William Knowles


William S. Knowles

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William S. Knowles
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2001

Born: 1 June 1917, Taunton, MA, USA

Died: 13 June 2012, Chesterfield, MO, USA

Prize motivation: “for their work on chirally catalysed hydrogenation reactions”

Prize share: 1/4


Many molecules appear in two different reversed forms that have different chemical and biological effects. Through special catalysts—substances that facilitate chemical reactions without being consumed in them—it is possible to bring about a process in which only one of the reversed forms is produced. In 1968 William Knowles discovered that certain metals had this effect during hydrogenation—reactions in which hydrogen gas is added to a chemical compound. Among other things, this enabled production of L-dopa medication to treat Parkinson’s disease.

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MLA style: William S. Knowles – Facts. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2024. Fri. 14 Jun 2024. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/chemistry/2001/knowles/facts/>

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