Nicolas-Théodore de Saussure

Chemist, Politician

1767 – 1845

41

Who was Nicolas-Théodore de Saussure?

Nicolas-Théodore de Saussure was a Swiss chemist and student of plant physiology who made seminal advances in phytochemistry.

The eldest son of Horace-Bénédict de Saussure, he was born in Geneva. He lived quietly and avoided society; yet like his ancestors he was a member of the Genevan representative council, and gave much attention to public affairs. In the latter part of his life, he became increasingly reclusive, and died in the city of his birth.

While a young man, Nicolas-Théodore accompanied his father in his Alpine journeys and assisted him by the careful determination of many physical constants. He was attracted to chemistry by Lavoisier's discoveries, but he never became as great. He took a leading share in improving the processes of ultimate organic analysis; and he determined the composition of ethanol, ether and some other commonly occurring substances. He also studied fermentation, the conversion of starches into sugars, and many other processes of minor importance.

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Born
Oct 14, 1767
Geneva
Also known as
  • Nicolas-Theodore de Saussure
Parents
Nationality
  • Switzerland
Profession
Died
Apr 18, 1845

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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