His name is chiefly known in connexion with ozone, which he began to investigate in 1839, and with guncotton, which he prepared and applied as a propellant in fire-arms early in 1846.
GUNCOTTON, an explosive substance produced by the action of strong nitric acid on cellulose at the ordinary temperature; chemically it is a nitrate of cellulose, or a mixture of nitrates, according to some authorities.
The first step in the history of guncotton was made by T.
Schonbein of Basel published his discovery of guncotton in 1846 (Phil.
The chemical composition and constitution of guncotton has been studied by a considerable number of chemists and many divergent views have been put forward on the subject.