A year after this paper, which gained him from the French Institute the medal offered by Napoleon for the best experiment made each year on galvanism, he described in his second Bakerian lecture the electrolytic preparation of potassium and sodium, effected in October 1807 by the aid of his battery.
His scientific work was chiefly concerned with galvanism and its medical applications, with the construction and illumination of lighthouses, and with experiments for preserving human life and material objects from destruction by fire.
Among the most illustrious natives of Bologna may be noted Luigi Galvani (1737-1798), the discoverer of galvanism, and Prospero Lambertini (Pope Benedict XIV.).
The general public were content to find the explanation of the movements in spirits, animal magnetism, odic force, galvanism, electricity, or even the rotation of the earth.