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Fixation Of Nitrogen By Alcohol

Under the influence of the electric spark discharge in an atmosphere of nitrogen for a lengthened period, ethyl alcohol and its homologues combine with nitrogen, yielding bodies of an amido- or basic nature (Berthelot).1 Hydrogen is evolved, methyl alcohol yielding 1 atom per molecule, and ethyl alcohol 2 atoms. One atom of nitrogen is fixed for every 2 atoms of hydrogen evolved.


W. Lob has also investigated the fixation of nitrogen by alcohol.2 Under the influence of the silent electric discharge, the nitrogen is not fixed as such, but first forms ammonia with the hydrogen produced. The alcohol is decomposed into acetaldehyde and hydrogen, and the acetaldehyde further changed into methane and carbon dioxide. Eventually, formaldehyde also is produced, together with formic acid; these combine with the ammonia to form hexamine and ammonium formate. Ethyl butyrate and ammonium butyrate are also among the products.

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