Justus von Liebig (1803-1873)

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Liebig was one of the founders of modern chemistry, organic chemistry, and agricultural chemistry.  He started the first university-based research lab at the University of Giessen in Germany, where he taught students from all over Europe.  He developed a more efficient and accurate method for the elemental analysis of organic compounds.  In 1840, he published the first modern work on agricultural chemistry, “Organic Chemistry and its Application to Agriculture and Physiology.”

Liebig discovered that nitrogen is an essential nutrient for plants and invented nitrogen based fertilizer.  He formulated the “Law of Minimum,” which is that the nutrient in shortest supply relative to the required amount will determine the yield of a plant.

He also invented a popular extract of meat called the Liebig Extract.


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