Justus Von Liebig

Charlie Pott

Early Childhood

Justus von Liebig was born in Darmstadt to a middle-class family. Johann Georg Liebig and Maria Caroline Möser were his parents He was born in early May 1803. His father was a drysalter and hardware merchant who compounded and sold paints, varnishes and pigments, which he developed in his own workshop. From childhood Justus was fascinated with chemistry. Liebig went to the grammar school at the Ludwig-Georgs-Gymnasium in Darmstadt, from the age of 8 to 14.

How he Became Interested

Justus von Liebig’s father was a chemical manufacturer whose shop had a small laboratory. He loved to construct experiments in his fathers laboratory. He was very fascinated with chemistry from an early age. Justus received a degree in chemistry from the Prussian University of Bonn. Liebig received his doctorate from the University of Erlangen in Bavaria in 1822.


Justus Lieberg did not face hardships during his life as a scientist


Liebig worked on the serious explosive silver fulminate, a salt of fulminic acid. During the same time, the German chemist Friedrich Wöhler was also studying cyanic acid. Liebig and Wöhler collaborated on this.They established that cyanic acid and fulminic acid were two different compounds having the same composition. The concept of “isomerism” was later recognized by the Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius.

Liebig revolutionized organic analysis using a five-bulb device called the “Kaliapparat”. He understated the importance of humus in plant nutrition and maintained that plants feed upon nitrogen compounds, carbon dioxide from air, and some minerals found in the soil. He was the first person the invent a nitrogen-based fertilizer. Liebig also devised the Law of the Minimum. Liebig was one of the true forefathers of modern agriculture.

Liebig burned an organic compound with copper oxide and identified the oxidation products (water vapour and carbon dioxide) by weighing them, directly after absorption, in a tube of calcium chloride and in a specially designed five-bulb apparatus containing caustic potash. This procedure, perfected in 1831, allowed the carbon content of organic compounds to be determined to a greater precision than previously known. Moreover, his technique was simple and quick, allowing chemists to run six or seven analyses per day as opposed to that number per week with older methods.

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Just Liebig won the Copley Medal


This video is long and probably not the best representation of my scientist but it was the only one I could find that wasn't in German.
41 Justus von Liebig - Agricultural Chemistry


Brock, William H. (1997). Justus von Liebig : the chemical gatekeeper (1st ed.). Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.


"Justus Von Liebig." Famous Scientists. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2014.


Brock, William H. "Foundations of Organic Chemistry." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2014.


"Baron Justus Von Liebig." Inspira Wiki. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2014.