Carl Bosch

Carl Bosch (1874 – 1940)

German

Carl Bosch (27 August 1874 – 26 April 1940) was a German chemist and engineer and Nobel laureate in chemistry.

He was a pioneer in the field of high-pressure industrial chemistry and founder of IG Farben, at one point the world's largest chemical company.

Carl Bosch was born in Cologne, Germany to a successful gas and plumbing supplier. His uncle Robert Bosch pioneered the development of the spark plug.

Carl, trying to decide between a career in metallurgy or chemistry, studied at the Königlich Technische Hochschule Charlottenburg (now the Technical University of Berlin) and the University of Leipzig from 1892–1898.

Carl Bosch attended the University of Leipzig, and this is where he studied under Johannes Wislicenus, and he obtained his doctorate in 1898 for research in organic chemistry. 

After he left In 1899 he took an entry level job at BASF, then Germany's largest chemical and dye firm.

From 1909 until 1913 he transformed Fritz Haber's tabletop demonstration of a method to fix nitrogen using high pressure chemistry into an important industrial process to produce megatons of fertilizer and explosives.

The fully developed system is called the Haber–Bosch process. His contribution was to make this process work on a large industrial scale.

The first full-scale Haber-Bosch plant was erected in Oppau, Germany, now part of Ludwigshafen. 

After World War I Bosch extended high-pressure techniques to the production of synthetic fuel and methanol.

In 1925 Bosch helped found and was the first head of IG Farben and from 1935 chairman of the board of directors.

In 1931 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry together with Friedrich Bergius for the introduction of high pressure chemistry. 

Today the Haber–Bosch process produces 100 million tons of nitrogen fertilizer every year.

Bosch, a critic of many Nazi policies, was gradually relieved of his high positions after Hitler became chancellor, and fell into despair and alcoholism. He died in Heidelberg.

The Haber-Bosch process, quite possibly the best-known chemical process in the world, which captures nitrogen from the air and converts it to ammonia.

Bosch also won numerous awards including an honorary doctorate from Hochschule Karlsruhe in 1918.

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