From Alchemy to Chemistry:
Five Hundred Years of Rare and Interesting Books

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Rare Book Room Exhibit

BUNSEN, ROBERT (1811 - 1899). Gasometrische Methoden. Braunschweig, 1857.

Bunsen's book on gasometric methods brought gas analysis to a level of accuracy and simplicity reached earlier by gravimetric and titrimetric techniques. When a chemist prepares a previously unknown compound for the first time, one of the first questions to be answered is, 'What is the compound's chemical formula?' Bunsen proposed that an organic compound can best be analyzed by exploding it with oxygen. In this way, the carbon atoms in the compound are converted to carbon dioxide, and the hydrogen atoms are converted to water. The amount of CO2 and H2O formed are measured very precisely. From these measurements (and others), the chemical formulas of the unknown compound can be deduced. In 1853 Bunsen began experiments on a burner for laboratory heating. The Bunsen burner was a modification of the Argand burner with gauze top used in England. The Bunsen burner is described in the 1857 paper of Bunsen and Roscoe and was produced by the Heidelberg University technician Desaga at the suggestion of Bunsen.

DSB; Partington IV, p288; Norman Library of Science, 373.

Small - 210 KB
Large - 692 KB

Small - 187 KB
Large - 394 KB

Small - 205 KB
Large - 387 KB

buttonbar.jpg (5301 bytes)