A brittle potassium alloy of silver-white colour and lamellar fracture is obtained by calcining 20 parts of bismuth with 16 of cream of tartar at a strong red heat.
Of the sodium silicates the most important is the mixture known as soluble soda glass formed by calcining a mixture of white sand, soda-ash and charcoal, or by dissolving silica in hot caustic soda under pressure.
A variety of animal charcoal is sometimes prepared by calcining fresh blood with potassium carbonate in large cylinders, the mass being purified by boiling out with dilute hydrochloric acid and subsequent reheating.
It was obtained as a by-product in many chemical reactions, and subsequently used to be extracted from kainite, one of the Stassfurt minerals, but the process is now given up because the salt can be produced cheaply enough from the chloride by decomposing it with sulphuric acid and calcining the residue.
It is mentioned in the De inventione veritatis ascribed to Geber, wherein it is obtained by calcining a mixture of nitre, alum and blue vitriol.