Friedrich Bergius

About Friedrich Bergius

Who is it?: Chemist
Birth Day: October 11, 1884
Birth Place: Breslau (Wrocław), Germany, German
Died On: 30 March 1949(1949-03-30) (aged 64)\nBuenos Aires, Argentina
Birth Sign: Scorpio
Alma mater: University of Breslau, University of Leipzig
Known for: Bergius process
Awards: Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1931) Wilhelm Exner Medal (1937)
Fields: Chemistry
Institutions: University of Hanover
Doctoral advisor: Arthur Rudolf Hantzsch
Other academic advisors: Richard Abegg

Friedrich Bergius


Scientists

Friedrich Bergius is Chemist born on October 11, 1884 in Breslau (Wrocław), Germany, German. Friedrich Karl Rudolf Bergius was a German chemist known for the Bergius process for producing synthetic fuel from coal. He and Carl Bosch jointly won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their contribution in the invention and development of chemical high-pressure methods.

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💰 Net worth: Under Review

Awards and nominations:

He and Carl Bosch won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1931 in recognition of their contributions to the invention and development of chemical high-pressure methods. In 1937, he was awarded the Wilhelm Exner Medal.

Biography/Timeline

1903

Before studying chemistry, Bergius was sent to work for 6 months at the Friedrich Wilhelms steel works in Mülheim. His studies started at the University of Breslau in 1903 and ended with a PhD in chemistry at the University of Leipzig in 1907, after only 4 years. His thesis on sulfuric acid as solvent was supervised by Arthur Rudolf Hantzsch. In 1909 Bergius worked for one semester with Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch at the University of Karlsruhe in the development of the Haber-Bosch Process. On the same year he was invited to work at the University of Hanover with Max Bodenstein, who developed the idea of chemical kinetics and held a position as professor.

1913

During his habilitation, techniques for the high-pressure and high-temperature chemistry of carbon-containing substrates were developed, yielding a patent on the Bergius process in 1913. In this process liquid hydrocarbons used as synthetic fuel are produced by hydrogenation of lignite (brown coal). He developed the process well before the commonly known Fischer-Tropsch process. Theodor Goldschmidt invited him to build an industrial plant at his factory the Th. Goldschmidt AG in 1914. The production began only in 1919, after the World War I ended, when the need for fuel was already declining. The technical problems, inflation and the constant criticism of Franz Joseph Emil Fischer, which changed to support after a personal demonstration of the process, made the progress slow and Bergius sold his patent to BASF, where Carl Bosch worked on it. Before World War II several plants were built with an annual capacity of 4 million tons of synthetic fuel.

1931

He and Carl Bosch won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1931 in recognition of their contributions to the invention and development of chemical high-pressure methods. In 1937, he was awarded the Wilhelm Exner Medal.

1949

After the war his citizenship was called into question because of his collaboration with IG Farben, resulting in his departure from Germany to work as an adviser in Italy, Turkey, Switzerland and Spain. He emigrated to Argentina, where he worked as an adviser to the Ministry of Industry. He died in Buenos Aires on 30 March 1949, and buried in the Cementerio Alemán next to La Chacarita Cemetery.

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