Eilhard mitscherlich Isomorphism Inventor

Eilhard Mitscherlich – inventor of chemical isomorphism

Article on Eilhard mitscherlich

Biography & contributions

Eilhard Mitscherlich was a German chemist born on January, 07, 1794 – died on August 28, 1863. Mitscherlich was famous chemist who invented isomorphism phenomenon.

In 1825 he discovered that allotropic crystals, when heated, expand unequally in the direction of dissimilar axes. Mitscherlich made analyses of phosphates and phosphites, arsenates and arsenites. He obtained selenic acid in 1827 and showed that its salts are isomorphous with the sulphates, while a few years later he proved that the same thing is true of the manganates and the sulfates, and of the permanganates and the perchlorates. In 1833 Mitscherlich made a series of careful determinations of the vapor densities of a large number of volatile substances. In 1833-34, Mitscherlich investigated the synthesis of diethyl ether from ethanol and sulfuric acid. He investigated the relation of benzene to benzoic acid and to other derivatives.

Mitscherlich observed that the angle in the case of calc-spar varied with the temperature. On extending this inquiry to other allotropic crystals, he observed a similar variation, this was led to the discovery of allotropic crystals in the year 1825. Even he observed same phenomenon in two more crystalline modifications of sulfur threw much light on the fact that the two minerals calc-spar and aragonite have the same composition but different crystalline forms, by this conclusion he named this phenomenon as isomorphism.

Selenic acid

Selenic acid is an oxoacid of selenium. It is prepared by oxidation of selenium dioxide with hydrogen peroxide. Selenic acid may also be prepared by the oxidation of selenous acid with halogens, such as chlorine or bromine, or with potassium permanganate.  Selenic acid is a stronger oxidizer than sulfuric acid, capable of liberating chlorine from chloride ions, being reduced to selenous acid in the process. Selenic acid is used as a reagent for alkaloids and as an oxidizing agent.

Benzoic acid

Benzoic acid name is derived from gum benzoin. It is a colorless crystalline solid and a simple aromatic carboxylic acid. Benzoic acid is produced commercially by partial oxidation of toluene with oxygen. Benzoic acid is a constituent of Whitfield's ointment which is used for the treatment of fungal skin diseases such as tinea, ringworm, and athlete's foot.

Benzoic acid is relatively nontoxic. It is excreted as hippuric acid. Benzoic acid is metabolized by butyrate-CoA ligase into an intermediate product, benzoyl-CoA, which is then metabolized by glycine N-acyltransferase into hippuric acid.

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