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Marcellin Bertholet, French chemist

Marcellin Bertholet, French chemist

C028/8114

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Credit

COLLECTION ABECASIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY COLLECTION ABECASIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Marcellin Berthelot (1827-1907). French chemist Pierre Eugene Marcellin Berthelot. Berthelot pioneered organic synthesis. Organic chemistry had been concerned with compounds derived from living nature. From 1854, Berthelot used synthetic methods in a systematic way, and built up large molecules from simple starting components. The former idea of a 'vital force' was banished; organic chemistry became simply the chemistry of carbon compounds. He is also noted for his work on thermochemistry, physiological chemistry and on explosives.

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