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2019-11-06 08:58:39
WÖHLER, Friedrich
'Ueber die künstliche Bildung des Harnstoffs,' pp. 253-256 in: Annalen der Physik und Chemie, Folge 2, Band 12.
Leipzig: Johann Ambrosius Barth, 1828. First edition. First edition, complete journal volume, of this foundation work of organic chemistry. "In 1828, Wöhler succeeded in effecting an artificial synthesis of urea by heating ammonium cyanate. This was the first time that an organic substance had ever been built up artificially from the constituents of an inorganic substance without any intervention of vital processes, and it soon became clear that there is no essential difference between the structural chemistry of life and that of inanimate nature" (GM). "This was the first synthesis of an organic compound, and this accomplishment is generally regarded as the beginning of organic chemistry" (Sparrow, p. 37). "The discovery destroyed the vitalistic theory which held that organic compounds could be produced only by living organisms, and led eventually to the brilliant results that have been achieved in attempts to synthesize other organic compounds" (Dibner). "In 1828, Friedrich Wöhler (1800-1882) published a short article in which he described the unexpected formation of urea from ammonium cyanate. The appearance of urea as a product was entirely unexpected, because theory predicted that cyanic acid and ammonia should produce a compound with the properties of a salt. Urea was not a salt, and it did not possess any of the properties expected for cyanates. In the article, Wöhler repeatedly noted the novelty of the artificial synthesis, but he and his mentor, the well-known Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius (1779-1848), were most intrigued by the formation of a nonsalt from a … [Click Below for Full Description]
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