Dippel's oil
Dippel's Oil is a nitrogenous by-product of the destructive distillation
Destructive distillation
Destructive distillation is the chemical process involving the decomposition of feedstock by heating to a high temperature; the term generally applies to processing of organic material in the absence of air or in the presence of limited amounts of oxygen or other reagents, catalysts, or solvents,...

 manufacture of bone char
Bone char
Bone char, also known as bone black, ivory black, animal charcoal, or abaiser, is a granular material produced by charring animal bones. To prevent the spread of mad-cow disease, the skull and spine are never used...

 . This liquid is dark colored and highly viscous with an unpleasant smell. The oil contains the organic base pyrrole
Pyrrole is a heterocyclic aromatic organic compound, a five-membered ring with the formula C4H4NH. It is a colourless volatile liquid that darkens readily upon exposure to air. Substituted derivatives are also called pyrroles, e.g., N-methylpyrrole, C4H4NCH3...

. It is named after its inventor, Johann Conrad Dippel
Johann Conrad Dippel
Johann Konrad Dippel was a German pietist theologian, alchemist and physician.-Life:He was born at Castle Frankenstein near Mühltal and Darmstadt, and therefore once the addendum Franckensteinensis and once the addendum Franckensteina-Strataemontanus was used.He studied theology, philosophy and...


Dippel's oil had a number of uses which are now mostly obsolete. These included medicinal uses, use as an alcohol denaturant, as an ingredient in sheep dip
Sheep dip
Sheep dip is a liquid formulation of insecticide and fungicide which shepherds and farmers may use to protect their sheep from infestation against external parasites such as itch mite , blow-fly, ticks and lice...

s, as an animal repellent
Animal repellent
Animal repellents are products designed to keep certain animals away from objects, areas, people, plants, or other animals.-Overview:Repellents generally work by taking advantage of an animal's natural aversion to something, and often the thing chosen is something that the animal has learned to...

 (tradenamed as "Renardine"), as an insecticide
An insecticide is a pesticide used against insects. They include ovicides and larvicides used against the eggs and larvae of insects respectively. Insecticides are used in agriculture, medicine, industry and the household. The use of insecticides is believed to be one of the major factors behind...

, and as a chemical warfare
Chemical warfare
Chemical warfare involves using the toxic properties of chemical substances as weapons. This type of warfare is distinct from Nuclear warfare and Biological warfare, which together make up NBC, the military acronym for Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical...

 harassing agent. By not being lethal, the oil was claimed to not be in breach of the Geneva Protocol
Geneva Protocol
The Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, usually called the Geneva Protocol, is a treaty prohibiting the first use of chemical and biological weapons. It was signed at Geneva on June 17, 1925 and entered...

. During the desert campaign
Western Desert Campaign
The Western Desert Campaign, also known as the Desert War, was the initial stage of the North African Campaign during the Second World War. The campaign was heavily influenced by the availability of supplies and transport. The ability of the Allied forces, operating from besieged Malta, to...

 of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the oil was used to render wells undrinkable and thus deny their use to the enemy.
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