Carl Bosch was born on August 27, 1874, in Cologne, Germany. His father was a gas and plumbing supplier while his uncle, Robert Bosch was a famous engineer. His uncle invented the first commercially usable high-voltage spark plug. He graduated high school and started working as a metal worker in a machine shop for a short period.
In 1894, Carl Bosch joined the Technical University of Berlin to study metallurgy and mechanical engineering graduating in 1896. In the same year, he joined Leipzig University to study chemistry and graduated with a doctoral degree in 1898 as a chemist.
In 1899, Dr. Bosch joined the BASF company as an entry level chemist. BASF was Germany’s largest chemical and dye firm. Bosch’s opportunity for really large-scale work came when in 1908 when the company acquired the process of high-pressure synthesis of ammonia, which had been developed by Fritz Haber. Bosch was given the task of developing this process on a large industrial scale. This task involved the construction of plant and apparatus which would stand up to working at high gas pressure and high reaction temperatures. Haber’s catalysts, osmium and uranium had to be replaced by a contact substance which would be both cheaper and more easily available. Bosch and his collaborators found the solution by using pure iron with certain additives. Further problems which had to be solved were the construction of safe high-pressurized blast furnaces, a cheap way of producing and cleaning the gases necessary for the synthesis of ammonia. Step by step Bosch went on to using increasingly larger manufacturing units and creating the industry which deals with the production of synthetic ammonia according to the high-pressure process.
From this work, ammonia was available for use in industry and agriculture. Bosch succeeded in working out methods for the industrial production of nitrogen fertilizers, therefore providing practically every country in the world with sufficient fertilizers for agricultural purposes. In 1913, Carl Bosch's project became successful, and the first ever Haber-Bosch plant known was opened in Germany.
In 1931, he was presented with the Nobel Prize for Chemistry jointly with Friedrich Bergius for their invention and development of chemical high-pressure methods.
Carl Bosch – Biographical. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2023. Wed. 9 Aug 2023. https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/chemistry/1931/bosch/biographical/
Carl Bosch- Wed. 9 Aug 2023. https://www.sunsigns.org/famousbirthdays/d/profile/carl-bosch/