115 - Jules JACOBI (1816 - 1895)

Julius JACOBI, a Czech citizen, was Directeur des hauts-fourneaux at the Adalbert-Eisenhütte in Kladno (Bohemia) when he applied for a brevet d’importation in Luxembourg.

He had appointed Carl PIEPER, an engineer residing in Dresden, as his agent. The latter instructed Charles MUNCHEN to file JACOBI’s patent application for an « improved process for removing phosphates from ores, and for utilising these phosphates » [1]. 

In an article published in « The American Chemist » in 1872 JACOBI explains his invention as follows: [2]

The method of working proposed by the inventor, consists in changing the insoluble basic phosphates contained in the ores into soluble acid phosphates, and the separation of the soluble phosphates, by a simple process of leaching.

In order to attain this result, the ore is treated with a compound of sulphur and oxygen usually most advantageously and cheaply with sulphurous acid in the gaseous state or in solution, for which purpose a very dense ore must naturally be pulverised, a pyritous ore or one containing carbonic acid must be well roasted by well-known methods, while a porous ore, which allows the penetration of the liquid into the pores, can be used in pieces of moderate size. 

The ore thus prepared is placed in receivers, the size and shape of which must be dependent on various conditions, and water impregnated with sulphurous acid is turned upon it, or the sulphurous acid gas is conducted at once to the ore, while a stream of cold water is turned upon it at the same time, so that the absorption of the sulphurous acid into the ore takes place through the medium of the water.

Charles MUNCHEN filed JACOBI’s patent application on 2 October 1869 under the title of:

Procédé ayant pour but d’extraire des minerais l’acide phosphorique qui y est contenu et d’utiliser tant l’acide phosphorique ainsi dégagé que les minerais purifiés

‍ Edouard METZ, industriel and Frank MEYER, pharmacien in Eich were appointed as experts by the Chambre de commerce for examining the invention. METZ conducted trials of the proposed process and drafted a report, signed by the two experts. [3]

On 20 December 1869 the Chambre de commerce reported to the Government the conclusions reached by METZ and  MEYER:

Nous avons nommé experts pour examiner le mérite de cette invention le sieur Edouard Metz, industriel et membre de notre Collège et Frank Meyer, pharmacien à Eich, et avons l'honneur de vous adresser leur rapport joint au paquet des pièces que vous nous aviez transmis. 

Les essais faits par les experts n'ont pas donné les résultats indiqués par l'inventeur du procédé et il paraît impossible d'appliquer l'opération à la masse des minerais qui sont consommés dans notre pays; les experts concluent que, sous ces considérations, il n'y a pas lieu d'accorder le brevet demandé et nous partageons cet avis.

On 5 January 1870 the Government informed Charles MUNCHEN of the rejection of the application:

Je regrette de devoir vous informer que je ne peux pas donner suite à cette demande parce que les essais faits par les experts n'ont pas donné les résultats indiqués par l'inventeur du procédé et qu'il paraît impossible d'appliquer l'opération à la masse des minerais qui sont consommés dans notre pays.

Bavaria, as opposed to Luxembourg, granted JACOBI a corresponding patent on 10 October 1869. JACOBI’s apparatus for carrying out his new process was known in Germany as « Jacobi-Pumpe » or « Dampfpumpe ». The following is an illustration of the pump invented by JACOBI [4].

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[1] GB patent No 2,744/1870

[2] The American Chemist, 1872, Volume 2, pages 290-291

[3] still to be transcribed

[4] Allgemeine deutsche polytechnische Zeitung, 1876, pages 190-191

(19/02/2021)