Properties and Uses. - Anaesthetic, soporific, anthelmintic, rheumatism, gout, nausea, diarrhoea, mostly as a solvent for resins, fats, oleoresins, camphor, gun-cotton, preparing chloroform - yielding of this 200 p. c. of its own weight when distilled with water and calcium hypochlorite. 53

2. Sulphur Derivatives.

Sulphonmethanum. Sulphonmethane, C7H16S2O4. - (Syn., Sul-phonmeth., Sulphonal, Sulphonalum, Diethylsulphonedimethyl-methane; Fr. Acetone-dimethylsulphone; Ger. Sulfonal.)

I Fatty Series 946

Manufacture: Pass dry hydrochloric acid gas into a mixture of anhydrous ethyl hydrosulphide, mercaptan, C2H5SH, (2) and anhydrous acetone (1), when the mixture gradually becomes hot and turbid, finally separating into two layers, the upper containing dithio-ethyl-dimethyl-methane (acetone mercaptol), (CH3)2C(SC2H5)2, a condensation-product of the interaction between the mercaptan and acetone; this oily liquid is purified by washing, distilling, and shaking with 5 p. c. solution of potassium permanganate, thus oxidizing mercaptol into sulphonmethane. It is in colorless, inodorous, nearly tasteless prismatic crystals, crystalline powder, soluble in benzene, water (305), boiling water (16), alcohol (60), boiling alcohol (3), chloroform (11). Tests: 1. Melts at 125° C. (257° F.), at higher temperature - decomposes evolving sulphur dioxide. 2. Heat .1 Gm. with powdered charcoal .1 Gm. - characteristic unpleasant odor of mercaptan; incinerate 2 Gm. - ash .05 p. c. Impurities: Chloride, sulphate, readily oxidizable substances. Should be kept in well-closed containers. Dose, gr. 15-30 (1-2 Gm.).

Properties and Uses. - Hypnotic, sedative. Resembles hydrated chloral, but is less apt to affect the heart; kills, however, by paralysis of respiration; it is given for the same conditions as hydrated chloral, but being so insoluble is absorbed slowly, hence is tardy in action; insomnia, delirium, typhoid fever, diabetes. Give an hour before bedtime in wine, beer, elixir, soup, milk, hot water, tablet or capsule.

Sulphonethylmethanum. Sulphonethylmethane, C8H18S2O4. - (Syn., Sulphonethylmeth., Trional, Trionalum, Diethylsulphone-methylethylmethane; Fr. Diethylsulfone-methylethylmethane; Ger. Methylsulfonalum, Methylsulfonal.)

I Fatty Series 947

Manufacture: Pass dry hydrochloric acid gas into a mixture of ethyl mercaptan and methylethylketone until saturated, oxidize the resulting condensation-product, methylethylketonemercaptol, (CH3)-(C2H5)C(SC2H5)2, with solution of potassium permanganate, purifying by frequent recrystallization from boiling water. It is in colorless, lustrous, odorless, crystalline scales, bitter taste in aqueous solution, soluble in alcohol, ether, water (200), more so in boiling water; saturated aqueous solution neutral. Responds to tests for identity and purity of sulphonmethane. Should be kept in well-closed containers. Dose, gr. 15-30 (1-2 Gm.).

Properties and Uses. - Hypnotic, sedative for the insane. Has prompt action without cumulative effect or tendency to create a habit; quicker and more certain than sulphonal, and largely used.

IV. Acids.

Acids are obtained from hydrocarbons by removing a hydrogen atom and substituting for it the univalent group carboxyl, CO2H, or from alcohols by replacing 2 hydrogen atoms with 1 oxygen atom, thus:






Acetic Acid.


Propionic Acid.

When this substitution is 1 hydrogen atom for 1 carboxyl we have resulting monobasic acids; when 2 hydrogen atoms are replaced by 2 carboxyl we have dibasic acids, etc., thus:

I Fatty Series 948I Fatty Series 949

1. Monobasic Fatty Acids.

(These have 1 hydrogen atom replaceable by metals.)

Acidum Aceticum. Acetic Acid, HC2H3O2 = CH3,COOH. - (Syn., Acid. Acet.; Fr. Acide acetique; Ger. Essigsaure.) An aqueous solution containing 36-37 p. c. of HC2H3O2.

Manufacture: While this may be obtained by the oxidation of ethyl alcohol, most of it is the result of the dry distillation of wood, preferably white oak (Quer'cus al'ba), which is dry distilled at 205° C. (401° F.) for 7 days; gases, such as acetylene, C2H2, ethylene, C2H4, propene, C3H6, marsh gas, CH4, carbon-dioxide, CO2, etc., escape; the wood, losing one-half in weight, becoming walnut-colored, but retaining original structure and elementary composition, remains in the retort, as does also a dark liquid, in two strata, at the bottom: the upper - aqueous, slightly colored, amounts to about 30 p. c. of the original weight of wood taken and is crude wood vinegar or pyrolig-neous acid, containing also methyl alcohol, acetone, guaiacol, pyro-catechin, furfurol, etc.; the lower - oily, is tarry and contains creosote, etc. The upper liquid is distilled, the first 10 p. c. going over being alcohol and acetone, while the next 75-80 p. c. is a yellow liquid, Acetum pyrolignosum rectificatum, P. G., with about 6 p. c. of acetic acid. This is now boiled with milk of lime, or neutralized with soda ash or sodium carbonate, giving calcium or sodium acetate in solution (if milk of lime used, should double decompose with sodium sulphate to get sodium acetate), filter solution, concentrate, crystallize, and distil this with H2SO4, when we get acetic acid of desired strength; thus, NaC2H3O2 + H2SO4 = HC2H3O2 + NaHSO4. A more modern method, and one now usually employed, consists in securing from charcoal burners the acetic acid in the form of calcium acetate, dissolving and decomposing it with sodium sulphate, thus precipitating calcium sulphate and leaving sodium acetate in solution, which in turn is filtered and treated as the above similar solution. It is a clear, colorless liquid; strong, characteristic, vinegar-like odor; sharply acid taste and reaction; miscible with water, alcohol; sp. gr. 1.045. Tests: 1. Nearly neutralize with ammonia water, + ferric chloride T. S. - blood-red, discharged by sulphuric acid. 2. Evaporate 20 Ml. (Cc.) - residue .002 Gm. Impurities: Heavy metals, formic, hydrochloric, sulphuric, sulphurous acids, empyreumatic substances.