Théophile-Jules Pelouze

Last updated
Theophile-Jules Pelouze Theophile-Jules Pelouze.png
Théophile-Jules Pelouze
Theophile-Jules Pelouze Theophile Jules Pelouze.jpg
Théophile-Jules Pelouze

Théophile-Jules Pelouze (also known as Jules Pelouze, Théophile Pelouze, Theo Pelouze, or T. J. Pelouze, pronounced  [pəluz] ; 26 February 1807 31 May 1867) was a French chemist.



He was born at Valognes, and died in Paris.

His father, Edmond Pelouze, was an industrial chemist and the author of several technical handbooks. The son, after spending some time in a pharmacy at La Fère acted as laboratory assistant to Gay-Lussac and Jean Louis Lassaigne at Paris from 1827 to 1829. In 1830 he was appointed associate professor of chemistry at Lille, but returning to Paris next year became repetiteur, and subsequently professor at the École polytechnique. He also held the chair of chemistry at the Collège de France, and in 1833 became assayer to the mint and in 1848 president of the Commission des Monnaies. [1] [2]

After the coup d'état in 1851 he resigned his appointments, but continued to conduct an experimental laboratory-school he had started in 1846. [2] There he worked with the explosive material guncotton and other nitrosulphates. His student Ascanio Sobrero was the discoverer of nitroglycerin (1847), and another student, Alfred Nobel, was to take that discovery on to great heights in the form of commercial explosives including dynamite. He was a major inspiration for both students.[ citation needed ]

Though Pelouze made no discovery of outstanding importance, he was a busy investigator, his work including researches on salicin, on beetroot sugar, on various organic acids (gallic, malic, tartaric, butyric, lactic, etc.), on oenanthic ether (with Liebig), on the nitrosulphates, on guncotton, and on the composition and manufacture of glass. [2]

His son Eugène-Philippe Pelouze married Marguerite Wilson  [ fr ], a rich heiress, in 1857. The couple purchased the Château de Chenonceau in 1864. Marguerite continued to live there until 1888, when she ran out of money and was forced to sell. [3]

His name is one of the 72 names inscribed on the Eiffel Tower.

Related Research Articles

Frederick Abel English chemist (1827–1902)

Sir Frederick Augustus Abel, 1st Baronet was an English chemist who was recognised as the leading British authority on explosives. He is best known for the invention of cordite as a replacement for gunpowder in firearms.

Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac

Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac was a French chemist and physicist. He is known mostly for his discovery that water is made of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen, for two laws related to gases, and for his work on alcohol-water mixtures, which led to the degrees Gay-Lussac used to measure alcoholic beverages in many countries.

Nitrocellulose Highly flammable compound

Nitrocellulose is a highly flammable compound formed by nitrating cellulose through exposure to nitric acid, or to a mixture of nitric acid and another acid, usually either hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid, or to another powerful nitrating agent. One of its first major uses was as guncotton, a replacement for gun powder as propellant in firearms. It was also used to replace gunpowder as a low-order explosive in mining and other applications.

Picric acid Explosive chemical compound

Picric acid is an organic compound with the formula (O2N)3C6H2OH. Its IUPAC name is 2,4,6-trinitrophenol (TNP). The name "picric" comes from the Greek word πικρός (pikros), meaning "bitter", due to its bitter taste. It is one of the most acidic phenols. Like other strongly nitrated organic compounds, picric acid is an explosive, hence its primary use. It has also been used as medicine (antiseptic, burn treatments) and dyes.

Louis Nicolas Vauquelin

Prof Louis Nicolas Vauquelin FRS(For) HFRSE was a French pharmacist and chemist. He was the discoverer of both chromium and beryllium.

Antoine François, comte de Fourcroy

Antoine François, comte de Fourcroy was a French chemist and a contemporary of Antoine Lavoisier. Fourcroy collaborated with Lavoisier, Guyton de Morveau, and Claude Berthollet on the Méthode de nomenclature chimique, a work that helped standardize chemical nomenclature.

Marguerite Perey 20th-century French physicist

Marguerite Catherine Perey was a French physicist and a student of Marie Curie. In 1939, Perey discovered the element francium by purifying samples of lanthanum that contained actinium. In 1962, she was the first woman to be elected to the French Académie des Sciences, an honor denied to her mentor Curie. Perey died of cancer in 1975.


ESPCI Paris is a prestigious institution of higher education founded in 1882 by the city of Paris, France. It educates undergraduate and graduate students in physics, chemistry and biology and conducts high-level research in those fields. It is ranked as the first French École d'Ingénieurs in the 2017 Shanghai Ranking.

Charles Frédéric Gerhardt

Charles Frédéric Gerhardt was a French chemist, born in Alsace and active in Paris, Montpellier, and his native Strasbourg.

Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac

Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac was a Swiss chemist whose work with atomic weights suggested the possibility of isotopes and the packing fraction of nuclei. His study of the rare earth elements led to his discovery of ytterbium in 1878 and co-discovery of gadolinium in 1880.

Ascanio Sobrero was an Italian chemist, born in Casale Monferrato. He was studying under Théophile-Jules Pelouze at the University of Turin, who had worked with the explosive material guncotton.

Charles Adolphe Wurtz

Charles Adolphe Wurtz was an Alsatian French chemist. He is best remembered for his decades-long advocacy for the atomic theory and for ideas about the structures of chemical compounds, against the skeptical opinions of chemists such as Marcellin Berthelot and Henri Étienne Sainte-Claire Deville. He is well known by organic chemists for the Wurtz reaction, to form carbon-carbon bonds by reacting alkyl halides with sodium, and for his discoveries of ethylamine, ethylene glycol, and the aldol reaction. Wurtz was also an influential writer and educator.

J. Lawrence Smith

John Lawrence Smith was an American chemist and mineralogist.

Georges Urbain

Georges Urbain was a French chemist, a professor of the Sorbonne, a member of the Institut de France, and director of the Institute of Chemistry in Paris. Much of his work focused on the rare earths, isolating and separating elements such as europium and gadolinium, and studying their spectra, their magnetic properties and their atomic masses. He discovered the element lutetium. He also studied the efflorescence of saline hydrates.

Philippe Alexandre Jules Künckel d'Herculais was a French entomologist and zoologist.

Arthur Michael was an American organic chemist who is best known for the Michael reaction.

Jean-Baptiste-Michel Bucquet was a French chemist, member of the French Royal Academy of Sciences, physician and public teacher.

Auguste André Thomas Cahours

August André Thomas Cahours (1813-1891) was a chemist and scientist whose contribution to organic chemistry was one of the greatest in history. He discovered, among other things, the processes of synthesis of several chemical molecules, including toluene, xylene, several organo-magnesiums, and derivatives of phosphine and arsine.

Jean-Baptiste Senderens

Jean-Baptiste Senderens was a French priest and chemist. He was one of the pioneers of catalytic chemistry, and a co-discoverer of catalytic hydrogenation, a process used commercially to make margarine.

Charles-Louis Barreswil was a French physiologist and biochemist who was among the first to investigate the process of digestion in humans and also a range of other chemical applications including photographic and printing processes.


  1. Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Théophile-Jules Pelouze"  . Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  2. 1 2 3 Wikisource-logo.svg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Pelouze, Théophile Jules". Encyclopædia Britannica . 21 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 77.
  3. James David Draper; Edouard Papet (2014). The Passions of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, p. 226–227. Yale University Press. ISBN   9780300204315.