Paul Sabatier


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(1854–1941) French chemist

Sabatier, who was born at Carcassone in southwest France, was a student at the Ecole Normale, Paris, and gained his PhD from the Collège de France in 1880. He became professor of chemistry at the University of Toulouse (1884–1930).

In 1897 Sabatier showed how various organic compounds could undergo hydrogenation, e.g., ethylene will not normally combine with hydrogen but when a mixture of the gases is passed over finely divided nickel, ethane is produced. Benzene can be converted into cyclohexane in the same way. Sabatier discussed the whole problem in his book Le catalyse en chimie organique (1912; Catalysis in Organic Chemistry), published the same year in which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry for his work on catalytic hydrogenations.

Subjects: Science and Mathematics.

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