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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 5 Issue 3 (2000) pp 205-209

The History of Saltpeter Production with a Bit of Pyrotechnics and Lavoisier

Jaime Wisniak

Department of Chemical Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel 84105

Published online: 1 August 2000

Abstract. The early development of saltpeter (potassium nitrate) production is intimately related to the invention of pyrotechnics and gunpowder. The evolution of the industry in France was closely tied to the political events that took place during the period before and after the French Revolution. Lavoisier transformed it from a losing operation to a successful enterprise and in so doing set the beginning of industrial chemistry as we know it today. The DuPont Company was founded as a result of these activities.

Key Words: Chemistry and History;

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail: wisniak@bgumail.bgu.ac.il)

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Issue date: August 1, 2000

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