Eduard Buchner was a German chemist and zymologist. He won the 1907 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the fermentation of carbohydrates.
The son of Dr. Ernst Buchner, Edward was born in Munich. His father was considered to be an expert in the field of Forensic Medicine and physician at the University. He was destined for a commercial career; however, after the early passing of his father, his elder brother Hans made it possible for him to get a more general education. He then studied at Munich Polytech where he began studying chemistry with Adolf von Baeyer and botany with Professor C. von Naegeli. Later in 1888 the University of Munich awarded him a doctorate.
The experiment for which Buchner won the Nobel prize involved a cell-free extract of yeast that he produced with the action of enzymes, which after being put through the press resulted in ‘press juice’ containing glucose, fructose or maltose and Carbon Dioxide. This ‘press juice’ could ferment sugar. This showed that the presence of living yeast cells was not needed for fermentation.
Buchner proved that living yeast cells was not needed for fermentation.
In 1896 Buchner discovered that the yeast contained a chemical called ‘zymase’. His hypothesis was that the yeast cells secrete proteins in the environment to ferment sugars, instead of occurring inside the yeast cells. However, this is not the actual mechanism. He demonstrated that an enzyme can be extracted from yeast cells and that it causes sugar to break up into carbon dioxide and alcohol. The Lamont scholarship which he was awarded made it possible for him to continue his studies.
Buchner went on to teach at a number of universities including those in Berlin, Breslau and Wurzburg around 1911. He went on to serve in the army and he became a major in a front-line field hospital at Foc?ani, Romania. He became badly injured on August 3, 1917 and died of those wounds nine days later in Munich. He was 57 years old at the time.