- Sabatier, Paul
▪ French chemistborn Nov. 5, 1854, Carcassonne, Francedied Aug. 14, 1941, ToulouseFrench organic chemist and corecipient, with Victor Grignard (Grignard, Victor), of the 1912 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for researches in catalytic organic synthesis, in particular for discovering the use of nickel as a catalyst in hydrogenation (the addition of hydrogen to molecules of carbon compounds).Sabatier studied at the École Normale Supérieure and under Marcellin Berthelot (Berthelot, Pierre-Eugène-Marcellin) at the Collège de France, earning his doctorate in 1880. After a year at the University of Bordeaux, he moved to the University of Toulouse in 1882, where he became professor (1884) and dean (1905) and where he remained until retirement (1930).Sabatier's various discoveries formed the bases of the margarine, oil hydrogenation, and synthetic methanol industries, as well as of numerous laboratory syntheses. He explored nearly the whole field of catalytic syntheses in organic chemistry, personally investigating several hundred hydrogenation and dehydrogenation reactions, showing that several other metals besides nickel possess catalytic activity, though in smaller degree. He also studied catalytic hydration and dehydration, examining both the feasibility of specific reactions and the general activity of the various catalysts.▪ French historianborn Aug. 3, 1858, Saint-Michel-de-Chabrillanoux [Ardèche], Fr.died March 4, 1928, StrasbourgFrench historian and educator who is chiefly remembered for his biography of St. Francis of Assisi.A Calvinist from birth, Sabatier began his studies at the Protestant faculty of theology in Paris in 1880 and became pastor of St. Nicholas, Strasbourg, in 1885. He was expelled from Alsace in 1889 because he refused to become a German subject, and, although he was given a parish in the Cévennes, ill health forced him to retire. He devoted himself to historical research. He was professor of Protestant theology at Strasbourg from 1919 until his death.Sabatier's Vie de St. François d'Assise (1893), which showed little regard for historical objectivity, enjoyed an immediate success and ran through more than 40 editions during its author's lifetime.
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