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Ira Remsen. Portrait of Ira Remsen (1846-1927), American chemist and discoverer of saccharin. Remsen qualified as a physician in America before studying chemistry in Germany. On his return he introduced into America the new, rigorous and professional chemistry that he had learnt in Germany. He translated German books, published his own and founded the American Chemical Journal. In 1879 he told his student, Constantin Fahlberg, to oxidise sulphamide of toluene with potassium permanganate. The reaction created a compound that was 500 times sweeter than sugar. Fahlberg named it saccharin and patented it; Remsen never contested the patent despite his contribution.
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