Mond, Ludwig (1839-1909) was a German-born British chemist whose inventions and discoveries made possible many advances in industrial chemistry. He established the ammonia soda process in England; developed a cheap and efficient gas for industrial heating; and discovered nickel carbonyl, which led to a new process for extracting nickel from certain ores.
Mond was born in Kassel, Germany, to a well-to-do Jewish family. He began studying chemistry in 1855 at the University of Marburg. Mond also attended the University of Heidelberg from 1856 to 1859, where he trained with Robert Wilhelm Bunsen. He did not earn a doctorate, but went immediately to work in the chemical industry. Early on in his career he acquired valuable experience in chemical manufacturing of such products as soda, ammonia, and acetic acid. He discovered a method for recovering sulphur from alkali waste. Mond went to England in 1862, where in 1873, he established the Brunner-Mond chemical manufacturing company, with John Brunner as his partner. He became a naturalized citizen of England in 1880.
In 1889, while looking for a cheap method to produce ammonia, Mond discovered that when coal was burned with a mixture of air and steam, it not only produced ammonia, it also produced a cheap gas that could be used for most industrial heating purposes.
An unexpected outcome of the producer gas process was the discovery of nickel carbonyl. Mond was attempting to recover chlorine from waste ammonium chloride by distilling it over heated metal oxides. He noticed that nickel valves in the plant corroded when exposed to gases containing carbon monoxide. Mond's experiments showed that when nickel was exposed to carbon monoxide under heat, it formed nickel carbonyl, and heat decomposition then yielded pure nickel. He founded the Mond Nickel Company to link Canadian mines with extraction works in Wales.