Henri Étienne Sainte-Claire Deville: A physician turned metallurgist

  • Jaime Wisniak
Historical Perspective


Henri Étienne Sainte-Claire Deville (1818-1881) is well known for his work on metallurgy, on the separation and preparation of many metals on a large scale and in a very pure state, and developing the concepts and principles of the dissociation of gases. He was the first to prepare N2O5 in crystalline state and to develop an inexpensive process for the industrial manufacture of sodium and aluminum. Among the many metals he separated susccessfully are silicon, magnesium, platinum, iridium, osmium, manganese, and chromium. His development of the platinum-iridium alloy led to its adoption for manufacturing the meter and kilogram standards.


aluminum Deville dissociation iridium-rhodium alloy magnesium metric standards silicon 


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Copyright information

© ASM International 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaime Wisniak
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael

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