Friedrich Woehler, German chemist

Friedrich Woehler, German chemist

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Caption: Friedrich Woehler (1800-1882), German chemist. Woehler was born near Frankfurt-am-Main and was educated at Heidelberg. He graduated in medicine, but decided to pursue chemistry. He worked under Berzelius in Stockholm, then taught at the Polytechnic School in Berlin from 1826. In 1828 he attempted to synthesis ammonium cyanate, but instead synthesised urea. This was the first time an organic substance was synthesised from inorganic compounds. In 1839 he moved to Kassel to teach, and later became professor of chemistry at Gottingen. In his later work, Woehler was co-discoverer of beryllium and silicon and was the first to isolate aluminium, yttrium and titanium. The discovery of the synthesis of urea through non-living means was one of the first disproofs of the concept of vitalism, that every organic substance could only be produced in living cells.

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Keywords: 1800s, 19th century, aluminium, ammonium cyanate, beryllium, discoverer, freidrich woehler, german chemist, organic chemistry, portrait, silicon, titanium, urea synthesis, vertical, vitalism, wohler, yttrium

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