List of alchemical substances
Alchemical studies produced a number of substances, which were later classified as particular chemical compounds or mixtures of compounds.
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
Flowers of sulfur - formed by distilling sulfur.
Butter (or oil) of antimony - antimony trichloride. Formed by distilling roasted stibnite with corrosive sublimate, or dissolving stibnite in hot concentrated hydrochloric acid and distilling.
Cadmia/Tuttia/ Tutty - probably zinc carbonate.
Calamine - zinc carbonate.
Calomel/horn quicksilver/ horn mercury - mercury(I) chloride, a very poisonous purgative formed by subliming a mixture of mercuric chloride and metallic mercury, triturated in a mortar and heated in an iron pot. The crust formed on the lid was ground to powder and boiled with water to remove the calomel.
Caustic potash/Caustic Wood Alkali - potassium hydroxide, formed by adding lime to potash.
Caustic Soda/Caustic Marine Alkali - sodium hydroxide, formed by adding lime to natron.
Caustic Volatile Alkali - ammonium hydroxide.
Chalk - a rock composed of porous biogenic calcium carbonate.
Chrome green - chromic oxide and cobalt oxide.
Chrome orange - chrome yellow and chrome red.
Chrome red - basic lead chromate - PbCrO4+PbO.
Chrome yellow/Paris Yellow/Leipzig Yellow - lead chromate - PbCrO 4.
Cinnabar/ Vermilion - refers to several substances, among them: mercury(II) sulfide (HgS), or native vermilion (the common ore of mercury).
Copper glance - copper(I) sulfide ore.
Corrosive sublimate - mercuric chloride, formed by subliming mercury, calcined green vitriol, common salt and nitre.
Cuprite - copper(I) oxide ore.
Dutch White - a pigment, formed from one part of white lead to three of barium sulfate.
Flowers of antimony - antimony trioxide, formed by roasting stibnite at high temperature and condensing the white fumes that form.
Fool's gold - a mineral; iron disulfide or pyrite, can form oil of vitriol on contact with water and air.
Fulminating silver - silver nitride, formed by dissolving silver(I) oxide in ammonia. Very explosive when dry.
Fulminating gold - gold hydrazide, formed by adding ammonia to the auric hydroxide. When dry, can explode on concussion.
Galena - lead(II) sulfide. Lead ore.
Glass of Antimony - impure antimony tetroxide, formed by roasting stibnite. A yellow pigment for glass and porcelain.
Glauber's Salt - sodium sulfate.
Green Vitriol - a mineral; iron(II) sulfate heptahydrate. (or ferrous sulfate)
Luna cornea - silver chloride, formed by heating horn silver till it liquifies and then cooling.
Liver of sulfur - formed by fusing potash and sulfur.
Lunar caustic/lapis infernalis - silver nitrate, formed by dissolving silver in aqua fortis and evaporating.
Lye - potash in a water solution, formed by leaching wood ashes.
Litharge - lead monoxide, formed by fusing and powdering massicot.
Minium/ Red Lead - trilead tetroxide, formed by roasting litharge in air.
Naples yellow/Cassel yellow - oxychloride of lead, formed by heating litharge with sal ammoniac.
Mercurius praecipitatus - red mercuric oxide.
Milk of Sulfur (lac sulphuris) - formed by adding an acid to thion hudor ( lime sulfur).
Mosaic Gold - stannic sulfide, formed by heating a mixture of tin filings, sulfur and sal-ammoniac.
Natron - sodium carbonate.
Nitrum Flammans - ammonium nitrate.
Oil of Vitriol/Spirit of Vitriol - sulfuric acid, a weak version can be formed by heating green vitriol and blue vitriol.
Orpiment - arsenic trisulfide, an ore of arsenic.
Pearl white - bismuth nitrate.
Philosophers' Wool/nix alba (white snow)/ Zinc White - zinc oxide, formed by burning zinc in air, used as a pigment.
Plumbago - a mineral; graphite, not discovered in pure form until 1564.
Powder of Algaroth - antimonious oxychloride, formed by precipitation when a solution of butter of antimony and spirit of salt is poured into water.
Purple of Cassius - formed by precipitating a mixture of gold, stannous and stannic chlorides, with alkali. Used for glass coloring.
Realgar - arsenic disulfide, an ore of arsenic.
Regulus of antimony
Resin of copper - copper(I) chloride (cuprous chloride), formed by heating copper with corrosive sublimate.
Sal Ammoniac - ammonium chloride.
Sal Petrae (Med. Latin: "stone salt")/Salt of Petra/Saltpetre/Nitrate of potash - potassium nitrate, typically mined from covered dungheaps.
Salt/ Common salt - A mineral; sodium chloride, formed by evaporating sea-water (impure form).
Soda/ Soda Ash - sodium carbonate.
Spirit of box/Pyroxylic Spirit - distillation of wood alcohol.
Spirit of Hartshorn - ammonia, formed by the decomposition of sal-ammoniac by unslaked lime.
Salt of Hartshorn/Sal Volatile - ammonium carbonate formed by distilling bones and horns.
Spirit of salt/Acidum Salis - the liquid form of hydrochloric acid (also called muriatic acid), formed by mixing common salt with oil of vitriol.
Spiritus fumans - stannic chloride, formed by distilling tin with corrosive sublimate.
Stibnite - antimony or antimony trisulfide, ore of antimony.
Sugar of Lead - lead acetate, formed by dissolving lead oxide in vinegar.
Sweet Vitriol- diethyl ether.
Thion Hudor - lime sulfur, formed by boiling flowers of sulfur with slaked lime.
Turpeth mineral - hydrolysed form of mercury(II) sulfate.
Verdigris - copper(II) carbonate or (more recently) copper(II) acetate. The carbonate is formed by weathering copper. The acetate is formed by vinegar acting on copper. One version was used as a green pigment.
White arsenic - arsenious oxide, formed by subliminating arsenical soot from the roasting ovens.
White lead- lead carbonate, a toxic pigment, produced by corroding stacks of lead plates with dilute vinegar beneath a heap of moistened wood shavings. (replaced by blanc fixe & lithopone)
White vitriol - zinc sulfate, formed by lixiviating roasted zinc blende.
Venetian White - formed from equal parts of white lead and barium sulfate.
Zaffre - impure cobalt arsenate, formed after roasting cobalt ore.
Zinc Blende - zinc sulfide.