Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen, invented soda water

Joseph Priestley – discoverer of oxygen

Category : Personalities
Published by : Data Research Analyst, Worldofchemicals.com

Biography & contributions

Joseph Priestley, an English theologian and scientist born on March 13, 1733 – died on February 06, 1804. Joseph credited with the discovery of gaseous oxygen.Joseph got Copley medal in the year of 1773.

He was also inventor of soda water and proved that plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, and invented soda pop by dissolving carbon dioxide into water to make fizzy carbonated water.

Other discoveries which was done by him are dephlogisticated air (Oxygen), nitrous air (nitric oxide) & nitrous air test, alkaline air (ammonia), vitriolic acid air (sulfur dioxide), diminished nitrous air (nitric oxide).

Facts about sulfur dioxide

Sulfur dioxide is a colorless, pungent inorganic gas. It can be oxidized to sulfur trioxide, which in the presence of water vapor is readily transformed to sulfuric acid mist. Sulfur dioxide can be oxidized to form acid aerosols. Sulfur dioxide is a precursor to sulfates, which are one of the main components of respirable particles in the atmosphere.

Downstream petroleum industry and other industrial processes each accounted for approximately 9 per cent of sulfur dioxide emissions. Lesser sources of sulfur dioxide include transportation, cement and concrete. Sulfur dioxide is a precursor of the trioxide (SO3) used to make sulfuric acid.

In the laboratory the gas may be prepared by reducing sulfuric acid (H2SO4) to sulfurous acid (H2SO3), which decomposes into water and sulfur dioxide, or by treating sulfites (salts of sulfurous acid) with strong acids, such as hydrochloric acid, again forming sulfurous acid.

Sulfur dioxide can be liquefied under moderate pressures at room temperatures. Sulfur dioxide is the oxidizing agent in the Claus process. Sulfur dioxide is one of the few common acidic yet reducing gases. It turns moist litmus pink (being acidic), then white (due to its bleaching effect). It may be identified by bubbling it through a dichromate solution, turning the solution from orange to green (Cr3+ (aq)).

It can also reduce ferric ions to ferrous. Sulfur dioxide is an intermediate in the production of sulfuric acid, being converted to sulfur trioxide, and then to oleum, which is made into sulfuric acid. Sulfur dioxide for this purpose is made when sulfur combines with oxygen.

Facts about ammonia

Ammonia is an industrially important chemical compound of nitrogen and hydrogen. At ordinary temperatures and pressures, ammonia is a colorless gas about three-fifths as heavy as air. It is poisonous and has a strong, choking odor. Ammonia dissolves readily in water, alcohol, and ether. In solid form, it is white and crystalline.

Ammonia is used in the manufacture of dyes, explosives, plastics, drugs, nitric acid, and many other chemicals. Ammonia dissolved in water forms ammonium hydroxide. Ammonia is easily liquefied by being cooled under pressure. It is used both for industrial refrigeration and in refrigerators of the gas type.

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