It is frequently used as a reducing agent: in acid solutions it reduces ferric to ferrous salts, arsenates to arsenites, permanganates to manganous salts, &c., whilst in alkaline solution it converts many organic nitro compounds into the corresponding amino derivatives.
Kryst., 1894), in his researches on the tetragonal potassium and ammonium dihydrogen phosphates and arsenates, found that the replacement of potassium by ammonium was attended by an increase of about six units in the molecular volume, and of phosphorus by arsenic by about 4.6 units.
In 1840 a paper on the phosphates and arsenates, which was clearly unworthy of him, was refused by the Royal Society, and he was so incensed that he published it himself.
There he made analyses of phosphates and phosphites, arsenates and arsenites, confirming the conclusions of J.
Berzelius as to their composition; and his observation that corresponding phosphates and arsenates crystallize in the same form was the germ from which grew the theory of isomorphism which he communicated to the Berlin Academy in December 1819.