Michel Éugène Chevreul

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Chevreul, Michel Éugène


Born Aug. 31, 1786, in Angers; died Apr. 9, 1889, in Paris. French organic chemist. Member of the Paris Academy of Sciences (1826). Professor at the Lycée Charlemagne (from 1813) and the natural history museum in Paris (from 1830).

Chevreul’s main works deal with the chemistry of fats (1810–23). Chevreul established the chemical composition of fats and, by saponification, isolated stearic, oleic, palmitic, and other acids. He gave the name “glycerin” to the “sweet principle of oils and fats” discovered by K. Scheele. Chevreul derived a number of dyes from plants, including hematoxylin (1811), quercitrin (1831), morin (1831), and luteolin (1833); he also derived creatine from meat extract (1835). Chevreul proposed an efficient system of color classification. His research has found applications in the manufacture of soap, stearin, and certain dyes.

Chevreul was a foreign corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1853).


Resume d’une histoire de ia matière depuis les philosophes grecs jusqu’à Lavoisier inclusivement. Paris, 1878.
Recherches chimiques sur les corps gras d’origine animale. Paris, 1889.


Manolov, K. Velikie khimiki, vol. 1. [Moscow] 1976. Pages 294–313. (Translated from Bulgarian.)