which enter into their composition and the different affinities which the

Which enter into their composition and the different

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which enter into their composition, and the different affinities which the particles of these elements exert upon each other, and the affinity which caloric possesses with them. The true constituent elements of vegetables are hydrogen, oxygen, and charcoal: These are common to all vegetables, and no vegetable can exist without them: Such other substances as exist in particular vegetables are only essential to the composition of those in which they are found, and do not belong to vegetables in general. Of these elements, hydrogen and oxygen have a strong tendency to unite with caloric, and be converted into gas, whilst charcoal is a fixed element, having but little affinity with caloric. On the other hand, oxygen, which, in the usual temperature, tends nearly equally to unite with hydrogen and with charcoal, has a much stronger affinity with charcoal when at the red heat [24] , and then unites with it to form carbonic acid. Although we are far from being able to appreciate all these powers of affinity, or to express their proportional energy by numbers, we are certain, that, however variable they may be when considered in relation to the quantity of caloric with which they are [Pg 121] [Pg 122] [Pg 123] [Pg 124]
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