Excerpt from The Quarterly Journal of the Chemical Society of London, 1853, Vol. 5
Consideration of the foregoing facts, induced me to examine more particularly the change produced upon citric acid by contact with a putrescent body.
The experiments I am about to deta... il were performed in Dr. Anderson's laboratory, in Edinburgh.
Some crystallized commercial citric acid was powdered up with an excess of chalk and some water to a thin paste. When effervescence had ceased, dried curd to the amount of a fourth part of the acid employed was beaten up with the mixture, which was then trans ferred, along with about ten times its bulk of water, to a glass ¿ask. This was furnished with a gas-evolution tube, and placed in a warm situation, where a thermometer immersed in the mixture indicated a temperature varying between 800 and 1000 Fah. The whole began to stink in three days, and in about ten days fermentation seemed at its height; the gases evolved were carbonic acid and hydrogen, and at this period the former stood to the latter in the ratio of two volumes to one; the quantity of gaseous product afterwards de creased, and the relative proportions of the individual gases changed, the hydrogen preponderating. Of the last portions of gas collected about three volumes in four were hydrogen. The process was stopped on the twenty-second day, when a large amount of lime was found to be in solution, while a slimy sediment remained at the bottom of the ¿ask, containing the undecomposed curd, and the excess of chalk. I could detect no succinic acid.
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