Carl Remigius Fresenius

Carl Remigius Fresenius was one of the great chemists in the nineteenth century. He was Professor of Chemistry, Physics and Technology at the Agricultural Institute at Wiesbaden, Germany from 1845 until his death in 1897. At the age of 23, a year before he received the doctoral degree at the University of Giessen, he published the first edition of his famous “Introduction to Qualitative Analysis,” which proved to be so meritorious that it was translated into several foreign languages.

Fresenius was a critical analyst, widely known for the meticulous care and precision with which he carried out his analytical procedures. Many of his methods, such as the quantitative determination of lithium, manganese, and nickel, of phosphoric nitric, boric, and titanic acids were the analytical methods of choice for decades. In developing these methods he was obligated to synthesize many of his own reagents. To improve the accuracy of precipitation methods, he made numerous solubility studies on the salts involved. He developed detailed methods for the analysis of waters and of plant materials.

In 1869 he established anagricultural chemistry research laboratory, in 1877 a food research laboratory, and in 1884 a bacteriological research laboratory.

Fresenius was also interested inthe industrial application of chemistry. He was the discoverer of thelime-sodaprocess of water-softening. The destructive distillation of wood and the processes for the recovery and utilization of the products also were originated and developed by Fresenius.

In 1862 he founded the “Zeitschriftfür Analytische Chemie”, which remains one of the world’s leading journals in the field of analytical chemistry.