VICTOR-JOSEPH-HIPPOLYTE DE LUYNES: Erythritol, butylene, and dyes

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Victor-Joseph-Hippolyte Luynes (1828-1904) was a French chemist who
studied in great detail erythritol and its derivatives, examined its oxidation with chlorine, phosphorus iodide, and acids, as well as the properties of some of the corresponding products (i.e. dichloroerythrite and iodoerythrite). Luynes proved that this compound was a tetrol belonging to the butylic series and having properties very similar to the other alcoholic series. This finding led him to study the preparation and properties of butylene, which Faraday had first obtained by decomposing fatty materials by heat. Luynes showed that it could also be prepared by decomposing butyl iodide by means of silver acetate or an alcoholic solution of KOH. With Esperandieu he investigated the preparation and properties of pyrogallic acid (used in photography, hair treatment, tanning, etc.), and a series of its derivatives, the properties and reactions of orcin (orcinol), particularly its reaction with ammonia, which transformed it into orcein, a coloring matter that did not turn red in the presence of acids, and litmus. Together with Persoz and Salvétat they discovered Paris blue, a dye resistant to acids and to light.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-31
Number of pages15
JournalRevista CENIC. Ciencias Biológicas
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019


  • Butylene
  • erythritol
  • litmus
  • orcin
  • pyrogallic acid


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