Herman Frasch, German chemical engineer

Herman Frasch, German chemical engineer

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Credit: CHEMICAL HERITAGE FOUNDATION/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Herman Frasch (1851-1914), German chemical engineer. Born in Germany, Frasch came to the USA as a young man and trained in pharmacy in Philadelphia. Developing an interest in the petroleum industry, he established his own laboratory in 1874. In 1887, he patented a method of removing sulphur from 'skunk oil'. In 1891, he started work on the problem of obtaining sulphur from deposits under limestone. He used three boreholes: one to pump in superheated water, one to pump in air and the third to recover the resulting sulphur froth. The Frasch process, as it became known, yielded almost pure sulphur and revolutionised the world sulphur market.

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