Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: PART I. Experiments and Obfervations made in, and be- fore the year 1772. IN writing upon the fubject of different kinds of air, I find myfelf at a lofs for proper terms, by which to diftinguifh them, thofe which have hitherto obtained being by no means fuffi- cientlycharacteriftic,ordim'nc"t. The only terms in common ufe are, fixed air, mephitic, and inflammable. The laft, indeed, fufficiently characterizes and diftinguifb.es that kind of air which takes fire, and explodes on the approach of flame ; but it might have been termed fixed with as much propriety as that to which Dr. Black and others have given that denomination, fmce it is originally part of fome folid fiibftance, and exifts in an unelaftic ftate. All thefe newly difcovered kinds of air may alfo be called faSltious; and if, with others, we ufe the ttrmfixable, it is ftill obvious to remark, that it is applicable to them all; fince they are all capable of being imbibed by fome fubftance or other, and confequently of being fixed in them, after they have been in an elaftic ftate. The term mephitic is equally applicable to what is called fixed air, to that which is in- flammable, and to many other kinds; fince they are equally noxious, when breathed by animals. Rather, however, than either introduce new terms, or change the fignification of old ones, I fhall ufe the term fixed air, in the fenfe in which it is now commonly ufed, and diftinguifh the other kinds by their properties, or fome other periphrafis. I fhall be under a neceffity, however, of giving names to thofe kinds of air, to which no names has been given by o- thers, as nitrous acid, and alkaline. SECT. SECTION I. Of Fixed Air. It was in confequence of living for fome time in the neighbourhood of a public brewery, that' I was induced to ...
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