Look what happens when you distill urine products, see the interesting swirling vapour.
There’s this recipe for making ammonium Chloride, an important alchemical substance, in the later medieval “Of the invention of Verity or Perfection”, attributed to Geber but not really by him.
It says to take 5 parts mans urine, one part of his sweat, one part of common-salt, and half a par tof the soot of woods, boil until the humidity is gone, and from what remainds sublime sal-ammoniac. This should be dissolved in sweat and sublimed with salt again, “then it is prepared”.
Not having much soot I used charcoal dust instead, figuring that it provided a high surface area for atoms and molecules to attach themselves to.
I boiled it all up together, very smelly it was too.
Annoyingly there was still some liquid in the solid stuff, which included both water and some smelly ammonia related compounds. Hence the vapour in the alembic.
After 10 minutes at over 500C heat, the vapour stopped rising but when cooled there was no sign of any white Ammonium Chloride. Which is annoying. Possibly the ammonium Chloride was supposed to form in solution and be left behind in the carbon.
If it did, it would decompose at 338C, which is well below the temperature that should have been reached inside the alembic, which must have reached over 400C given how long it was heated over that temperature for.
No sign of it anyway. Maybe I should heat it again?