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made use of, when well shaken together, occupied rather less
space than an equal weight of water. The quantity of residuum
before referred to, left by a given weight of gunpowder, is not
mentioned, so that the actual space occupied by the vapour of
water, carbonic acid, &c., at the moment of ignition, cannot be
inferred ; there can, however, be but little doubt that when
perfectly confined they were in the state of the substances in
M. Cagniard de la Tour's experiments*.

When allowed to remain a few minutes, or even seconds, the

expansive force at first observed diminished exceedingly, so as

scarcely to surpass that of the air in a charged air-gun. Of

course all that was due to the vaporization of water and some

* See Quarterly Journal of Science, vol. xv. p. 145.

1824.] On the Liquefaction of Gases. 127

of the other products would cease, as soon as the mass of metal
had absorbed the heat, and they would concrete into the hard
substance found in the cylinder : but it does not seem too much
to suppose, that so much carbonic acid was generated in the
combustion, as would, if confined, on the cooling of the appa-
ratus, have been equal to many atmospheres, but that being
condensable, a part became liquid, and thus assisted in reducing
the force within to what it was found to be.

Ammonia. I find the condensation of ammoniacal gas re-
ferred to in Thomson's ' System,' first edition, i. 405, and other
editions ; Henry's ' Chemistry,' i. 237 ; Accum's ' Chemistry/ i.
310; Murray's * Chemistry,' ii. 73; and Thenard's 'Traite*
de Chimie,' ii. 133. Mr. Accum refers to the experiments of
Fourcroy and Vauquelin, ' Ann. de Chimie,' xxix. 289, but has
mistaken their object. Those chemists used highly saturated
solution of ammonia, see pp. 281, 286, and not the gas ; and
their experiments on gases, namely, sulphurous acid gas, mu-
riatic acid gas, and sulphuretted hydrogen gas, they state were
fruitless, p. 287. "All we can say is, that the condensation of
most of these gases was above three-fourths of their volume. "

Thomson, Henry, Murray, and, I suppose, Thenard, refer to
the experiments of Guy ton de Morveau, ' Ann. de Chimie,' xxix.
291, 297. Thomson states the result of liquefaction at a tem-
perature of 45, without referring to the doubt, that Morveau
himself raises, respecting the presence of water in the gas ; but
Murray, Henry, and Thenard, in their statements notice its
probable presence. Morveau's experiment was made in the
following manner : A glass retort was charged with the usual
mixture of muriate of ammonia and quick-lime, the former
material being sublimed, and the latter carefully made from
white marble, so as to exclude water as much as possible. The
beak of the retort was then adapted to an apparatus consisting
of two balloons, and two flasks successively connected together,
and luted by fat lute. The balloons were empty ; the first flask
contained mercury, the second water. Heat was then applied
to the retort, and the first globe cooled to 21*25 C. ; aqueous
vapours soon rose, which condensed as water in the neck of the
retort, and as ice in the first balloon. Continuing the heat,
ammoniacal gas was disengaged, and it escaped by the last
flask containing water, without anything being perceived in the

128 On the Liquefaction of Gases. [1824.

second balloon. This balloon was then cooled to 43'75 C.,
and then drops of a fluid lined its interior, and ultimately united
at the bottom of the vessel. When the thermometer in the
cooling mixture stood at 36'25 C., the fluid already de-
posited preserved its state, but no further portions were added
to it; reducing the temperature again to 41 C., and hasten-
ing the disengagement of ammoniacal gas, the liquid in the
second balloon augmented in volume. Very little gas escaped
from the last flask, and the pressure inwards was such as to
force the oil of the lute into the balloon, where it congealed.
Finally, the apparatus was left to regain the temperature of the
atmosphere, and as it approached to it, the liquid of the second
balloon became gaseous. The ice in the first balloon became
liquid, as soon as the temperature had reached 2l'25 C.

M. Morveau remarks on this experiment, that it appears cer-
tain that ammoniacal gas made as dry as it can be, by passing
into a vessel in which water would be frozen, and reduced to a
temperature of 21 C., condenses into a liquid at the tempera-
ture of 48 C., and resumes its elastic form again as the tempe-
rature is raised ; but he proposes to repeat the experiment and
examine whether a portion of the gas so dried, when received
over mercury, would not yield water to well-calcined potash,
ft for as it is seen that water charged with a little of the gas, re-
mained liquid in the first balloon, at a temperature of 21, it
is possible that a much smaller quantity of water united to a
much larger quantity of the gas, would become capable of re-
sisting a temperature of 48C."

Sir H. Davy, who refers to this experiment in his ' Elements
of Chemical Philosophy,' p. 267, urges the uncertainty attend-
ing it, on the same grounds that Morveau himself had done ;
and now that the strength of the vapour of dry liquid ammonia
is known, it cannot be doubted that M. Morveau had obtained
in his second balloon only a very concentrated solution of
ammonia in water. I find that the strength of the vapour of
ammonia dried by potash, is equal to about that of 6*5 atmo-
spheres at 50 F. *, and according to all analogy [it would re-
quire a very intense degree of cold, and one at present beyond
our means, to compensate this power and act as an equivalent
to it.
' * Philosophical Transactions, 1823, p, 197 or page 95,

1824] On, the Liquefaction of Gases. 129

Sulphurous Acid Gas. It is said that sulphurous acid gas
has been condensed into a fluid by Monge and Clouet, but I
have not been able to find the description of their process.
It is referred to by Thomson, in his * System,' first edition, ii.
24, and in subsequent editions ; by Henry, in his ( Elements/
i. 341 ; by Accum, in his ' Chemistry,' i. 319 ; by Aikin, * Che-
mical Dictionary,' ii. 391 ; by Nicholson, c Chemical Dictionary,'
article GAS (sulphurous acid) ; and by Murray, in his * System/
ii. 405. All these authors mention the simultaneous application
of cold and'pressure, but Thomson alone refers to any authority,
and that is Fourcroy, ii. 74.

It is curious that Fourcroy does not, however, mention con-
densation as one of the means employed by Monge and Clouet,
but merely says the gas is capable of liquefaction at 28 of
cold. " This latter property," he adds, " discovered by citizens
Monge and Clouet, and by which it is distinguished from all the
other gases, appears to be owing to the water which it holds in
solution, and to which it adheres so strongly as to prevent an
accurate estimate of the proportions of its radical and acidifying

Notwithstanding Fourcroy's objection, there can be but little
reason to doubt that Monge and Clouet did actually condense
the gas, for I have since found that from the small elastic force
of its vapour at common temperatures (being equal to that of
about two atmospheres only*), a comparatively moderate dimi-
nution of temperature is sufficient to retain it fluid at common
pressure, or a moderate additional pressure to retain it so at
common temperature ; so that whether these philosophers ap-
plied cold only, as Fourcroy mentions, or cold and pressure, as
stated by the other chemists, they would succeed in obtaining
it in the liquid form.

Chlorine. M. de Morveau, whilst engaged on the application
of the means best adapted to destroy putrid effluvia and con-
tagious miasmata, was led to the introduction of chlorine as the
one most excellent for this purpose ; and he proposed the use
of phials, containing the requisite materials, as sources of the
substance. One described in his 'Traite des Moyens de
clesinfecter 1'air ' (1801), was of the capacity of two cubical
inches nearly ; about 62 grains of black oxide of manganese in
* Philosophical Transactions, 1823, p. 191 or page 90.


130 On the Liquefaction of Gases. [1824.

coarse powder was introduced, and then the bottle two-thirds
filled with nitromuriatic acid ; it was shaken, and in a short
time chlorine was abundantly disengaged. M. Morveau re-
marks upon the facility with which the chlorine is retained in
these bottles ; one, thus prepared, and forgotten, when opened
at the end of eight years, gave an abundant odour of chlorine.

I had an impression on my mind that M. de Morveau had
proposed the use of phials similarly charged, but made strong,
well stoppered, and confined by a screw in a frame, so that no
gas should escape, except when the screw and stopper were
loosened ; but I have searched for an account of such phials
without being able to find any. If such have been made, it is
very probable that in some circumstances, liquid chlorine has
existed in them, for as its vapour at 60 F. has only a force of
about four atmospheres*, a charge of materials might be
expected frequently to yield much more chlorine than enough
to fill the space, and saturate the fluid present ; and the excess
would of course take the liquid form. If such vessels have not
been made, our present knowledge of the strength of the vapour
of chlorine will enable us to construct them of a much more con-
venient and portable form than has yet been given to them.

Arseniuretted Hydrogen. This is a gas which it is said has
been condensed so long since as 1805. The experiment was
made by Stromeyer, and was communicated, with many other
results relating to the same gas, to the Gottingen Society, Oct.
12, 1805. See Nicholson's ' Journal,' xix. 382 ; also Thenard,
'Traitd de Chimie,' i. 373; Brande's ' Manual,' ii. 212 ; and
' Annales de Chimie/ Ixiv. 303. None of these contain the
original experiment ; but the following quotation is from
Nicholson's * Journal.' The gas was obtained over the pneu-
matic apparatus, by digesting an alloy of fifteen parts tin and
one part arsenic, in strong muriatic acid. " Though the arseni-
cated hydrogen gas retains its aeriform state under every known
degree of atmospheric temperature and pressure, Professor
Stromeyer condensed it so far as to reduce it in part to a liquid,
by immersing it in a mixture of snow and muriate of lime,
in which several pounds of quicksilver had been frozen in the
course of a few minutes." From the circumstance of its being
reduced only in part to a liquid, we may be led to suspect that
* Philosophical Transactions, 1823, p. 198 or page 95.

1824.] On the Liquefaction of Gases. 131

it was rather the moisture of the gas that was condensed than
the gas itself; a conjecture which is strengthened in my mind
from finding that a pressure of three atmospheres was insuffi-
cient to liquefy the gas at a temperature of F.

Chlorine. The most remarkable and direct experiments I
have yet met with in the course of my search after such as were
connected with the condensation of gases into liquids, are a
series made by Mr. Northmore, in the years 1805-6. It was
expected by this gentleman " that the various affinities which
take place among the gases under the common pressure of the
atmosphere, would undergo considerable alteration by the in-
fluence of condensation ;" and it was with this in view that the
experiments were made and described. The results of lique-
faction were therefore incidental, but at present it is only of
them I wish to take notice. Mr. Northmore's papers may be
found in Nicholson's ' Journal,' xii. 368, xiii. 232. In the first
is described his apparatus, namely, a brass condensing pump ;
pear-shaped glass receivers, containing from three and a half
to five cubic inches, and a quarter of an inch thick; and occa-
sionally a siphon gauge. Sometimes as many as eighteen atmo-
spheres were supposed to have been compressed into the
vessel, but it is added,. that the quantity cannot be depended
on, as the tendency to escape even by the side of the piston,
rendered its confinement very difficult.

Now that we know the pressure of the vapour of chlorine,
there can be no doubt that the following passage describes a
true liquefaction of that gas : " Upon the compression of
nearly two pints of oxygenated muriatic acid gas in a receiver,
two and a quarter cubic inches capacity, it speedily became
converted into a yellow fluid, of such extreme volatility, under
the common pressure of the atmosphere, that it instantly eva-
porated upon opening the screw of the receiver ; I need not
add that this fluid, so highly concentrated, is of a most in-
supportable pungency. . . . There was a trifling residue of a
yellowish substance left after the evaporation, which probably
arose from a small portion of the oil and grease used in the
machine," &c., xiii. 235.

Muriatic Acid. Operating upon muriatic acid, Mr. North-
more obtained such results as induced him to state he coulc).
liquefy it in any quantity ; but as the pressure of its vapour at

1 32 On the Liquefaction of Gases . [ 1 82-K

50 Fahr. is equal to about forty atmospheres *, he must have
been mistaken. The following is his account : *' I now pro-
ceeded to the muriatic acid gas, and upon the condensation of
a small quantity of it, a beautiful green-coloured substance
adhered to the side of the receiver, which had all the qualities
of muriatic acid ; but upon a large quantity, four pints, being
condensed, the result was a yellowish-green glutinous sub-
stance, which does not evaporate, but is instantly absorbed by
a few drops of water ; it is of a highly pungent quality, being
the essence of muriatic acid. As this gas easily becomes fluid,
there is little or no elasticity, so that any quantity may be con-
densed without danger. My method of collecting this and
other gases, which are absorbable by water, is by means of an
exhausted florence flask (and in some cases an empty bladder),
connected by a stopcock with the extremity of the retort."
xiii. 235. It seems probable that the facility of condensation,
and even combination, possessed by muriatic acid gas in con-
tact with oil of turpentine, may belong to it under a little
pressure, in contact with common oil, and thus have occasioned
the results Mr. Northmore describes.

{Sulphurous Acid Gas. With regard to this gas, Mr. North-
more says, " Having collected about a pint and a half of sul-
phurous acid gas, I proceeded to condense it in the three cubic
inch receiver ; but after a very few pumps the forcing piston
became immoveable, being completely choked by the operation
of the gas. A sufficient quantity had, however, been com-
pressed to form vapour, and a thick slimy fluid, of a dark
yellow colour, began to trickle down the sides of the receiver,
which immediately evaporated with the most suffocating odour
upon the removal of the pressure." xiii. 236. This experi-
ment, Mr. Northmore remarks, corroborates the assertion of
Monge and Clouet, that by cold and pressure they had con-
densed this gas. The fluid above described was evidently
contaminated with oil, but from its evaporation on removing
the pressure, and from the now ascertained low pressure of the
vapour of sulphurous acid, there can be no hesitation in ad-
mitting that it was sulphurous acid liquefied.

The results obtained by Mr. Northmore, with chlorine gas
and sulphurous acid gas, are referred to by Nicholson in his
* Philosophical Transactions, 1823, p, 198 or page 95.

1824.] On the Liquefaction of Gases. 133

'Chemical Dictionary/ 8vo, articles GAS (muriatic acid oxy-
genized) and GAS (sulphurous acid) ; and that of chlorine is
referred to by Murray, in his * System,' ii. 550; although at
page 405 of the same volume, he says that only sulphurous
acid " and ammonia of these gases that are at natural tempe-
ratures permanently elastic, have been found capable of this

Carbonic Acid. Another experiment, in which it is very
probable that liquid carbonic acid has been produced, is one
made by Mr. Babbage about the year 1813. The object Mr,
Babbage had in view, was to ascertain whether pressure would
prevent decomposition ; and it was expected that either that
would be the case, or that decomposition would go on, and
the rock be split by the expansive force of carbonic acid gas.
The place was Chudley Rocks, Devonshire, where the limestone
is dark and of a compact texture. A hole, about 30 inches
deep and 2 inches in diameter, was made by the workmen
in the usual way; it penetrated directly downwards into the
rock ; a quantity of strong muriatic acid, equal to perhaps a
pint and a half, was then poured in, and immediately a conical
wooden plug, that had previously been soaked in tallow, was
driven hard into the mouth of the hole. The persons about
then retired to a distance to watch the result, but nothing
apparent happened, and, after waiting some time, they left the
place. The plug was not loosened at the time, nor was any
further examination of the state of things made ; but it is very
probable that if the rock were sufficiently compact in that part,
the plug tight, and the muriatic acid in sufficient quantity, that
a part of the carbonic acid had condensed into a liquid, and
thus, though it permitted the decomposition, prevented that
development of power which Mr. Babbage expected would
have torn the rock asunder.

Oil-Gas Vapour. An attempt has been made by Mr.
Gordon, within the last few years, and is still continued, to
introduce condensed gas into use in the construction of por-
table, elegant, and economical gas-lamps. Oil-gas has been
made use of, and, I believe, as many as thirty atmospheres
have been thrown into vessels, which, furnished with a stop-
cock and jet, have afterwards allowed of its gradual expansion
and combustion. During the condensation of the gas in this

134 On the Liquefaction of Gases. [1824,

manner, a liquid has been observed to deposit from it. It is
not, however, a result of the liquefaction of the gas, but the
deposition of a vapour (using the terms gas and vapour in their
common acceptation) from it, and when taken out of the vessel
it remains a liquid at common temperatures and pressures,
may be purified by distillation in the ordinary way, and will
even bear a temperature of 170 F. before it boils at ordinary
pressure. It is the substance referred to by Dr. Henry in the
'Philosophical Transactions,' 1821, p. 159.

There is no reason for believing that oil-gas, or olefiant gas,
has as yet been condensed into a liquid, or that it will take
that form at common temperatures under a pressure of five, or
ten, or even twenty atmospheres. If it were possible, a small,
safe, and portable gas-lamp would immediately offer itself to
us, which might be filled with liquid without being subject to
any greater force than the strength of its vapour, and would
afford an abundant supply of gas as long as any of the liquid
remained. Immediately upon the condensation of cyanogen,
which takes place at 50 Fahr. at a pressure under four atmo-
spheres, I made such a lamp with it. It succeeded perfectly;
but, of course, either the expense of the gas, the faint light of
its flame, or its poisonous qualities, would preclude its applica-
tion. But we may, perhaps, without being considered extra-
vagant, be allowed to search in the products of oil, resins, coal,
&c., distilled or otherwise treated, with this object in view, for
a substance, which being a gas at common temperatures and
pressure, shall condense into a liquid, by a pressure of from
two to six or eight atmospheres, and which being combustible,
shall afford a lamp of the kind described *.

Atmospheric Air. As my object is to draw attention to the
results obtained in the liquefaction of gases before the date of
those described in the * Philosophical Transactions' for 1823,
I need not, perhaps, refer to the notice given in the ' Annals
of Philosophy,' N. S. vi. 66, of the supposed liquefaction of
atmospheric air, by Mr. Perkins, under a pressure of about
1100 atmospheres; but as such a result would be highly in-
teresting, and is the only additional one on the subject I am
acquainted with, I am desirous of doing so, as well also to point

* In reference to the probability of such results, see a paper " On Olefiant
Gas," Annals of Philosophy, N. S. iii. 3/.

1836.] On the Condensation of the Gases, %c. 135

out the remarkable difference between tbat result and those
which are the subject of this and the other papers referred to.
Mr. Perkins informed me that the air upon compression dis-
appeared, and in its place was a small quantity of a fluid, which
remained so when the pressure was removed, had little or no
taste, and did not act on the skin. As far as I could by in-
quiry make out its nature, it resembled water ; but if upon
repetition it be found really to be the product of compressed
common air, then its fixed nature shows it to be a result of a
very different kind to those mentioned above, and necessarily
attended by far more important consequences.

On the History of the Condensation of the Gases> in reply to
Dr. Davy, introduced by some Remarks on that of Electro-
magnetic Rotation *.

MY DEAR SIR, Royal Institution, May 10, 1836.

I HAVE just concluded looking over Dr. Davy's Life of his
brother Sir Humphry Davy. In it, between pages 160 and
164 of the second volume, the author links together some
account, with observations, of the discovery of electro-magnetic
rotation, and that of the condensation of the gases, concluding
at page 164 with these words : " I am surprised that Mr.
Faraday has not come forward to do him [Sir Humphry Davy]
justice. As I view the matter, it appears hardly less necessary
to his own honest fame than his acknowledgement to Dr. Wol-
laston, on the subject of the first idea of the rotatory magnetic

I regret that Dr. Davy by saying this has made that neces-
sary which I did not before think so ; but I feel that I cannot
after his observation indulge my earnest desire to be silent on
the matter without incurring the risk of being charged with
something opposed to an honest character. This I dare not
risk ; but in answering for myself, I trust it will be understood
that I have been driven unwillingly into utterance.

[The next three pages of this paper which refer to the
electro-magnetic rotation have appeared in vol. ii. at p. 229,
&c. of ' Experimental Researches in Electricity,' 8vo edition.

* Philosophical Magazine, 1836, vol. viii. p. 521.

136 On the Condensation of the Gases, $c. [1836.

At that time I did not reprint the part relating to the conden-
sation of the gases. I find that this omission may be construed
into a design to withdraw the statement from publication ; I
have no reason, however, to alter or weaken .a word of it, and
so am in a manner constrained to insert it here, where indeed
it finds its proper place.]

With respect to the condensation of the gases, I have long-
ago done justice to those to whom it was really due*, and now
approach the subject again with considerable reluctance ; for
though I feel that there is some appearance of confusion, still
I regret that Dr. Davy did not leave the matter as it stood.
All my papers on the subject in the Transactions of the Royal
Society had passed through the hands of Sir Humphry Davy,
who had corrected them as he thought fit, and had presented
them to that body. Again, all the facts that Dr. Paris has
stated upon his own knowledge t are correct; he made that
statement as his own voluntary act and without any previous
communication with me, so that I think I might have been left
in that silence which I so much desired.

The facts of the case, as far as I know them, are these : In
the spring of 1823, Mr. Brande was Professor of Chemistry,
Sir Humphry Davy Honorary Professor of Chemistry, and I
Chemical Assistant, in the Royal Institution. Having to give
personal attendance on both the morning and afternoon che-
mical lectures, my time was very fully occupied. Whenever
any circumstance relieved me in part from the duties of my
situation, I used to select a subject of research, and try my
skill upon it. Chlorine was with me a favourite object, and
having before succeeded in discovering new compounds of
that element with carbon, I had considered that body more
deeply, and resolved to resume its consideration at the first
opportunity : accordingly, the absence of Sir Humphry Davy
from town having relieved me from a part of the laboratory
duty, I took advantage of the leisure and the cold weather and

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