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Nicolas Theodore de SaussureZoomA-Z


14. Oktober 1767 in Geneva
18. April 1845 in Geneva

de Saussure explained the carbon cycle. He performed quantitative experiments in photosynthesis to show that plants extracted carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, that all the carbon in plants came from this gas, and that water was essential for photosynthesis.

He is known chiefly for his work on the chemistry of vegetable physiology. He was attracted to chemistry by his father's Horace-Benedict Lavoisiers brilliant conceptions, but he did not become great as an originator. He took a leading share in improving the processes of ultimate organic analysis; and he determined the composition of ethyl alcohol, ether and some other commonly occurring substances. He also studied fermentation, the conversion of starch into sugar, and many other processes of minor importance.

The greater number of his 36 published papers dealt with the chemistry and physiology of plants, the nature of soils, and the conditions of vegetable life, and were republished under the title Recherches chim-iques sur la vgtation.


1767Geboren am 14. Oktober in Geneva
1802Professor of mineralogy and geology at the Geneva Academy.
1845Gestorben am 18. April in Geneva