209 - Hubert GROUVEN (1831 - 1884) [1] [2]

Dr Hubert GROUVEN was a German Agrikulturchemiker, residing in Leipzig. In 1878 GROUVEN obtained a patent in Germany [3] and in England [4] for a 

Verfahren zur Darstellung von schwefelsaurem Ammoniak aus dem Stickstoff von Bruchmoore oder Grünlandsmoore

The English patent explains: 

In the manufacture of ammonium sulphate from the nitrogen of marshy moors, the turf is heated and incorporated with “meadow chalk”, prior to its introduction into a series of cylinders a, b, c within an enclosing-wall constituting the furnace, the heat of which is maintained by the combustion of gases derived from the carbonisation of the turf, after it has been deprived of its nitrogen. 

The cylinders project above the wall, and are provided with close-fitting covers a’ and valves to prevent access of air while charging. The cylinders are closed at the bottom by a water lute, into which the solid residue descends for withdrawal. The fireplace terminates a little above the bottom of the cylinders, which are perforated to allow the gaseous products to pass into the chamber thus formed above the water lute. 

The gases are drawn from this chamber by an exhauster, and passed to another similar furnace heating enclosed upright cylinders l, f, g packed with a porous material prepared from “meadow chalk”, clay containing potash, and dried turf. This material, being highly heated, induces formation of am­monium carbonate from the nitrogen present in the gases ...

As to the origin of the invention, Wikipedia explains [1]:

Nach 1870 suchte Grouven nach Wegen, neue Stickstoffdüngemittel zu produzieren. Erste Überlegungen dazu hat er in seiner Schrift „Ueber die Ersatzfrage des Peru-Guano“ (1873) veröffentlicht. 1874 richtete er in seiner Wohnung in Leipzig ein chemisches Laboratorium ein und entwickelte ein Verfahren, aus dem organisch gebundenen Stickstoff der Bruchmoore Ammoniumsulfat herzustellen.

On 2 May 1878 GROUVEN applied for a corresponding brevet d'importation in Luxembourg under the French title of:

Procède de fabrication du sulfate d’ammoniac au moyen de l’azote de la Bruchmoore ou Grünlandsmoore.

The patent was granted on 18 July 1880 under the new 1880 Patent Law. [5] 


[1] Wikipedia

[2] Grouven, Hubert, Indexeintrag: Deutsche Biographie

[3] DE Reichspatent No 2,709

[4] GB patent No 1,281/1878

[5] LU patent No 17