Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science

Degree Discipline



In recent years, a relatively new field of chemistry known as "chemurgy" has been extensively explored. Scientists have done much to boost the world's economy with the aid of chemurgy. Many materials which heretofore have been classed as useless wastes are now the raw substances from which many products, old and new, have recently been made available to the consumer. In many cases these new sources of raw materials have enabled manufacturers to place better, but cheaper products on the market.

The late Dr George W Carver contributed much in developing the field of chemurgy. Credit is given to him for developing hundreds of edible and non-edible new products from the peanut and the potato. Dr Carver also developed the soy bean, which previously had been regarded as a noxious plant to cultivated crops, into the source of raw materials for highly nutrient food ingredients, and other products.

Other chemurgists have utilized some of the wastes from foods, such as, oat hulls, corn cobs, and other seeds and hulls of fruit and cereals. The starch of oat hulls and corn cobs has been found to be a very cheap raw material for furfural and its derivatives. This group of compounds is used extensively in the preparation of cheaper and better plastics, and other synthetic resins.2

As was once the soy bean, the senna bean is also a troublesome weed for which no or little use has been found. This investigation was begun in order to explore the possibilities that the senna bean may contain something of commercial value, and to gain some knowledge of the general chemical composition of the senna bean, quantitative estimations were to be made only on those constituents that existed in sufficient quantities to warrant their determinations. Special attention was to be given to the protein, alkaloid, carbohydrate, fat, and mineral content of the bean. The toxicity of the senna bean was also to be observed by feeding the seeds to rats, or if found to be non-toxic, its nutritive properties were to be evaluated from the feeding experiment.

2 Quaker Oat Company, The Furans: Chemicals from Oat Hulls, Pamphlet, (1941).

Committee Chair/Advisor

E. E. O'Banion

Committee Member

E. G. High

Committee Member

W. A. Samuels


Prairie View A&M College


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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View





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