When two elements form more than one compound, as is the case with oxygen and carbon, he assigned to the compound which he thought the more complex an atom made up of two atoms of the one element and one atom of the other; the diagram for carbonic acid illustrates this, and an extension of the same plan enabled him to represent any compound, however complex its structure.
Pasteur found that, when cane sugar was fermented by yeast, 49.4% of carbonic acid and 51.1% of alcohol were produced; with expressed yeast juice cane sugar yields 47% of carbonic acid and 47.7% of alcohol.
He determined the percentages of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in the sugar and in the products of fermentation, and concluded that sugar in fermenting breaks up into alcohol, carbonic acid and acetic acid.
In this connexion Pasteur showed that ioo parts of cane sugar on inversion gave 105.4 parts of invert sugar, which, when fermented, yielded 51.1 parts alcohol, 49.4 carbonic acid, o.
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