Justus von Liebig (1803-1873), German organic chemist. A druggist's son, Liebig became interested in chemistry as a child. He studied in Paris, becoming assistant to the French chemist Gay Lussac. In 1825 he became professor at the University of Giessen in Germany, where he proved himself one of the greatest chemistry teachers of all time - in spite of his ferocious reputation in academic circles. By 1830 he had developed an accurate method of analysing organic compounds by burning them in air. Liebig also recognised that carbohydrates and fat are the "fuel" of the animal body and suggested using potassium and phosphorus as fertilizers in agriculture.
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