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Herman Frasch Herman Frasch Born December 25, 1851 Oberrot bei Gaildorf, Württemberg Died May 1, 1914 Paris Work Significant projects Frasch Process Herman Frasch, Hermann Frasch (December 25, 1851, Oberrot bei Gaildorf, Württemberg - May 1, 1914, Paris) was a mining engineer and inventor known for his work with petroleum and sulphur. Biography He emigrated to the United States in 1868. He began practicing pharmacy in 1868, and after his arrival in the United States entered the laboratory of John Michael Maisch at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. In 1874 he established his own laboratory. Many of his earlier inventions were connected with the production of oil, salt, wax and white lead. In 1885 he started the Empire Oil Company, Petrolia, Ontario. The oil from Petrolia contained up to 0.7% sulfur, which gave the petroleum made from it a strong odor and the name skunk oil, which was practically not marketable. After several tries he was able to desulfurize the petroleum by reacting the oil vapor with a mixture of iron, lead, and copper oxide. The formed sulfides were roasted in air to remove the sulfur, to reform the oxides which could be then reused. His product became a serious competitor to Pennsylvania oil. The Standard Oil of John D. Rockefeller in Lima suffered from the same problem. Thus, Rockefeller bought the Empire Oil Company and employed Herman Frasch to solve this problem with John Wesley Van Dyke. The Hermann process worked for the first time in an industrial scale in 1888. As he was paid in shares of Standard Oil, Herman Frasch became rich with the success of his method. During the search for oil in Louisiana, near the present-day town of Sulphur, sulfur was found under a layer of 200–300 m of quicksand. All attempts to get to the sulfur with conventional mining shafts ended in disaster. Herman Frasch bought the surrounding area, but the sulfur containing area was not on his property. On October 20, 1890, he took out three patents for the Frasch Process. He then made a contract with the owners of the sulfur deposit. He erected a plant at the location of the sulphur deposits, and, by sending down superheated water through a boring of 1,000 feet, he melted the sulphur. The melted sulphur then ascended to the surface through an inner tube in the boring, and was pumped into bins several feet high, in which it solidified, and the blocks were later broken up and loaded directly onto rail cars. The result of the invention was a reduction of the importation of sulphur into the United States to less than one-tenth of its former proportions, and a corresponding increase in home production. The first sulfur was extracted in 1894. High water and energy consumption, as well as the presence of toxic hydrogen sulfide, were problems which had to be solved. Herman Frasch became head of the Union Sulphur Company which dominated the sulfur market until his patents ran out in 1911. Herman Frasch was accounted as the sulphur king. After the sulfur deposits where exhausted the company changed its focus from sulfur to oil. Frasch was awarded the Perkin medal in 1912. Frasch's surname is often mis-spelt Frash. References "Obituaries - Herman Frasch, Paul L. V. Héroult". Industrial & Engineering Chemistry 6 (6): 505–507. 1914. doi:10.1021/ie50066a024.  Herman Frasch (1912). "The Perkin's Medal Award - Address of Acceptance". Industrial & Engineering Chemistry 4 (2): 134–140. doi:10.1021/ie50038a016.  Herman Frasch (1918). "UNVEILING OF THE PORTRAIT OF HERMAN FRASCH". Industrial & Engineering Chemistry 10 (4): 326–327. doi:10.1021/ie50100a038.  History of Sulphur (Sulphur, Louisiana) Stuart Bruchey (1960). "Brimstone, The Stone That Burns: The Story of the Frasch Sulphur Industry by Williams Haynes". Journal of Economic History 20 (2): 326–327. JSTOR 2114864.  Walter Botsch (2001). "Chemiker, Techniker, Unternehmer: Zum 150. Geburtstag von Hermann Frasch". Chemie in unserer Zeit 35 (5): 324–331. doi:10.1002/1521-3781(200110)35:5<324::AID-CIUZ324>3.0.CO;2-9.  Oskison, John M. (July 1914). "A Chemist Who Became King Of An Industry: Herman Frasch, The Greatest Of Oil-Refining Experts and Master, Through His Researches And Inventions, Of The Sulphur Supply Of The World". The World's Work: A History of Our Time (Doubleday, Page & Co.) XLIV (2): 310. Retrieved 2009-08-04.   This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Frasch, Herman". Encyclopedia Americana. 1920.  Persondata Name Frasch, Herman Alternative names Short description United States mining engineer and inventor Date of birth December 25, 1851 Place of birth Oberrot bei Gaildorf, Württemberg Date of death May 1, 1914 Place of death Paris