ALKALI , an Arabic
See also:term originally applied to the ashes of
See also:plants, from which by lixiviation carbonate of soda was obtained in the case of
See also:sea-plants and carbonate of potash in that of
See also:land-plants . The method of making these " mild " alkalis into "
See also:caustic " alkalis by treatment with lime was practised in the
See also:time of Pliny in connexion with the manufacture of
See also:soap, and it was also known that the ashes of
See also:shore-plants yielded a hard soap and those of land-plants a soft one . But the two substances were generally confounded as " fixed alkali " (carbonate of
See also:ammonia being " volatile alkali "), till
See also:Duhamel du Monceau in 1736 established the fact that
See also:salt and the ashes of sea-plants contain the same
See also:base as is found in natural deposits of soda salts ("
See also:mineral alkali "), and that this
See also:body is different from the "
See also:vegetable alkali " obtained by incinerating land-plants or
See also:wood (pot-ashes) . Later,
See also:Martin Heinrich Klaproth, finding vegetable alkali in certain minerals, such as
See also:leucite, proposed to distinguish it as potash, and .at the same time assigned to the mineral alkali the name natron, which survives in the
See also:symbol, Na, now used for sodium . The word alkali supplied the symbol for potassium, K (kalium) . In
See also:modern chemistry alkali is a general term used for compounds which have the
See also:property of neutralizing acids, and is applied more particularly to the highly soluble hydrates of sodium and potassium and of the three rarer "alkali metals," caesium, rubidium and lithium, also to aqueous ammonia . In a smaller degree these alkaline properties are shared by the less soluble hydrates of the "metals of the alkaline earths," calcium, barium and strontium, and by
See also:hydrate . An alkali is distinguished from an acid or neutral substance by its
See also:action on
See also:turmeric and other indicators .
ALKAHEST (a pseudo-Arabic word believed to have bee...
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