From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Pittacal was the first synthetic dyestuff to be produced commercially. It was accidentally discovered by German chemist Carl Ludwig Reichenbach in 1832, who was also the discoverer of kerosene, phenol, eupion, paraffin wax and creosote.

As the history goes, Reichenbach applied creosote to the wooden posts of his home, in order to drive away dogs who urinated on them. The strategy was ineffectual, however, and he noted that the dog's urine reacted with creosote to form an intense dark blue deposit. He named the new substance píttacal (from Greek words tar and beautiful). He later was able to produce pure pittacal by treating beechwood tar with barium oxide and using alumina as a mordant to the dye's fabrics. Although sold commercially as a dyestuff, it did not fare well.

Eupittone (derived from eu- + pittacal + -one) is a yellow crystalline substance resembling aurin, and obtained by the oxidation of pittacal. It is also called also eupittonic acid or eupitton.


Kaufmann, GB - Pittacal—the first synthetic dyestuff. J. Chem. Edu., 753, 1977.