He liked to experiment with extremely poisonous chemical substances without any concern for the consequences this could bring to the world, the population, and the environment. He is globally regarded as one of the worst inventors who greatly contributed to the environmental problems we face today and the world will still be facing at least a hundred years after his death. With his inventions, Thomas Midgley Jr. Lead is a well documented poison.
Early life[ edit ] Midgley was born in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvaniato a father who was also an inventor. He grew up in Columbus, Ohioand graduated from Cornell University in with a degree in mechanical engineering.
In Decemberwhile working under the direction of Charles Kettering at Dayton Research Laboratoriesa subsidiary of General Motors, Midgley discovered that the addition of tetraethyllead to gasoline prevented "knocking" in internal combustion engines.
Thomas Midgley Jr. (May 18, – November 2, ) was an American mechanical and chemical engineer. He played a major role in developing leaded gasoline (Tetraethyllead) and some of the first chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), better known by its brand name Freon; both products were later banned due to concerns about their impact on. When retired railroad conductor Edwin Drake struck oil in in Titusville, Pennsylvania, he touched off the modern oil industry. For the next 40 years the primary interest in oil was as a source of kerosene, used for lighting lamps. In A Nutshell. Thomas Midgley was a renowned chemist and inventor who held over patents in his lifetime, but he’s most notorious for two chemicals which wreaked untold havoc on the environment: leaded gasoline and Freon, the first CFC.
Oil companies and automobile manufacturersespecially General Motors which owned the patent jointly filed by Kettering and Midgley, promoted the TEL additive as a superior alternative to ethanol or ethanol-blended fuelson which they could make very little profit.
He "[found] that my lungs have been affected and that it is necessary to drop all work and get a large supply of fresh air". Kettering was elected as president, and Midgley was vice president. However, after two deaths and several cases of lead poisoning at the TEL prototype plant in Dayton, Ohiothe staff at Dayton was said in to be "depressed to the point of considering giving up the whole tetraethyl lead program".
Ethyl Corporation built a new chemical plant using a high-temperature ethyl chloride process at the Bayway Refinery in New Jersey. On October 30,Midgley participated in a press conference to demonstrate the apparent safety of TEL, in which he poured TEL over his hands, placed a bottle of the chemical under his nose, and inhaled its vapor for 60 seconds, declaring that he could do this every day without succumbing to any problems.
Midgley would later have to take leave of absence from work after being diagnosed with lead poisoning. Though effective, these were toxicflammable or explosive. The Frigidaire division of General Motors, at that time a leading manufacturer of such systems, sought a non-toxic, non-flammable alternative to these refrigerants.
The team soon narrowed their focus to alkyl halides the combination of carbon chains and halogenswhich were known to be highly volatile a requirement for a refrigerant and also chemically inert.
They eventually settled on the concept of incorporating fluorine into a hydrocarbon. They rejected the assumption that such compounds would be toxic, believing that the stability of the carbon—fluorine bond would be sufficient to prevent the release of hydrogen fluoride or other potential breakdown products.
Inhe was elected president and chairman of the American Chemical Society. He devised an elaborate system of ropes and pulleys to help others lift him from bed. Inhe was entangled in the device and died of strangulation. Archived from the original on October 15, Retrieved November 18, National Academy of Sciences.
The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution. University of California Press, This the single-file edition of the guide. It is large and loads slowly, but once loaded is easy to browse and search.
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Thomas Midgley, Jr., (born May 18, , Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, U.S.—died November 2, , Worthington, Ohio), American engineer and chemist who discovered the effectiveness of tetraethyl lead as an antiknock additive for gasoline.
Thomas Midgley Jr. was an American mechanical engineer born on May 18, , in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. He liked to experiment with extremely poisonous chemical substances without any concern.
American engineer and chemist Thomas Midgley, Jr., discovered the effectiveness of tetraethyl lead as an antiknock additive for gasoline (see automobile).
He also found that dichlorodifluoromethane (a type of fluorocarbon commercialized under the trade name Freon) could be used as a safe refrigerant (see refrigeration).Midgley was born on.
THOMAS MIDGLEY, JR. by John H. Lienhard. Click here for audio of Episode Today, an inventor transforms us.
He also threatens our lives.