Cadet's fuming liquid
Cadet's fuming liquid was a red-brown oily liquid prepared in 1760 by the French chemist Louis Claude Cadet de Gassicourt (1731-1799) by the reaction of potassium acetate with arsenic trioxide. It consisted mostly of dicacodyl (((CH3)2As)2) and cacodyl oxide (((CH3)2As)2O). The reaction for forming the oxide was something like:
- 4 KCH3COO + As2O3 → ((CH3)2As)2O + 2 K2CO3 + 2 CO2
These were the first organometallic substances prepared, so Cadet can be regarded as the father of organometallic chemistry.
The liquid develops white fumes when exposed to air, resulting in a pale flame producing carbon dioxide, water, and arsenic trioxide. It has a nauseating, very disagreeable, garlic-like odor.