Paul Sabatier


Paul Sabatier

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Paul Sabatier
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1912

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.

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