Distillation, the means of separating liquids through differences in their boiling points, was invented around the year 800 by Islam's foremost scientist, Jabir ibn Hayyan, who transformed alchemy into chemistry, inventing many of the basic processes and apparatus still in use today - liquefaction, crystallisation, distillation purification, oxidisation, evaporation and filtration. As well as discovering sulphuric and nitric acid, he invented the alembic still, giving the world intense rosewater and other perfumes and alcoholic spirits.
Ibn Hayyan emphasised systematic experimentation and was the founder of modern chemistry.
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