Henri Moissan 1906 Nobel Prize on Chemistry
Politecnico di MilanoVia Macinelli 7, Milano 20131, ItalyMember of chimica oggi/Chemistry Today’s Scientific advisory board
Professor H. Moissan made outstanding contributions tothe development of applied chemistry in the late XIXand early XX century. For the first time he obtainedfluorine in free state, studied a number of fluorine compounds,designed an electric arc furnace and set the foundationof high-temperature chemistry. He synthesized many highmeltingcompounds and isolated boron and other elementsby reducing their oxides, finally he theorised and attemptedthe preparation of artificial diamond (1). He was awarded withthe Nobel Prize (1906) in recognition to the isolation of fluorineand for his studies on high-temperature chemistry. He diedsuddenly in Paris in February 1907, shortly after his return fromreceiving the Nobel Prize in Stockholm. The family Moissanoriginated from Toulouse and moved to Paris, where Moissanwas born on September 28, 1852. In 1870 he left the schoolwithout the baccalaureate degree necessary to attend theuniversity. He wanted to be economically independent assoon as possible, therefore started to work as apprenticepharmaceutical chemist in Paris, where he was able to savea person intoxicated with arsenic. In this period he decided tostudy chemistry and started first at the ...