Chemical Transmutations. Linen can be converted into sugar; sugar into alcohol (spirits) and carbonic acid; alcohol can bechanged into ether and water; sugar can also be converted into oxalic acid, also into pure charcoal (carbon) and water. Alcohol (spirits) will readily change into vinegar (arctic acid) Starch may be transmuted either into gum, alcohol, sugar, acetic-or oxalic acid, as well as many other substances, to which, however, the chemists have given such hard names that we cannot find a pen strong enough to write them.