31 July 1800 - Birth of Friedrich Wöhler, the first to isolate beryllium and aluminum

The son of the veterinarian, agronomist, pedagogue, and philanthropist August Anton Wöhler and Anna Katharina Schröder, Friedrich Wöhler was born on 31 July 1800 in Eschersheim, Germany.

From an early age, he showed great interest in medicine and chemistry. After completing his studies, he began his medical studies in Heidelberg and then traveled to Stockholm to continue his chemistry training under the Swede Berzelius's guidance.

In 1836, he began teaching as a professor of chemistry at the University of Göttingen.

He was one of the few scientists who became interested in organic chemistry, writing several textbooks on organic and inorganic chemistry, such as Lehrbuch der Chemie (1825), Grundriss der Anorganischen Chemie (1830), Grundriss der Organischen Chemie (1840) and Praktische Übungen in der Chemischen Analyse (1854).

Wöhler isolated the chemical elements aluminum and beryllium, discovered calcium carbide (obtaining acetylene from it), developed the method for preparing phosphorus that is still used today, and demonstrated, with his synthesis of the organic compound urea, which is a product of vital processes that can be obtained in the laboratory from inorganic matter.

He was also noted for his research on uric acid and bitter almond oil, which he carried out in collaboration with the German chemist Justus von Liebig.

Friedrich Wöhler died in Göttingen on 23 September 1882.

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