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History of Phosphorus
cedure for making phosphorus from them." Actually, Gahn used at first hartshorn (Cornu cervi ustum), and Scheele doubted, until he checked it himself, that his esteemed friend was right. A few years later, Scheele corrected Gahn's assumption that the sal microcosmicum was an ammonia salt; instead, it is "a tertiary neutral salt, consisting of alkali minerali fixo (i.e., sodium), alkali volatili, and acido phosphori."
In the years after 1770, phosphorus was discovered in bones and many other parts of various animals. Treatment with sulfuric acid decomposed these materials into a solid residue and dissolved phosphoric acid. Many salts of this acid were produced in crystalline form. Heat resistance had been considered one of the outstanding characteristics of phosphoric acid. Now, however, in the processes of drying and heating certain phosphates, it became clear that three kinds of phosphoric acids could be produced: ortho, pyro, and