The discovery of salicylic acid.

definition

Salicylic acid is a white crystalline slightly water-soluble substance with a sweet taste and bitter aftertaste. It is used in the manufacture of aspirin, dyes, perfumes and as a fungicide. C6H4(OH)COOH is its chemical formula[1].

DISCOVERY

The Italian chemist Raffaele Michele Rocco Piria discovered[2] salicylic acid after isolating it from salicin in 1838. Here is the method he used to isolate salicylic acid:

  • He subjected salicin to sulphuric acid and potassium chromate and obtained an oily substance.
  • He then added chlorine to this oily product and obtained hydrochloric acid along with some colourless crystals.

Here is a photograph[3] of salicylic acid crystals:

[ux_image_box img=”1136″ image_width=”50″ link=”https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salicylsäure” target=”_blank”]

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DISCOVERER

Here is a photograph[4] of Raffaele Piria:

[ux_image_box img=”1139″ image_width=”50″ link=”https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raffaele_Piria” target=”_blank”]

1814-1865

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sources
  1. https://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/salicylic+acid
  2. https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k2965r/f621.image, pages 620-622.
  3. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salicylsäure
  4. https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raffaele_Piria

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