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Walter Haworth

Walter Haworth
BornMarch 19 1883(1883-03-19)
Chorley, Lancashire, England
DiedMarch 19 1950 (aged 67)
Barnt Green, Worcestershire, England
InstitutionsSt Andrews University,
University of Durham,
University of Birmingham
Alma materUniversity of Manchester,
University of Göttingen
Academic advisor  William Henry Perkin, Jr.,
Otto Wallach
Known forinvestigations on carbohydrates and vitamin C
Notable prizes Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1937)
Sir Walter Norman Haworth (born Chorley, Lancashire March 19, 1883 – March 19, 1950) was a British chemist who is best known for his groundbreaking work on ascorbic acid (vitamin C) whilst working at Birmingham University.

He received the 1937 Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his investigations on carbohydrates and vitamin C". The prize was shared with Swiss chemist Paul Karrer for his work on other vitamins.

He decided to attend Manchester University in 1903 and study chemistry after working for some time in a linoleum factory run by his father. He made this decision in spite of the strong disapproval of his parents. After he finished his master with William Henry Perkin, Jr., he subsequently studied at the University of Göttingen earning his Phd with Otto Wallach.

In 1912 Haworth became a lecturer at United College of St Andrews University in Scotland and became interested in carbohydrate chemistry, which was being investigated at St Andrews by Thomas Purdie (1843-1916) and James Irvine (1877-1952). Haworth began his work on simple sugars in 1915 and developed a new method for the preparation of the methyl ethers of sugars using methyl sulfate and alkali. He then began studies on the structural features of the disaccharides.

Haworth organized the laboratories at St Andrews University for the production of chemicals and drugs for the British government during World War I (1914-1918). He was appointed professor of organic chemistry at the University of Durham in 1920. Three years later, he became Mason Professor of Chemistry at the University of Birmingham.

In 1934, working with British chemist Sir Edmund Hirst, he was able to synthesize vitamin C.

The Haworth projection, a simple way for representing chemical structures in three dimensions, is named after him.

He was knighted in 1948. He died on March 19, 1950, his 67th birthday.

Haworth is commemorated at Birmingham University in the Haworth Building, which houses most of the Birmingham University School of Chemistry)


  • Walter Haworth's biography at the Nobel Prize Web Site

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Walter_Haworth". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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