Famous Belgian Chemists

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 1 
Leo Baekeland
(Chemist & Inventor)
Leo Baekeland
3
Birthdate: November 14, 1863
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sint-Martens-Latem, Belgium
Died: February 23, 1944

Industrial chemist Leo Baekeland is remembered as The Father of the Plastics Industry for creating Bakelite, the first synthetic plastic of the world, thus marking the beginning of the Polymer Age. His many inventions include Velox, a special photographic paper, the rights of which he sold to George Eastman.

 2 
Ilya Prigogine
(Russian-Belgian Physical Chemist and Winner of the 1977 Nobel Prize for Chemistry)
Ilya Prigogine
3
Birthdate: January 25, 1917
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: May 28, 2003

Ilya Prigogine was a physical chemist remembered for his work on irreversibility, complex systems, and dissipative structures. A respected member of several scientific organizations, Prigogine was honored with the Francqui Prize in 1955. In 1976, he won the Rumford Medal for his work concerning irreversible thermodynamics. His work on irreversible thermodynamics earned him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1977.

 3 
Jan Baptista van Helmont
(Belgian Physician and Chemist Who First Identified Carbon Dioxide)
Jan Baptista van Helmont
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Birthdate: January 12, 1580
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: December 30, 1644

Belgian physician and chemist Jan Baptista van Helmont often considered the founder of pneumatic chemistry, is also said to have used the word “gas” for the first time in the scientific world. He is also said to have been the first to identify gas sylvestre, which later came to be known as carbon dioxide.

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 4 
Ernest Solvay
(Belgian Chemist Who Developed the 'Ammonia-Soda Process' for Making Soda Ash)
Ernest Solvay
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Birthdate: April 16, 1838
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rebecq, Belgium
Died: May 26, 1922

Belgian chemist Ernest Solvay began working in his family’s salt-making business soon after finishing school, as his condition of acute pleurisy prevented him from studying any further. He is remembered for developing the ammonia-soda process that produces soda ash, which is crucial to the glass and soap industries.

 5 
Yves Chauvin
(French chemist)
Yves Chauvin
2
Birthdate: October 10, 1930
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Menen
Died: January 27, 2015

Known for his independent work on olefin metathesis, in which catalysts create and break double carbon bonds of organic molecules, Yves Chauvin played a significant role in the advancement of the green chemistry and helped to develop many new products like advanced plastics, fuel additives, and pharmaceuticals. For this role, he was co-awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

 6 
Julius Nieuwland
(Chemist, Botanist Known for His Discovery of 'Lewisite' and Acetylene Research for its Use as a Synthetic Rubber)
Julius Nieuwland
1
Birthdate: February 14, 1878
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nevele, Belgium
Died: June 11, 1936