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British Industrial History

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Paul Louis Toussaint Heroult

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Paul Heroult (1862-1914), Metallurgist

1886 Inventor of a process for electrolytically reducing refractory ores, especially used in the extraction of aluminium. Charles Martin Hall of Oberlin, Ohio, USA, made a similar discovery at the same time.

Unlike Hall, Heroult devoted most of his attention to the manufactme of alloys; his first French patent described a coal-fired crucible adapted for the preparation of the simple metal; the second one, which was taken up by the Societe Metallurgique Suisse at Neuhausen, claimed a process for actually fusing alumina by means of a powerful electric current, and then electrolysing it in presence of copper to yield aluminium bronze.[1]

1900 Began trials of an electric furnace he had designed for smelting iron ores to make steel; by 1903, 2500 tons of steel had been produced in France using the electric furnace[2]




1914 Obituary.[3]



See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1897/04/23
  2. The Engineer 1904/02/05
  3. Engineering 1914 Jan-Jun: Index: General Index