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Karl Wilhelm Scheele

Scheele, Karl Wilhelm (kärl vĭlˈhĕlm shāˈlə) [key], 1742–86, Swedish chemist, b. Stralsund. He is known as the discoverer of many chemical substances. He was a pharmacist in Stockholm, in Uppsala (1770–75), and then in Köping. He prepared and studied oxygen c.1773, but his account in Chemical Observations and Experiments on Air and Fire (1777, tr. 1780) appeared after the publication of Joseph Priestley's studies. He discovered nitrogen independently of Daniel Rutherford and showed it to be a constituent of air. His treatise on manganese (1774) was influential in leading to the discovery of that element as well as to the discovery of barium and chlorine. He also isolated glycerin and many acids, including tartaric, lactic, uric, prussic, citric, and gallic.

See his Collected Papers (tr. 1931, repr. 1971).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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