Discoverer of Tungsten and Molybdenum - Carl Wilhelm Scheele

The discoverer of tungsten and molybdenum elements, Carl Wilhelm Scheele, was born on December 19, 1742, in Stralsund, Sweden and passed away on May 21, 1786. He is an unknown hero in the history of elements discovery.

Because of the financial constraints of the family, Scheele only received primary education. From the age of 14, he became an apprentice at a pharmacy in Gothenburg. Fortunately, the old pharmacist Martin Bossi of this pharmacy is not only highly skilled in pharmaceutical technology, but also owns high medically ethical. He appreciated and supported Scheele's chemistry study and research.

After 8 years of accumulation, Scheele not only read nearly 40 volumes of chemical books, but also made a set of sophisticated chemical laboratory instruments, from a pharmacy apprentice to a knowledgeable and skilled pharmacist, several universities are interested in hiring him, but they were rejected by Scheele.

Over the next couple of years, in the absence of advanced instruments, Scheele discovered the elements of tungsten and molybdenum elements, as well as barium, manganese, and chlorine. Meanwhile, he also discovered the chemical compounds of citric acid, lactic acid, glycerol, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen fluoride, and hydrogen sulfide. Many of these compounds were integral to innovations in food, medical, and dental sciences. Scheele found eight elements, but the discoverers of these elements in our coursebooks do not have his name.

He began to pay attention to oxygen when he studied nitrous acid in 1767. Heating the saltpeter will get a gas, which he calls "the volatiles of saltpeter". When the experiment of heating the saltpeter was repeated, Scheele discovered that when the slag was heated to red, the dry hot gas was released. This gas (oxygen) can re-ignite the soot.

In 1773, Carl Wilhelm Scheele obtained relatively pure oxygen (O2) by heating a mixture of oxidized mercury (HgO), saltpeter (KNO3), potassium permanganate (KMnO4) and silver carbonate (Ag2CO3)/mercuric carbonate (HgCO3). In 1775, Scheele handed over the "Fire and Air" manuscripts of these experimental results to Sweders, but knew that it was published in 1777. During this period, the British chemist Joseph Priestley published a paper after discovering oxygen in 1774! So, our coursebooks give us the message that Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen in 1774. Similar things happen to the other seven elements.

Scheele gave the world many chemical discoveries image

In the field of organic acids and inorganic acids, Scheele found inorganic acids such as arsenic acid, molybdic acid, tungstic acid and nitrous acid in addition to the elements found in inorganics.

Unfortunately, at the time that Scheele was working, there were few tools or methods known to test compounds, meaning that he, like many of his day, would test the compounds he discovered by smelling and tasting them. Through his work, he thus exposed himself to numerous hazardous materials like arsenic, mercury, lead, and hydrofluoric acid. The toxic properties of these chemicals had a cumulative effect on Scheele, and he eventually died of kidney failure, among other ailments in 1786, at the age of just 43.

Carl Wilhelm Scheele is the discoverer of tungsten and molybdenum as well as many other elements, he learned a lot in his life and is a decent person. He is well-known in the academic world and very obsessed with chemistry. It was his infatuation with chemistry that made remarkable achievements in the chemical field.