from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Any salt of apocrenic acid, C21H12O12. Some of the salts are found in the humus of soil, in sinter deposits, and, sometimes, in ferrugineous waters.
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Such waters, on exposure to the air, shortly absorb oxygen, and the substance is thereby converted into crenate and afterwards into apocrenate of peroxide of iron, which, being but slightly soluble, or insoluble, separates as a yellow or brown ochreous deposit along the course of the water.
By the oxygen of the atmospheric air contained in the soil, the hydrogen and nitrogen of ammonia produced from the constituents of the air are oxidized; water and nitric acid as soon as it is formed, meets with a substance in the soil, humic acid and humin, which by its influence is converted into apocrenate of ammonia, and at the same time produces carbonic acid.
The apocrenates are continually forming; not only the apocrenate of ammonia but also those of potash, lime and magnesia.
Page 123 possession of the views of Mulder on this important subject; from which it is well established that organic matter in soil is of the highest moment; and that it not only ministers indirectly to the growth of plants, as stated in the early part of this article, but also becomes food itself in the form of apocrenate of ammonia.
One of the forms in which ammonia is found in the soil is that of apocrenate of ammonia; a compound which is formed from humic acid by its continued oxidation; the apocrenic acid being merely a higher state of oxidation of the same substance.
If, on the contrary, instead of these leaves, organic substances are in excess, humic acid is formed by their decay; at the same time, ammonia is produced from the nitrogen of the atmosphere; and, finally, apocrenate of ammonia, carbonic acid and water. "