A discovery made by an exiled German Jewish scientist may lead to the winning of a rich new harvest from the sea.
For months a number of scientists and business men from England and Germany have been investigating the discovery made by Professor Zeiter two years ago. The story is told in Reynolds News.
“He found what was thought to be a new chemical in deposits from the bottom of the North Sea after the sea water had been passed through a condenser,” the weekly’s account says.
“There were nine chemicals in the deposit, including a large amount of iodine, ammonia, iron, and so on, and at least one chemical, the formula of which is being kept a closely-guarded secret.
“The professor, on arrival in England with friends, discussed his find, and some business men and scientists formed a private laboratory in Liverpool, chartered an idle steamer from a Lancashire port, and after fitting the vessel with pumping and condensing apparatus, started experiments in the Irish Sea and in the Atlantic Ocean off the Irish coast.
“Experiments were made at all sorts of places at sea to find the deposits of the new chemical compound, and now that the experiments have ceased owing to the rough weather of winter, some interesting discoveries have been made.
“Professor Zeiter accompanied most of the vessel’s expeditions, and scientists from Liverpool, Cambridge, Glasgow, and other parts also took an active part in them.
“It was found that, on an average, it took some 300 gallons of water pumped up from the bottom of the sea to produce one pound of the depositâ€”a dull greenish powder, very rich in iodine. The richest deposit in the Irish Sea was just south of the Calf of Man, the little island off the Isle of Man.
“‘We are neither interested in profits nor prophets.’ one of the leading scientists told me in the private laboratory of the discoveries, in a Liverpool suburb, ‘and at present the whole of the experiments, which cost from Â£100 to Â£200 a week, are being financed by two private individuals who wish to remain anonymous. There are, no doubt, future industrial prospects for the discovery, but those are at present in the lap of the gods. We are now erecting a condensing plant in a prominent Lancashire industrial centre to continue the researches on our dips into the briny, and to protect our interests we have had to take out patents for certain of our methods which would – be share – pushers would like to seize.”
The experiments have been to make use of various of the properties of the new compound. One is that of a fertilizer, and a number of lawns, golf courses and bowling-greens in different parts of the country are being experimented with, for the high iodine content of the compound, and the other chemicals has the same tonic effect of the sea breeze which makes seaside golf courses so excellent, and for which Scottish and Irish peasants gather the seaweed or kelp harvest to manure their farmlands, for seaweed is rich in iodine.
“After extracting most of the iodine the crystals obtained from the deposit are being tested for a bath-salt that brings the full value of a sea-water bath to the home.”