9 oo


2 877 to 7 77">












Greatest extremes . . .


25.861043.08


40. 14 to 58.80


3.72 to 29.60


. 640 to 8 . 685


State of Ohio


29 68 to 36 68


54 1 6 to 57 06


4 20 to 8 72


7C6 to 2 247


State of Illinois


31 86 to 32 04


CC 64 to CO C4.


5 16 to 6 76


I 776 to 2 4.72


State of Indiana .....


ic 10 to 76 ^8


C7 co to C7 c8


5 28 to 9 oo


I 664. to 2 777












Greatest extremes . . .


29.681036.38


53.501059.54


4 . 20 to 9 . ooo


.756t02.472



CHEMICAL REPORT.



TABLE OF THE COMPOSITION OF ELEVEN SELECTED KENTUCKY COALS
FROM SEVERAL COUNTIES.



COUNTIES.


Number.


Specific
gravity.


Volatile
combustible
matters.


Fixed car-
bon in
coke.


Per cent, of
ash.


Per cent, of
sulphur.


Boyd


1286


.308


77. "JO


57.60


5.80


2 . 480


Boyd .


1289


. 7.20


74. co


CC.4O


5. 10


1 .281;


Carter. . . .....
Carter


1346
1747


.288
.290


34-36

27 .22


54.60
55-88


4.40
7 So


.724
.073


Carter


I 7C7


.274


7.4. CO


58.50


3. 2O


2. 164


Edmonson


I4l8


.776


7.C . 14


^4.26


6.Q4


2.706


Greenup


1492


.202


77.90


q6.7o


6. 20


.7d6


Greenup,


1 49 7


.280


7,4.96


S5. S4


5.40


I . COO


Hopkins


I C.79


. 722


7C .90


^4.OO


6.90


2.7CQ


Lawrence ....
Lawrence


1589
I SQT.


.281
.284


35-30
70. OO


57.80
C4.76


1. 80

7.74


.736
I .O66
















General average . .




1.298


74. 7.6


56.18


J.lS


I.C66

















To show the great importance of collecting true and faithful
average samples of the coal beds, for the purpose of analysis,
two picked cabinet specimens were taken and analyzed, to-wit:

No. 1 280 (b). Coal No. 7, from Tiirkey-pen Hollow, Boyd county.

No. 1348 (b}. Coal No. 7, Pritchard's coal, Mi. Savage Fur-
nace, Carter county.

The comparative results of the analyses are as follows



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