Thus oxygen gas, at the end of the 18th century, was known as dephlogisticated air, nitrogen or azote as phlogisticated air, hydrogen as inflammable air, carbonic acid gas as fixed air.
Then, perceiving that in combustion and the calcination of metals only a portion of a given volume of common air was used up, he concluded that Priestley's new air, air eminemment pur, was what was absorbed by burning phosphorus, &c., "non-vital air," azote, or nitrogen remaining behind.
The list of simple substances contained in the first volume of this work includes# light and caloric with oxygen, azote and hydrogen.
It has been supposed that this theory was suggested to him either by researches on olefiant gas and carburetted hydrogen or by analysis of "protoxide and deutoxide of azote," both views resting on the authority of Dr Thomas Thomson (1773-1852), professor of chemistry in Glasgow university.
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