Robert Boyle's way of making phosphorus

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                                Sept: y<sup>e<\sup> 30<sup>th<\sup>

I. A Paper 
Of y<sup>e<\sup> Honourable Robt Boyls deposited with y<sup>e<\sup> secretarys 
Of y<sup>e<\sup> Royal Society Oct. 14. 1680 & opened since his death being An Account of his 
way of making y<sup>e<\sup> Phosphorus &c.
There was taken a <u>Considerable quan=
tity <\u> of <u>Man’s Urine <\u> because y<sup>e<\sup> Liquor yeilds 
but a small proportion of y<sup>e<\sup> desired <u>quintes-
seance<\u>: and of this a good part at least, had been 
for a pretty while digested before it was used.
Then this liquor was distil’d w<sup>th<\sup> moderate 
heat, till y<sup>e<\sup> <u> spirituous <\u> or <u>saline <\u> parts were 
drawn off; after w<sup>ch<\sup> y<sup>e<\sup> <u>superfluous <\u> moisture 
alsoe was abstracted (or evaporated away) till
y<sup>e<\sup> remaineing  substance was brought to y<sup>e<\sup> con
sistence of a some what thick <u>syrup <\u> or a thin 
<u>extract <\u>. This done, it was well incorporated w<sup>th<\sup>
thrice it’s weight of fine <u>white sand <\u>; and y<sup>e<\sup> mixture 
being put into a strong stone <u>Retort <\u>, to w<sup>ch<\sup> a
Larg <u>Receiver <\u> (in good part filld with water,) was
so Joynd, y<sup>t<\sup> y<sup>e<\sup> nose of y<sup>e<\sup> <u>Retort <u> did almost touch y<sup>e<\sup> 
water: then y<sup>e<\sup> two Vessells being carefully luted 
together m a naked fire was gradually administred 
for 5 or 6 hours, that all that was either <u>Phlegma=
=tick<\u> or <u>Volatile <u> might come over first. When 
this was done, y<sup>e<\sup> fire was increasd; & at length 
for 5 or 6 hours made as strong & intense as the 
furnace (w<sup>ch<\sup> was not bad,) was capable of giveing 
(w<sup>ch<\sup> Violence of fire is a circumstance not to be
omitted in this operation). By this means there 
came over good store of white fumes, almost 
like those that appear in the Distillation of
oyle of <u>Vitriol<\u>; & when those fumes were past,
& y<sup>e<\sup> <u>receiver <u> grew cleare they were after a 
while succeeded by another sort that seem’d
in y<sup>e<\sup> <u>Receiver <u> to give a faint bluish light, almost like that of little burning matches
dip’d in Sulphur. And last of all, y<sup>e<\sup> fire being 
very Vehement, there pas’d over another sub=
=stance, y<sup>t<\sup> was Judg’d more ponderous then y<sup>e<\sup> 
former because it fell through y<sup>e<\sup> water to
y<sup>e<\sup> bottome of the <u>Receiver<u>; whence being 
taken out (& partly even whilst it stay’d there 
it) appear’d by severall Effects and other Phae 
=nomena, to be such a kind of substance 
as we
desired and expected.
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Robert Boyle
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Cite as

Robert Boyle's way of making phosphorus, 1680. From The Royal Society, CLP/11i/21



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