Ostwald, Wilhelm (1853-1932), a German chemist. He did important research on the dynamics of chemical change. In 1900 he developed a method (the Ostwald process) for the catalytic oxidation of ammonia to nitric acid. Ostwald was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1909 for his work on catalysis and on conditions of chemical equilibrium and rates of chemical reactions. He also formulated a law (Ostwald's dilution law) concerning the dilution of an electrolyte.
Ostwald was born in Riga, Latvia. He graduated from the University of Dorpat. where he became a lecturer in 1878. He was professor of chemistry at the University of Riga, 1882-87. From 1887 to 1906, he was professor of chemistry and director of the chemical laboratory at the University of Leipzig.