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Friedrich Bergius

( Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1931)

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Biography Friedrich Bergius
Bergius, Friedrich (Bergius, Friedrich) (1884-1949) (Germany). Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1931 (with K. Bosch).

Born October 11, 1884 in Goldshmidene, Germany (now Poland), the son of Henri Bergius and Mary Haase. Attended school in nearby Breslau (Polish city of Wroclaw).

There he came to his father's chemical factory and watched the industrial processes, and at the end of the school his father sent him for six months at a metallurgical plant in the Ruhr to increase familiarity with the production

. In 1903, Bergius studied chemistry at the University of Breslau, . dealing with the famous chemist Albert Ladenburg (Albert Ladenburg, . 1842-1911) (learning organic synthesis) and Richard Wilhelm Heinrich Abegg (Richard Wilhelm Heinrich Abegg, . 1869-1910) (preparation of inorganic chemistry),
. Next year he spent in military service, . and then entered the University of Leipzig, . where under the leadership of another great scientist Arthur Gancia (Arthur Hantzsch, . 1857-1935) (training in the field of organic and physical chemistry) in 1907 defended his dissertation on the concentrated sulfuric acid as the solvent,
.

The next two years Bergius worked as an assistant to W. Nernst (teaching thermodynamics) in the University of Berlin, and then at the F. Haber (preparation for work with high pressure) in Karlsruhe, where he studied the problem of synthesis of ammonia. In 1909 he investigated the dissociation of calcium peroxide under pressure to 300 atmospheres in the physical-chemical laboratory of Max Ernst August Bodenstein (Ernst August Max Bodenstein, . 1871-1942) (another world-class, . this time in the field of chemical kinetics) at the Technical University in Hanover,
.

Industrial and economic needs of the first quarter of the 20 in. set chemists challenge of finding alternative oil and natural gas sources of hydrocarbons (cars require fuel oil) and some simple organic substances, such as methanol. Such processes are needed for its implementation in the industry to develop appropriate synthetic technology at high pressures and temperatures. Through the efforts of the Russian chemist Academician Vladimir Nikolaevich Ipatief (1867-1952) created the preconditions for a successful synthetic work at high pressures and temperatures. During this period, Bergius began to develop hermetic device, which could create a high pressure.

In early 1910-s in our own laboratory in Hanover Bergius engaged in the conversion of heavy oils into lighter and studied the influence of high pressure and temperature on wood and peat in the formation of coal.

By the end of 1913 he received the liquid hydrocarbons, acting on charcoal with hydrogen under pressure.

Bergius believed that after hydrogenation of the oil output of gasoline during its subsequent treatment will increase, he discovered and patented the process of hydrogenation of heavy oil under high pressure. Catalytic hydrogenation of heavy oil fractions eventually became an important way to improve the efficiency of motor fuels

. In 1915, Bergius on their own resources and with financial support from two German companies, oil refineries built in Rheinau (near Mannheim) plant for the hydrogenation of coal, . However, after the First World War, demand for oil temporarily dropped and the project was delayed Bergius,
. Only in 1921 he managed to raise additional funds by selling its right to a patent Germanic companies and industrial associations in other countries.

In 1922-1925 Bergius has developed the continuity of the process, the ability to control the temperature during the reaction, and opened an effective source of hydrogen by burning a mixture of methane and oxygen.

Once in 1925 he sold his patents BASF, his work continued K. Bosch. Bosch offered to its employees to prove the technical feasibility of turning coal into liquid fuel. In 1926 Mathias Pierus (Matthias Pier, 1882-1965), one of the disciples W. Nernst), which BASF conducted research activities, improved the Bergius process and has increased yield of gasoline. Two years later, in g.Leyne was built plant oils from coal.

In 1931, Bergius and Bosch were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize 'for his services on the introduction and development of high-pressure techniques in chemistry'.

At the time of receipt of the Nobel Prize Bergius began studying the process of hydrolysis of cellulose - the main component of wood - under the action of hydrochloric acid. As a result of this process, which is dubbed 'receiving food from a tree', formed of sugar, which, in turn, can be converted into alcohol, or nutritional yeast. In 1930-1940-e Bergius continued to study the hydrolysis of wood and in 1943 built an industrial plant in Rheinau. Both of these processes - hydrogenation of coal and the conversion of cellulose - provided Germany during the Second World War, important resources.

After the war he was unable to find suitable jobs at home and at first he briefly lived in Austria and then moved to Spain, where he founded a chemical company. In 1947 at the invitation of the Government of Argentina, he moved to live in this country and worked as a research consultant at the Ministry of Industry.

Died March 30, 1949 in Buenos Aires.


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