Born: 5 November 1854, Carcassonne, France
Died: 14 August 1941, Toulouse, France
Affiliation at the time of the award: Toulouse University, Toulouse, France
Prize motivation: "for his method of hydrogenating organic compounds in the presence of finely disintegrated metals whereby the progress of organic chemistry has been greatly advanced in recent years."
Prize share: 1/2
Nature is full of organic substances - a large and varied quantity of chemical compounds that contain the element carbon. Combining - synthesizing - organic substances by chemical means is important in both scientific and industrial contexts. Around 1897 Paul Sabatier developed a method for causing unsaturated organic substances to absorb hydrogen and form new organic compounds. The method primarily uses nickel, but also other metals, as catalysts - substances that facilitate the process without being integrated into the final product.