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By P H Ogden

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Experiments convinced him that the medicinal qualities of seltzer might be due to the air dissolved in it. Pouring water from one glass to another for 3 min in the fixed air above a beer vat achieved the same effect. By 1772, he had devised a pumping apparatus that would impregnate water with fixed air, and the system was set up on board Cook’s ships Resolution and Adventure in time for the voyage. It was a great success. Meanwhile, Priestley’s politics continued to dog him. His support for the French Revolution was seen as particularly traitorous, and in 1794, a mob burned down his house and laboratory.

This broad series extends from methane, which forms natural gas, through liquids that are refined into gasoline, to crystalline waxes. A series of ring-shaped hydrocarbons, known as the naphthenes, range from volatile liquids such as naphtha to high molecular weight substances isolated as the asphaltene fraction. Another group of ring-shaped hydrocarbons is known as the aromatics; the chief compound in this series is benzene, a popular raw material for making petrochemicals. Nonhydrocarbon constituents of petroleum include organic derivatives of nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, and the metals nickel and vanadium.

Petroleum products are the basic materials used for the manufacture of synthetic fibers for clothing and in plastics, paints, fertilizers, insecticides, soaps, and synthetic rubber. The uses of petroleum as a source of raw material in manufacturing are central to the functioning of modern industry. Petroleum is a carbon-based resource. Therefore, the geochemical carbon cycle is also of interest to fossil fuel usage in terms of petroleum formation, use, and the buildup of atmospheric carbon dioxide (Chapter 28).

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