Who Is Carl Bosch? What Did Carl Bosch Discover?


Who is Carl Bosch? Information about Carl Bosch biography, life story, works and discoveries.

Carl BoschCarl Bosch; (1874-1940), Germany engineer and chemical industry leader, who was awarded a share of the 1931 Nobel Prize for chemistry. Karl (or Carl) Bosch was born in Cologne on Aug. 27, 1874. He began to study metallurgy and engineering at Charlottenburg in 1894. Disappointed by the crude empiricism of these fields, he changed to chemistry in Leipzig in 1896, joined the Badische Anilin- und Soda-Fabrik (BASF) at Ludwigshafen in 1899, and rose to chairman of the board of the combined dyestuff industries in 1935.

His first major work at BASF was in the “fixation” of nitrogen, that is, its conversion from an atmospheric gas into usable chemical compounds. When BASF acquired Fritz Haber’s process of ammonia synthesis, Bosch had charge of the industrial development. Production of ammonia started in 1911, followed by the production of nitric acid by the oxidation of ammonia in early 1915 and the large-scale synthesis of methanol in 1923. For these developments he shared the Nobel Prize in 1931 with Friedrich Bergius.

Bosch combined manual skill with long-range planning ability, leadership qualities, and an interest in education. Opposed to the Nazi regime, he was nevertheless elected in 1937 to the highest position in German science, the presidency of the Kaiser Wilhelm-Gesellschaft, as successor to Max Planck. Bosch died in Heidelberg on April 26, 1940.

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