Eastern cemetery, Lund, Sweden
Grave of Christian Wilhelm Blomstrand.
Christian Wilhelm Blomstrand, Swedish mineralogist and chemist.
University of Lund, Lund, Scania, Sweden
Blomstrand studied chemistry at the University of Lund, where he received his Ph.D in 1850 and his habilitation in 1854.
Blomstrand originally studied mineralogy at the University of Lund. His interest in chemistry began only after he had been awarded his doctorate (1850) and had been named the first recipient of the Berzelius scholarship. His Habilitationsschrift dealt with bromine and iodine compounds of tin.
At the University of Lund, Blomstrand became adjunct in chemistry (1856) and later professor of chemistry and mineralogy (1862), a position that he occupied until his retirement (1895).
Blomstrand’s experimental inorganic research largely concerned the Group VB elements - the so-called earth acids (halides and oxyhalides of niobium, tantalum, molybdenum, and tungsten; heteropoly acids of iodic and periodic acid with chromic, molybdic, and tungstic acids). In addition to his strictly chemical work, he characterized and analyzed many minerals, especially those of the rarer elements or of unknown composition, such as monazite, ilmenite, tantalite, niobite, and euxenite.
Most of Blomstrand’s theoretical works (such as those on azoammonium and chain theories) are polemical, but more often conciliatory than inflammatory in tone. Since he lived in Sweden during a period of transition between the older and newer chemistries and since he was a scientific as well as a political conservative, he sought to reconcile Berzelius’ dualistic theory with the unitary and type theories. He was opposed to Kekule’s dogma of constant valence and strove to establish a sound and complete theory of variable valence. Blomstrand’s chain theory, as modified and developed by Sophus Mads Jorgensen, was the most successful of the numerous attempts to explain the constitution of metal-amines. It held sway for roughly a quarter-century until it was displaced by Alfred Werner’s coordination theory in 1893.
Blomstrand was a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences from 1861.
Christian Wilhelm Blomstrand was single.