Wöhler, Friedrich

Wöhler, Friedrich (1800-1882)


Wöhler, Friedrich

19th Century
Born: Eschersheim (Germany), 1800
Died: Göttingen (Germany), 1882

Wöhler obtained a degree as a physician in Heidelberg (1823), but persuaded by Gmelin he oriented himself to chemistry. He was lecturer at the Technical High School in Kassel (1831-1836) and professor of chemistry at the University of Göttingen (1836-1882). In 1828 Wöhler prepared urea from ammonium cyanate, this was a blow against the concept of vitalism. He showed that when benzoic acid is taken up it is excreted in the urine as hippuric acid (start of metabolic studies). Wöhler was also interested in the inorganic chemistry: he noted the similarity of carbon and silicon and was the first to prepare silane (SiH4).

Related Links

Link icon Eric Weisstein’s World of Scientific Biography: Wöhler, Friedrich (1800-1882)
German chemist who was a student of Berzelius.