Alchemy Dictionary


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Wash
Any fermented mixture which, after distillation, would produce distilled spirits (Ethanol CH3CH2OH, with impurities).
Water gas
Mixture of Hydrogen (H2) and Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Water glass (Soluble Glass)
A hydrated Sodium Silicate, Na2Si4O9.xH2O, either an amorphous solid or in thick aqueous solution, used as a binder or adhesive.
Water of Minderus
A solution of Ammonium Acetate (NH4C2H3O2).
Water of Rabel
A solution of Ethyl Ether (CH3CH2OCH2CH3) in Ethanol (CH3CH2OH)
Wax
A term referring to beeswax only, as the Hydrocarbon waxes were not available in the18th. century.
Whey
The liquid which remains after milk is curdled, usually in the process of cheese-making
White Arsenic
Arsenious Oxide (As2O3) Made from Arsenical soot from the roasting ovens, purified by sublimation.
White Calx of Antimony
Mixture of Antimony Oxide (Sb2O3) and Potassium Oxide (K2O).
White Copper
An alloy of Arsenic (As), Copper (Cu), and Zinc (Zn).
White Copperas
Zinc Sulphate (ZnSO4)
White Lead
Basic Lead Carbonate (Pb(CO3)2 . Pb (OH)2). Used as a pigment.
White Manganese
Manganous Carbonate (MnCO3)
White Precipitated Mercury (Precipitate of Sublimate of Mercury)
Mercurammonium Chloride (HgNH2Cl)
White Vitriol
Zinc Sulphate (ZnSO4)  Described by Basil Valentine. Made by lixiviating roasted zinc blende (Zinc Sulphide).
Wind Furnace
A reverberating furnace.
Wine
Often used more broadly by 18th. century chemists to include any potable liquid which had become "spiritous" through fermentation; e.g., beer, cider, and mead.
Wismuth
Bismuth.
Witherite
Barium Carbonate (BaCO3).
Woad
A blue dye prepared from the leaves of the plant Isatis tinctoria.
Wolfram
A name of Germanic origin originally applied to a native Iron Manganese Tungstate and later to the element Tungsten, hence the symbol W.  Also referenced as a mineral substance Spumi lupi that was under investigation in the 18th century.
Wood Ash or Potash
Potassum Carbonate (K2CO3). Made from the ashes of burnt wood.
Worm
A long, coiled tube, usually of copper, attached to the head of a distillation apparatus for the purpose of increasing condensation. A worm commonly was used in distilling spirits.
Wormwood
The plant Artemisia absinthium, the leaves of which were used to make an extract by distillation. Used as a medicinal.
Wort
An infusion of grain, usually malt, which was fermented to produce beer.
Woulfe Bottle
A bottle with two or more necked orifices that was used in distillation.

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