Francois Auguste Victor Grignard and Paul Sabatier were joint Noble Laureates for chemistry in the year 1912. They were both French chemists who started their careers in different fields, mathematics and physics, but made respectable contributions to the field of chemistry later in their life.
Victor Grignard was born on May 6th, 1871 in Cherbourg in the north of France. In his early years he started studying mathematics but eventually switched to chemistry. His expertise in the field would later lead him to hold the chair of chemistry at the University of Lyons. In 1901 he discovered a class of organic reagents known as the 'Grignard reagents' which won him the Nobel Prize in 1912.
One of Victor Grignard's most notable contributions to chemistry was a method for generating carbon-carbon bonds. He used magnesium to couple ketones and alkyl halides. He achieved this by a two step process that included the formation of a Grignard reagent, to which carbonyl having a ketone or aldehyde is added. This reaction is now called the Grignard reaction and is an important means of preparing organic compounds from smaller precursor molecules.
Paul Sabatier was born on November 5th, 1854. He earned his PhD in 1880 from the College de France. After this he moved to the University of Toulouse in 1882 where he eventually became a professor and finally became the dean in 1905. He stayed at the Toulouse University till he retired in 1930. Sabatier won the Nobel Prize in 1912 for his study and research in the field of organic chemistry.
Discovery in the field of Organic Chemistry
In 1897, Sabatier showed how many organic compounds underwent hydrogenation. Ethylene for example will never combine with hydrogen, however if a mixture of gases is passed over nickel which is finely divided, ethane gets produced. He explained this process in detail in his famous book Le catalyse en chimie organique which is French for catalysis in organic chemistry. He wrote the book in 1912. He also studied catalytic hydration and dehydration examining the reactions of various catalysts on them. He also personally investigated several hydrogenation and dehydrogenation reactions.