The Chemical Educator

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 205–209 | Cite as

The History of Saltpeter Production with a Bit of Pyrotechnics and Lavoisier

  • Jaime WisniakEmail author
Chemistry and History


The early development of saltpeter (potassium nitrate) production is intimately related to the invention of pyrotechnics and gunpowder. The evolution of the industry in France was closely tied to the political events that took place during the period before and after the French Revolution. Lavoisier transformed it from a losing operation to a successful enterprise and in so doing set the beginning of industrial chemistry as we know it today. The DuPont Company was founded as a result of these activities.


Nitrate Potassium Early Development Industrial Chemistry Political Event 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael

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