Priestley discovered oxygen independently at about the same time), and his investigation of molybdic and tungstic acids in the following year; metallic molybdenum was obtained by P. J.
His next discovery, in 1781, was the composition of the mineral tungsten, since called scheelite (calcium tungstate), from which he obtained tungstic acid.
Tungsten may be prepared from wolfram by heating the powdered ore with sodium carbonate, extracting the sodium carbonate with water, filtering and adding an acid to precipitate tungstic acid, H 2 W0 4.
A crystalline form was obtained by Debray as olive-green prisms by igniting a mixture of sodium tungstate and carbonate in a current of hydrochloric acid gas, and by Nordenskjold by heating hydrated tungstic acid with borax.
Tungsten trioxide forms two acids, tungstic acid, H 2 WO 4, and metatungstic acid, H2W4013; it also gives origin to several series of salts, to which the acids corresponding are unknown.
Tungstic acid, H 2 W0 4, is obtained as H 2 W0 4 H 2 0 by precipitating a tungstate with cold acid; this substance has a bitter taste and its aqueous solution reddens litmus.
By using hot acid the yellow anhydrous tungstic acid is precipitated, which is insoluble in water and in all acids except hydrofluoric. It may be obtained in a flocculent form by exposing the hexachloride to moist air.
Graham obtained a colloidal tungstic acid by dialysing a dilute solution of sodium tungstate and its equivalent of hydrochloric acid; on concentrating in a vacuum a gummy product is obtained, which still remains soluble after heating to 200°, but it is converted into the trioxide on heating to redness.
The metatungstates of the alkalis are obtained by boiling normal tungstates with tungstic acid until the addition of hydrochloric acid to the filtrate gives no precipitate.
Tungstic acid closely resembles molybdic acid in combining with phosphoric, arsenious, arsenic, boric, vanadic and silicic acids to form highly complex acids of which a great many salts exist.
Moist air brings about the immediate formation of a yellowish crust of tungstic acid.