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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/317

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PSM V73 D317 Charles Martin Hall.png

Charles Martin Hall,
Inventor of the Electrolytic Process for reducing Aluminum Ore.

comparatively simple. Into an electrolytic cell is poured common salt in solution. When the electric current passes through the brine the salt is separated into its constituent elements, chlorine gas and the metal sodium. The chlorine gas is evolved at the anodes of the cell and being led off combines with slacked lime to form chloride of lime or bleaching powder. The sodium unites or reacts with water to form sodium hydroxide or caustic soda.

When Moissan, the great French chemist, perfected the electric furnace he gave to scientists an easy way of producing a temperature which far exceeds that of ordinary fuel and even that of the oxyhydrogen flame, and which made possible new and useful combinations and dissociations of matter obtainable in no other way than by the use of intense heat. The electric furnace is used at Niagara Falls in the manufacture of several new and important products.

Among the many recent discoveries in the field of electrochemistry