Chapter 164 Highly Concentrated Acid
Kyle Sichi had hardly gotten any sleep these past few days, he had soon discovered that coming to Border Town had been the wisest choice in his life.
He had spent two full days and one night reading the complete book on “Primary Chemistry”, and now that he had started to read it once more. Even though he had only slept for two or three hours, it was more than enough for him to be full of energy. Now, as he returned back to the first page, he started to read the ancient book carefully once more.
Matter is made up of tiny particles! The changes of matter are from the decomposition and the recombination of those aforementioned particles! During the entire reaction process, the total amount of matter will always remain constant the entire time!
For goodness sake. What kind of person could write such a book? Unexpectedly there are people some people who could see the world in such details that they could narrate it so clearly. More than once did he suspect that the contents of the book were actually all a fabrication, but after he did some alchemy tests according to the example given, the results were all fully in line with what was written in the book! Moreover, not only did this work during the experiments, no, he had also frequently seen some example of this working in reality, all of which showed that what was written in the book was correct.
There were things such as “Oxygen” which was described in Chapter 1.
This gas is one of the main components of air, people were not breathing air to live, but rather the oxygen that came with it. A flame also required oxygen, to be able to burn, the combustion was essentially a kind of oxidation reaction. The more oxygen the fire was supplied with, the more intense the combustion would be.
These words reminded him of the kilns they used in Silver City to burn glass. Two people had to constantly work on the blister bag in order to allow the furnace temperature to reach the level at which the gravel would start to melt. Since it was all made out of matter, this was also possible through alchemy… no, it was simply a chemical reaction drawn out from pure oxygen. If it were possible to supply the furnace with pure oxygen, couldn’t the blast equipment also be left out?
And the most surprising part he had read in the book was that water was actually composed of two hydrogen particles and one oxygen particle. Which was probably also the reason why all creatures had to drink water. However, hydrogen seemed to be a gas, but when combined with oxygen which was also another type of gas, it became a liquid, how could this be possible?
Kyle discovered that he still had many questions left unanswered and also many things to consider, but there was no doubt that with this new knowledge he had already left the other alchemist far behind. While they were still searching for formulas in their world filled with chaos and a fog of obscurity, he instead had a flat and straight road directly before his eyes.
Whatever, I can leave this for later. Now, it is time to do some proper business. He finally closed the book, filled with reluctance. Looking out of the window he saw that at this point the horizon had already began to turn white, which meant that it was time for him to go to work.
Kyle blew out the candle, and when he approached the bedroom, he saw that both his wife and daughter were still busy sleeping. Afterward, he stepped out of the house and closed the door quietly behind him.
The house His Royal Highness had assigned to him laid in a district west of the castle. Comparing the new house with his former house in Silver City there were a lot of differences. The walls were now made out of brick instead of the quickly molding wood he had seen in Silver City. Furthermore, the house was also many times more comfortable and the kitchen utensils and furniture were all stocked with everything that they needed.
Although he hadn’t spoken about it out loud, deep down he was much more satisfied with this new life. His disciples lived in another district, two blocks away from him. Their house was much smaller, and they didn’t have a room for themselves. Their house was a bit like an inn, where a bedroom had to be shared with four people.
When he came to his laboratory at the Redwater River, he saw that his disciples have already been busy. They had all been carefully selected by Kyle. They had worked in the Alchemy Workshop almost from their childhood onwards, learning how to clean and sort the materials. By now all of them had already reached an age between twenty and thirty years old. Seeing that all the laboratory utensils and shiny glass containers were clean, Kyle nodded in satisfaction.
“Good morning, Chief Instructor,” seeing him enter, all the disciplines bowed and greeted him.
“Let’s start.” Kyle took a pair of gloves from one of the cupboards, full of enthusiasm. These gloves were extremely slim and elastic. They were most probably made out of animal intestines.
When he had worked in the Alchemy Workshop before this, they never had any provisions such as these, but the Prince had repeatedly stressed how dangerous it was to work and experiment with the chemicals. So, all the operating rules had to be strictly followed, such as when working with corrosive materials, they had to wear gloves the whole time and keep all of the windows open.
Another difference between his previous work in the workshop and now was that he now had a clear task assigned to him. He had to make acid for His Royal Highness.
The double stone acid method had already been used by his disciplines many times before, so Kyle only had to visit them from time to time and no longer needed to guide them through each and every step of the way.
The two acids that they had to produce were described in detail in the book “Primary Chemistry”, one was called sulfuric acid, and the other was called nitric acid.
During his time in the Alchemy Workshop they had used different names for them, the former had been known as green vitriol acid and the latter as niter acid. Even though they had used different names for it, the preparation method was basically still the same, through the dry distillation of green vitriol and saltpeter, they could get acid vapor and then by condensing them together, they were able to collect the needed acid liquid.
Green vitriol was usually mined together with sulfur, while there were special nitrate fields to satisfy the great demand of the big cities, so they were both a commonly found raw material.
But His Highness stressed the point that the two acid concentrations had to be as high as possible, so he had deliberately decided to explain the purification method to Kyle.
For example, the collected sulfuric acid could be heated up again, so that the remaining water evaporated until finally a concentration of up to 98% concentrated sulfuric acid could be reached.
However, nitric acid was a lot of more trouble. According to His Royal Highness, nitric acid itself wasn’t stable, it was actually pretty volatile. Because of this, using the usual method they could achieve a high concentration only to a certain extent, and if it then came in contact with light it would quickly break down again. So, they had to dilute the nitric acid with the concentrated sulfuric acid, only then could it be heated. The concentrated sulfuric acid would absorb water, while the nitric acid would evaporate.
Regarding the problem with the light, the nitric acid had to be stored in a brown glass bottle. To make all of this possible, His Royal Highness had already specially prepared a thermometer for him.
When Kyle saw it for the first time, he thought that it was very intricate. It was a hollow glass pipe filled with mercury, both ends of the tube were sealed so that they didn’t have to worry about any mercury leakage while using it. Around the tube there were several lines drawn one above the other. When the temperature rose or fell, the mercury would follow, until it reached a constant position and the temperature could then be read.
Today, the laboratory had produced three bottles of concentrated sulfuric acid and a bottle of concentrated nitric acid. At this concentration, he found that sulfuric acid wasn’t flowing as smooth as water anymore. Rather, it was flowing like a sticky oil. And the nitric acid was no longer colorless and transparent with its high concentration, it had now turned into a light yellow liquid, and when the glass cap was opened, it would emit bursts of white smoke.
“Head Instructor, will we have to produce these two acids every day?” One of his disciples, a man named Amon asked.
“We have to do it until His Highness gives us a new task.” For a moment, Kyle paused, “Why, are you worried that you won’t have any time to discover your own alchemic formula?”
Seeing him so earnest, Kyle had to laugh, “I forgot to tell you that later the title of Alchemist Instructor will soon become unnecessary, so you don’t have to search for a new formula to become an alchemist.”
“No…” Amon was totally stunned, “Don’t need it?” The other disciplines had overheard his words and were now slowing down with the work at hand, and instead closely following along with their teacher’s words.
“That’s right, the future alchemist doesn’t have to fumble with new formulas, instead they will need to have good memory and the ability of deduction,” Kyle clapped with his hands, which was the sign for the others to gather to his side.
“His Highness has given me a book titled, “Primary Chemistry”. This is also the reason why I’ve come to Border Town, if you thoroughly study through it, most of the world’s formulas, can be inferred by using the book’s contents.
“Can be inferred?” The disciples issued weak shouts.
“Yes, After I have read through it in detail, I will start to teach it to you,” Kyle announced, “as for the way of promotion, His Highness has already explained this to me. In the future, you will have to pass a test that he had personally prepared to get the title of Chemist. Believe me, it won’t take long before the honorary title of Chemist will be considered of a much higher rank than that of an Alchemist. And using the knowledge you have learned, even the Alchemist of the King’s City’s Alchemy Workshop wouldn’t be able to catch up to you. ”