Page:Experimental researches in chemistry and.djvu/57

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On two new Compounds

ters. The different portions of air that were thrown out being examined, the first proved to be common air, and the last carbonic oxide. This had resulted, probably, from the action of the chlorine on the lead of the glass tube. An evident action had taken place, and the oxygen evolved, meeting with the liberated carbon, would produce the carbonic oxide. This experiment has been repeated several times with the same results.

When the per chloride of carbon is heated with metallic oxides, different results are produced according to the proportions of oxygen in the oxides. The peroxides, as of mercury, copper, lead and tin, produce chlorides of those metals, and carbonic acid; and the protoxides, as those of zinc, lead, &c., produce also chlorides, but the gaseous products are mixtures of carbonic acid and carbonic oxide. I have frequently perceived the smell of phosgene gas, on passing the chloride over oxide of zinc; and as the substance easily liberates chlorine at high temperatures, it will be readily seen how a small portion of that gas may be formed. It also happens, sometimes, that the protoxides become blackened from the deposition of charcoal.

When the vapour of the chloride is passed over lime, baryta. or strontia, heated red-hot, a very vivid combustion is produced. The oxygen and the chlorine change places, and both the metals and the carbon are burnt. Chlorides are produced, carbonic acid is formed and absorbed by the undecomposed parts of the earths, and carbon is deposited. In these experiments no carbonic oxide is produced. When passed over magnesia, there is no action on the earth, but the per chloride of carbon is converted by the heat into protochloride.

In these experiments with the oxides no trace of water could be perceived.

Having thus far described the properties of the substance, I shall now give the reasons which induce me to consider it a true chloride of carbon, and shall endeavour to assign its composition. My first object was to ascertain whether hydrogen existed in it or not. When phosphorus is heated in it, a small quantity of muriatic acid is generally formed; but doubt arises as to the cause of its production, from the circumstance that the phosphorus, as already mentioned, may be the source of