Berthelot, Pierre Eugène Marcellin (1827–1907)
His work laboratory synthesis of compounds such as ethyne (acetylene), ethanol, methanol, benzene, and methane helped to prove that the distinction between organic substances (as substances formed only in living things) and inorganic compoudss wrong. He thus not only opened up a new field of research but was also of great benefit to industry. His early studies established the theory of polyatomic alcohols, and he devoted much attention to explosives. Later in his career, in the 1860s, his observations of the heat phenomena which produce chemical combinations laid the foundation of thermochemistry; he introduced the terms "exothermic" and "endothermic."
In 1868, Berthelot analyzed samples of the Orgueil meteorite and reported finding in them hydrocarbons of the alkane family "comparable with the oils of petroleum."
Related category CHEMISTS
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