Thursday 9 March 2017

Casein Formaldehyde

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Casein is a mixture of related phosphoproteins occurring in milk and cheese. It is present as 2.8 grams per 100ml. in cow milk, 2.5 goat, 0.4 human. It contains mainly alpha-Casein (45-55%) molecular weight 23000, beta-Casein (25-35%) MW 24000, and kappa-Casein (8-15%) MW 19000. These huge molecules can be cross-linked using formaldehyde. This diagram illustrates the cross-linking of tiny portions of two casein protein molecules, resulting in casein formaldehyde plastic -

The plastic was developed by the work of three chemists, the Germans Wilhem B. Krische and Adolf Spitteler (trying to develop a whiteboard), and Frenchman Alfred Trillat, who discovered (in 1893) that formaldehyde prevented casein from softening in water. The plastic was marketed as Galalith on the continent and Erinoid in Britain.

Galalith button, RAAF pre 1953
adapted from here

Galalith is discussed in the following 1903 New York Times article -

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"Hodges emitted a scream the like of which
I hadn't heard since his scrotum was burned off
during my experiment with fluorine gas last year."

The Exotic Experimentation of Ernest Glitch,
Victorian Science with a Smile

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Search for Ernest Glitch on your Kindle
or visit Amazon -
UK here
USA here

Unrelated to this post, below is an example of
eclectic science esoterica 

An ampullary bundle with afferent nerve
Julius Lab, UCSF

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WARNING - Many subjects outlined within this site are extremely dangerous and are provided here for information only. Please don`t experiment with high voltages or chemicals unless you are fully conversant with safe laboratory practices. No liability will be accepted for death, injury or damage arising from experimentation using any information or materials supplied.