He discovered that heat is evolved when iron filings and sulphur are rubbed together to a paste with water, and the artificial volcan de Lemery was produced by burying underground a considerable quantity of this mixture, which he regarded as a potent agent in the causation of volcanic action.
An amorphous form results when a mixture of iron filings and sulphur are triturated with water.
Potassium ferric sulphide, K2Fe2S4, obtained by heating a mixture of iron filings, sulphur and potassium carbonate, forms purple glistening crystals, which burn when heated in air.
He discovered that they had the power of affecting the electric conductivity of materials when in a state of powder, the majority of metallic filings increasing in conductivity.
It may be synthetically obtained by distilling oxindole (C 8 H 8 NO) with zinc dust; by heating orthonitrocinnamic acid with potash and iron filings; by the reduction of indigo blue; by the action of sodium ethylate on orthoaminochlorstyrene; by boiling aniline with dichloracetaldehyde; by the dry distillation of ortho-tolyloxamic acid; by heating aniline with dichioracetal; by distilling a mixture of calcium formate and calcium anilidoacetate; and by heating pyruvic acid phenyl hydrazone with anhydrous zinc chloride.