December 9, 1748 - Birth of Claude Louis Berthollet, his system of chemical nomenclature was the basis of the current system of naming chemical compounds

Claude Louis Berthollet

Doctor, chemist and professor, with a career full of research and publications, he is elected a member of the Académie des Sciences.

His investigations with hydrocyanic (prussic) acid and with hydrocyanic acid led him to disagree with Antoine Lavoisier on the question that oxygen is essential in all acids.

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.

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 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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