Carl Bosch was a prominent German industrial chemist and entrepreneur. Notable for the development of the Haber-Bosch process for high-pressure synthesis of ammonia, he was one of the founders of IG Farben, which became one of the world’s largest chemical companies. Bosch won the 1931 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for formulating chemical high-pressure methods.
Early Life and Education:
Born in Cologne, Germany to a rich gas supplier, Carl Bosch’s uncle was the legendary industrialist Robert Bosch who helped develop the first spark plug. He attended the Technical College of Charlottenburg and the University of Leipzig for six years, from 1892 to 1898. Bosch later accepted an entry level job at BASF, a leading German chemical company.
Contributions and Achievements:
Carl Bosch started working to adapt the laboratory process for synthesizing ammonia for commercial production in 1909.
He formulated the process that bore his name, in which hydrogen is manufactured on an industrial scale by passing steam and water over a catalyst at high temperatures. The Haber-Bosch process turned out to be the most commonly used big-scale process for nitrogen fixation. Bosch was appointed the president of I.G. Farbenindustrie AG.
Bosch shared the 1931 Nobel Prize for chemistry with Friedrich Bergius for his work on the invention and development of chemical high-pressure methods. He became a successor to Max Planck in 1935 as director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute.
Later Life and Death:
Carl Bosch died after a prolonged illness on April 26, 1940 in Heidelberg, Germany. He was 65 years old.