With the intention of taking up pharmacy he entered Heidelberg University about 1835, and after graduating went to Giessen as preparateur to Liebig, with whom he elucidated the composition of paraldehyde and metaldehyde.
When taken in an overdose paraldehyde kills by producing respiratory failure.
Crotonic acid, so named from the fact that it was erroneously supposed to be a saponification product of croton oil, may be prepared by the oxidation of croton-aldehyde, CH3 CH:CH CHO, obtained by dehydrating aldol, or by treating acetylene successively with sulphuric acid and water; by boiling allyl cyanide with caustic potash; by the distillation of 0-oxybutyric acid; by heating paraldehyde with malonic acid and acetic acid to, oo C. (T.
When taken continuously the drug soon loses its power as a hypnotic. Its unpleasant taste usually prevents the formation of a paraldehyde habit, but it occasionally occurs with symptoms resembling delirium tremens.