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Justus von Liebig, German chemist

Justus von Liebig, German chemist

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Justus von Liebig (1803-1873), German chemist. Liebig was born into a middle class family, and showed an early interest in chemistry. University of Bonn. He went on to Paris, where he met Gay-Lussac and Cuvier, before becoming Professor at Giessen at the age of 21. He established laboratory-based teaching, and was a gifted if harsh lecturer. His research demonstrated that organic chemistry could be analysed and replicated in the laboratory. He showed that nitrogen-based compounds were essential to plant growth, and invented the first nitrogen fertilisers. His Law of the Minimum stated that plants each have a mineral that regulates their development. With Giebert he devised a method for creating a beef extract from carcasses as a dietary supplement, the bouillon cubes of which were later trademarked as 'Oxo'.

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