Johann Rudolf Glauber

Johann Rudolf Glauber ( 1604 (?); March 10 1670), a German-Dutch alchemist and chemist.

Born in Karlstadt am Main, he received no formal education and later he moved to the Netherlands and settled in Amsterdam (1655).

He might be regarded as a forerunner of contemporary chemists. His work and experiments resulted in discoveries of several analytic methods and he was the first to produce hydrochloric acid. Among other chemical compounds Glauber discovered 1625 sodium sulfate in an Austrian spring, which was named after him ("Glauber's salt").

The Chemical Garden (or Silica Garden) was first observed and described by Glauber in 1646. [Johann Rudolf Glauber, Furni Novi Philosophici. Amsterdam, 1646] In its original form, the Chemical Garden involved the introduction of ferrous chloride (FeCl2) crystals into a solution of potassium silicate (K2SiO3, water glass).

The method of the manufacture of nitric acid was established by Glauber, in 1648. This method includes the heating of potassium nitrate with concentrated sulphuric acid.

Some historians of science have described him as one of the first chemical engineers [Herman Skolnik "in" W. F. Furter (ed) (1982) "A Century of Chemical Engineering" ISBN 0-306-40895-3 page 230] .

External Sources

* [ Biography at the Galileo Project]


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