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Joseph Bienaimé Caventou

Joseph Bienaimé Caventou (1795–1877) was a French chemist.

He was a professor at the École de Pharmacie (School of Pharmacy) in Paris. He collaborated with Pierre-Joseph Pelletier in a Parisian laboratory located behind an apothecary. He was a pioneer in the use of mild solvents to isolate a number of active ingredients from plants, making a study of alkaloids from vegetables. Among their successes were the isolation of the following compounds:

Year Isolated compound(s) Source
1817 Chlorophyll
1817 Emetine Ipecacuanha
1818 Strychnine Nux vomica
1819 Brucine Nux vomica
1820 Cinchonine and Quinine Cinchona bark
1821 Caffeine  

Quinine sulfate later proved to be an important remedy for the disease malaria. Quinine is the active anti-malarial ingredient in the bark of cinchona tree.[1][2]

Neither of the partners chose to patent their discovery of this compound, releasing it for everybody to use. In 1823 they discovered nitrogen in alkaloid compounds. Other compounds they discovered include Colchicine and Veratrine.

Caventou crater on the Moon was named after him.

See also


  1. ^ Haas L (1994). "Pierre Joseph Pelletier (1788-1842) and Jean Bienaime Caventou (1795-1887)". J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 57 (11): 1333. PMID 7964807.
  2. ^ Kyle R, Shampe M (1974). "Discoverers of quinine". JAMA 229 (4): 462. PMID 4600403.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Joseph_Bienaimé_Caventou". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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