Vitriol is chemical name for a class of chemical compound comprising sulfates of certain metals — originally, iron or copper. Those mineral substances were distinguished by their color, such as green vitriol for hydrated iron(II) sulfate and blue vitriol for hydrated copper(II) sulfate. 
These materials were originally found as crystals formed by evaporation of groundwater that percolated through sulfide minerals and collected in pools on the floor of old mines. The word vitriol comes from the Latin word vitriolus, meaning "small glass", as those crystals resembled pieces of colored glass.
Oil of vitriol was an old name for concentrated sulfuric acid, which was obtained by the alchemist Jabir ibn Hayyan (c. 721–815 CE) through the dry distillation (pyrolysis) of vitriols. The name, shortened to vitriol, continued to be used for this viscous liquid long after the minerals came to be called "sulfates". The term vitriolic in the sense of "harshly condemnatory" is derived from the corrosive nature of this substance.
|Black vitriol||a mixture[A]||[Cu,Mg,Fe,Mn,Co,Ni]SO4·7H2O[B]|
|Blue vitriol/Vitriol of Cyprus/Roman vitriol||copper(II) sulfate||pentahydrate||CuSO4·5H2O|
|Green vitriol/Copperas||iron(II) sulfate||heptahydrate||FeSO4·7H2O|
|Oil of vitriol/Spirit of vitriol||sulfuric acid||acid||H2SO4|
|Red vitriol||cobalt(II) sulfate||heptahydrate||CoSO4·7H2O|
|Sweet oil of vitriol||diethyl ether||not a sulfate||CH3-CH2-O-CH2-CH3|
|Vitriol of argile/Vitriol of clay||aluminium sulfate||alum||Al2(SO4)3|
|Vitriol of Mars||iron(III) sulfate||Ferric sulfate||Fe2(SO4)3|
|White vitriol||zinc sulfate||heptahydrate||ZnSO4·7H2O|
|A Many websites state "black vitriol is a mixture of iron sulfate and iron sulfite", but none gives a reference of any sort. The book, Chemistry, Inorganic & Organic, with Experiments, by Bloxam is a published, reliable reference for the composition of black vitriol, and it states on page 513, "The formula of black vitriol may be written [CuMgFeMnCoNi]SO4·7H2O, the six isomorphous metals being interchangeable without altering the general character of the salt."|
|B "Any combination of these elements may be found in black vitriol."|
|Look up vitriol in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- "Vitriol" entry in the onlne Encyclopaedia Britannica. Accessed on 2020-08-28.
- Roman vitriol on Chembk CAS Database
- Bloxam, Charles Loudon; Bloxam, Arthur G.; Lewis, S. Judd (1913). "Copper, Cu = 63.57". Chemistry, Inorganic & Organic, with Experiments (Tenth ed.). Philadelphia: P. Blakiston's Son & Co. p. 513.
The formula of black vitriol may be written [CuMgFeMnCoNi]SO4·7H2O, the six isomorphous metals being interchangeable without altering the general character of the salt.
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