November 6, 1822 – Death of Claude Louis Berthollet, his system of chemical nomenclature is the basis of the current system of naming chemical compounds

Doctorate in Chemistry and Medicine and with a career full of research and publications, in 1780, he is elected member of the Académie des Sciences. That same year, his investigations with hydrocyanic (prussic) acid and hydrocyanic acid led him to disagree with Antoine Lavoisier on the question that oxygen is essential in all acids.

Four years later, he served as director of the Manufacture des Gobelins, the famous royal tapestry-making workshops. It is here that he discovers the bleaching properties of chlorine and designs a procedure for whitening fabrics using a solution of sodium hypochlorite, "L'eau de Javel" or also known as bleach. From his experience he published, in 1791, "Eléments de l'Art de la Teinture" (Elements of the Art of Dyeing).

In 1786, based on Antoine Lavoisier's theory, he carried out chemical pneumatics experiments and, a year later, together with Louis-Bernard Guyton de Morveau, Antoine Lovoisier and Antoine-François de Fourcroy, published "Méthode de Nomenclature Chimique" (Method of Chemical Nomenclature), which laid the foundations for modern chemical nomenclature.

In 1791, he published “Éléments de l'Art de la Teinture” (Elements of the Art of Dyeing), with the results of his research during his time at the “Manufacture des Gobelins”. At the same time, he became Professor of Chemistry at the École Normale Supérieure, and, after 1794, at the École Polytechnique.

In 1803, he published "Recherche sur les lois des affinités chimiques" (Research on the laws of chemical affinities) and "Essai de statistique chimique" (Essays on Chemical Statistics). In this last book he first defined the concept of "chemical equilibrium" by proposing a law of indefinite proportions for chemical combinations, as opposed to Joseph Proust's law of definite proportions.

In this regard, his discussion for 9 years (1799-1808) on this subject is well known, which ended up proving Lavoisier right by demonstrating that the combination ratios between the components do not depend on their masses, but rather are constant.

If you want to know more about this scientist, click on the following link: Claude Louis Berthollet

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