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1927 / Kohlehydrierung

Friedrich Bergius (1884-1949), a chemist in Hanover, Germany, had the idea patented in 1913: liquid reaction products for use as synthetic fuel can be obtained from coal by applying high pressure and hydrogenation, i.e. addition of hydrogen. BASF chemist Matthias Pier (1882-1965) picks up on this idea and soon finds a way to transpose the process to an industrial scale. The Bergius-Pier process is implemented at the Leuna works near Merseburg, Germany, which was put on stream by BASF in 1917. In 1927, the first tank car filled with gasoline derived from coal leaves this site.

The large-scale hydrogenation of coal is another high-pressure synthesis following the ammonia synthesis (1913) and the methanol synthesis (1923).