Héroult, Paul Louis Toussaint

Héroult, Paul Louis Toussaint


Born Apr. 10, 1863, in Thury-Harcourt, Calvados Department; died May 9, 1914, near Antibes. French metallurgist.

In 1882, Heroult entered the École des Mines in Paris; while a student at the school he displayed a great interest in the electrolytic production of aluminum. He invented the modern industrial process for the production of aluminum by the electrolysis of cryolite-alumina melts in 1886. (The same process was invented simultaneously and independently of Heroult by C. Hall in the USA.) In 1888, in Neuhausen, Switzerland, Heroult’s process served as the basis for the first commercial production of aluminum. In 1889 he became the director of an aluminum-production factory in Froges, France.

In 1899 and 1900, Heroult designed a direct-arc electric furnace (later named for him), which has been widely used in steel-making. Heroult developed an electrolytic method for producing aluminum alloys and helped develop the process used in the production of ferrochromium and ferrotungsten.


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