Wilhelm Ostwald

Ostwald, Wilhelm (vĭlˈhĕlm ôstˈvält) [key], 1853–1932, German physical chemist and natural philosopher, b. Riga, Latvia. He was professor of chemistry and director of the chemical laboratory (1886–1906) at the Univ. of Leipzig. He received the 1909 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on catalysis and his investigations into the fundamental principles governing equilibrium and rates of reaction. He also did outstanding work on color. He wrote Colour Science (1923, tr. 1931) and many textbooks. Ostwald originated the Ostwald process for preparing nitric acid. Ammonia mixed with air is heated and passed over a catalyst (platinum). It reacts with the oxygen to form nitric oxide, which is then oxidized to nitrogen dioxide; this in turn reacts with water to form nitric acid.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Wilhelm Ostwald from Fact Monster:

  • September 2 Birthdays: Liliuokalani - September 2 birthdays: Liliuokalani, Salma Hayek, Keanu Reeves, Wilhelm Ostwald, Andrew Grove, Peter V. Ueberroth, Christa McAuliffe, Terry Bradshaw
  • Information Please: 1909 - 1909 Previous Year | Next Year World | U.S. | Economics | Sports | Entertainment | Science Year by ...
  • chemistry: History of Chemistry - History of Chemistry The earliest practical knowledge of chemistry was concerned with metallurgy, ...
  • Nobel Prizes (table) - Nobel Prizes Year Peace Chemistry Physics Physiology or Medicine Literature 1901 J. H. Dunant ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Chemistry: Biographies

Play Hangman

Play Poptropica

Play Quizzes

Play Tic Tac Toe